Shift change between day and night happened slowly this morning. With the autumnal equinox not far behind us, the moon reluctantly gave way to the dawn. Light played between the layers of clouds, setting a beautiful scene for our day on the Palouse River.

For the morning, we set off towards the iconic Palouse Falls. This feature stands on its own as a scenic destination alongside incredible views of the channeled scablands. An epic cascade falling nearly two-hundred feet, the rush of water gave us plenty of opportunity to practice the photography skills we learned the night prior. Raptors and migrant songbirds flitted about and soared overhead, adding a wild touch to the landscape.

The best way to explore the Palouse River is by boat. We took to our Zodiacs in the afternoon to plow upriver, peeking into the details of what the water might share with us. In the cracks of the basalt, former nests of swallows and spiders dotted the columns. Along the scree slopes, sumac showed its beautiful fall red blush. Raptors circled overhead in an impressive variety, the highlights being a late season Swainson’s hawk and a pair of peregrine falcons harassing a red-tailed hawk. Wildlife added a vibrant element to this epic area.

With such a wonderful day full of exploration behind us, we look to tomorrow with anticipation for what this majestic river has to offer us.