faces-2Bill, June, Don & Audrey took a jet boat up the Snake River from Lewiston, OR. Two major contributors to the flow of the Snake River are the Clearwater and the Salmon Rivers from Idaho. The Snake River is a key element of the massive Columbia River Watershed, with the Columbia River itself is being the largest river that empties into the Pacific Ocean. This entire watershed is heavily dammed for hydropower, irrigation, flood control and enhanced navigation. The jet boat put-in is essentially a lake that formed above the Lower Granite Dam, one of 15 on the Salmon River alone. Columbia River Basin2Columbia River Basin1 The trip took them 100 miles up the river through Hell’s Canyon and over most of the major rapids. The whitewater section through the Hells Canyon Gorge has a gradient about 16’/mile as compared to 6’/mile downstream and has the obviously high excitement level of an amusement park ride. FUDb-day.75-191FUDb-day.75-192FUDb-day.75-170 Private trips along this stretch of river are regulated and permits have to be granted. The jet boat passed many multi-day trips that were coming down the river and camping along its banks. We were lucky today since it was overcast and the temperature barely hit 100F.  FUDb-day.75-174FUDb-day.75-241 The driver deliberately turned the boat into the waves to drench Bill and Don. Their smugness of keeping their beers in their hands was quickly diminished when they realized the beer cooler went overboard. FUDb-day.75-202 The Snake is not as remote as the other permitted trips in the area and signs of modern and ancient inhabitants abound.   Native Americans lived here for thousands of years and steamboats even traveled these waters to supply the miners, ranchers and homesteaders living along its banks. FUDb-day.75-009FUDb-day.75-064FUDb-day.75-021FUDb-day.75-098 Although it still known for its fishing industry, the dams have drastically reduced the legendary spawning runs of its salmon, steelhead and sturgeon. There are no fish ladders on Snake River dams while only the last few dams of the Columbia River have them. Deer and elk thrive here and a bighorn sheep reintroduction has brought the herds in the area to over 700 after they were completely eliminated by 1945.FUDb-day.75-240FUDb-day.75-072FUDb-day.75-092FUDb-day.75-201 June ended the day with what was described as either a Corona-Rita or a Marga-Rona by her kids. margarona