Road Scholar Lewis & Clark Expedition
on the Snake and Columbia Rivers


Part 2 -- Hell's Canyon on the Snake River

October 27, 2013
Posted February 25, 2014
2014, Herbert E. Lindberg

This page is part of a multi-day Expedition:

1. Downtown Spokane, Bus to Clarkston and Lewiston Page 1    Page 2
2. Snake River into Hell's Canyon Page 1   You are here
3. Palouse River -- Too Windy Page 1 
4. The Dalles, Maryhill Museum, Bike Ride Page 1
5. Columbia River Gorge, Rasmussan's Farm, Multnomah Falls Page 1    Page 2    Page 3
6. Fort Clatsop, Columbia River Maritime Museum Page 1  

We boarded the Sea Bird at about 4:30 p.m. on Day 2 of our adventure and settled into our rooms before attending a quick safety drill followed by a gourmet dinner in the ship's dining room. The Sea Bird is perfectly sized for river cruising, with accomodations for 64 passengers and, on this cruise, a 31-person staff.  We were well pampered with that staff-to-passenger ratio.  I didn't take any pictures of our room but it is enough to know that it was compact and very efficient: narrow but comfortable single beds nested at a right angle, modestly sized window, small writing table suitable for both Mary and I to use at the same time, and a compact shower-toilet room that worked perfectly.

We were gently rousted up the next morning by a P.A. system to a speaker in our room. Mary and I were already up and had showered in anticipation of the tight schedule every day of the cruise. After a wonderful cafeteria-style breakfast with many choices we hustled back to our room to get ready to board one of two 36-passenger jet boats.

Our jet boat, docked opposite our cruise ship Sea Bird
Jet boat along side Sea Bird


Our jet boat pilot, taken from our 2nd-row seat on the opposite side
Jet boat pilot


We stopped at this large patch of columnar basalt, formed during cooling of basalt lava.
Columnar basalt


Not far away was this curved columnar basalt.
Right click on picture to open a larger image in a separate tab.
Curved columnar basalt


Our second-row seats gave us a panoramic view, but with front window reflections out the side window.
Window reflections


When I partially stood up I could get some nice shots over the heads of the couple in front of us.
On the right you can see some of the many layers of basalt put down during hundreds of volcano erruptions over eons.
Out the front windwo


We were surrounded by rugged beauty on both sides of the Snake River.
The overcast day took away much of the brilliant color and shadows seen by others.
Hell's canyon magesty


But even with the overcast the rugged beauty was evident after a bit of photo editing.
More rugged beauty


Each bend in the river revealed more majestic beauty.
More rugged scenery


We saw several fishing groups.  The theme here seemed to be Keystone beer, which fits with fishermen I know!
We saw several fishing groups


Bighorn sheep were grazing on both sides of the river.
Big horned sheep


Out pilot dealt with rapids all along the river.  He went around most of them but these we had to bounce through.
River rapids


A few waterfalls added to the scenery.
Waterfall


After we turned around and headed back north to the Sea Bird we passed many of these layered basalt volcano hills.
Basalt vulcano layers


Our pilot stopped to show us these Native American pictographs.
Native American pictographs


I smapped this picture to show the keen competition for photographer space.
A few times people stacked themselves three deep in front of us, but all in cheerful cooperation.
photo competition


Jim Napoli, the staff video photographer, shot throughout the week and put together disks to buy on the final day.
He gave us a preview toward the end of the cruise which convinced me to buy one -- well worth the $40.
Our video photographer


One of many bighorn sheep.  The image is blurred because it was freehand at full telephoto (320 mm) from the moving boat.
Big-horned sheep

Continue to Palouse River   |   Home

1. Downtown Spokane, Bus to Clarkston and Lewiston Page 1    Page 2
2. Snake River into Hell's Canyon Page 1    You are here
3. Palouse River -- Too Windy Page 1 
4. The Dalles, Maryhill Museum, Bike Ride Page 1
5. Columbia River Gorge, Rasmussan's Farm, Multnomah Falls Page 1    Page 2    Page 3
6. Fort Clatsop, Columbia River Maritime Museum Page 1