The morning began at the confluence of the Snake and Palouse Rivers near the Joso High Bridge, which replaced the Lyons Ferry. A few darker clouds loomed in the distance, but the sun peeked out of the clouds and became a fixture for the rest of the day.
One group got in the Zodiacs for a ride to Lyons Ferry State Park, and then we boarded a coach for the ride up to the Palouse Falls. At the falls, we enjoyed ample time to photograph the state falls of Washington State. Yellow-bellied marmots were everywhere, eating grass and tending to their young.
The other group boarded the Zodiacs and went up the Palouse River. Each Zodiac had a naturalist guide who explained the basalt formations while helping guests spot wildlife. On the tour of the Palouse River, we spotted great blue herons, ospreys, bald eagles, golden eagles, peregrine falcons, swallows, and coots. The groups then switched places and took the opposite tour.
After lunch, several people went out for some kayaking, and others took a walk around the Lyons Ferry State Park. Everyone returned to the vessel, and many guests took in an afternoon talk about smart phone photography.
As cocktail hour began, we approached Lower Monumental Dam, where we were lowered another 100 feet. This lock is guillotine style. After we were lowered to the appropriate level, the great ‘door’ lifted to reveal the Snake River.