Our final full day began with a pink sky to match the strawberry pineapple smoothies gifted to our stretch class devotees. After our downward dogs, we boarded 34-foot-long jet boats for a 100-mile roundtrip excursion up the Snake River, an adventure that imprinted six hours’ worth of unforgettable canyon views into our collective National Geographic Sea Bird consciousness.

Every bend in the river unveiled new vistas of stunning proportions. Brown, green, and orange hues blazed by in a mosaic of autumnal art. Bald eagles, falcons, woodpeckers, magpies, kingfishers, cormorants, ducks, and migratory geese wove in and out of view. Golden eagles skirted golden cliffs. Bighorn sheep lounged at the water’s edge, gulping river water and flashing their eerie eyes. With only two soaked naturalists, the river trip was a relatively dry way to investigate a wet world.

As evening approached, we settled into the lounge for our final educational talks, featuring Nez Perce storyteller James Spencer, winemaker Coco Umiker, and naturalist Patrick, all of whom illuminated us with important contexts about this beautiful basin. To tie the trip together, photo instructor Aaron played a slideshow featuring guest photos, which offered a salient reminder of how one week on board a ship like this brings out the explorer in us all.

We could not have asked for a more magnificent week. Thank you to all the guests, crew, hospitality staff, guest speakers, and members of the natural world who gave this trip pizzazz.