Time Travel on the Rivers
On our last Rivers of the West trips, we stopped at the confluence of the Palouse and Snake Rivers for a side kayak exploration of the Palouse Canyon. This peaceful side journey resonated with us all as an encapsulation of this western river experience.
After towing the kayaks up the narrow Palouse River Canyon, we ferried the guests to their crafts for a downstream float back to the Safari Quest.
Drifting quietly past cattails and rim rocks through a stunning canyon setting, carved by the same Bretz floods that sculpted much of the Columbia and surrounding Snake country, past grazing deer and hunting hawks, it wasn't difficult to imagine this similar scene in the eyes of the former inhabitants of these lands—the Palouse Indians. They lived in these valleys below us in the times before the water rose behind the dams.
At the end of our journey, we drifted past the Marmes Man archaeological site, where evidence of the oldest human habitation in North America, dating back some ten thousand years, was recently discovered. A sense of the span of time represented by this place was sobering, but also in a way reaffirming, giving us a sense that the earth prevails and endures, as do we humans within it.
We rejoined the Safari Quest for our continued journey, our shadowing of Lewis and Clark's path, a reflective, but somehow renewed group, for we had a feeling we had been given a private glimpse of the soul of this remarkable landscape.
This is the last Rivers of the West trip for the Safari Quest. In fall 2013, the 88-guest Safari Legacy begins sailing week-long Legacy of Discovery cruises roundtrip Portland, Oregon. Sailing on the Rivers in spring and fall, this new Heritage Adventure brings history alive on board and ashore tracing the history of Lewis and Clark's journey to the Pacific.