On the Lewis and Clark Trail along the Columbia River

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Part I: Kayaking
Retracing Lewis & Clark's route along the Columbia at Skamakowa,
our elderhostel group found much that
still looks the way it must have in 1805-06

After the Louisianna Purchase in 1803, Jefferson wanted his aide Merriwether Lewis to see if there was a navigable Northwest Passage to the Pacific, starting at the mouth of the Missouri in St. Louis. Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery reached the mouth of the Columbia in November 1805. This was where our story began.
The Skamakowa Village Old Town Center Jefferson's Dream
Morning on the Columbia at Skamakowa Lewis's Mission Jenny shows us some strokes
Morning fog at Skamakowa Lewish chose William Clark for his leadership and mapping skills. Tranquil waters
Group Photo number one
Andrew reads from the Journals for November 7, 1805: "We purchased a Dog, Some fish, wappato roots. . ." We check out the route along the cliffs Under the Cathlamet Bridge
Lewis & Clark found the conditions along the Columbia "wet and disagreeable"--everyday rain, wind, rotting clothes. But at last they could see all the way to the sea and knew they had found the mouth; their journey was ended. They got to Cape Disappointment (named by Vancouver who missed the mouth). They voted to stay on the south side of the river, out of the wind, at Fort Clatsop. There over one hundred days, rain came all but 10 days and the sun shone only six.
Our experience was much better than theirs. Sunny every day. Where are the waterfalls?
Onto the beach for a lunch break Along the basalt cliffs Through the Slough
Jenny shows us our course The gazebo The prettiest house on the Slough
Jenny and AJ change places Relaxing on the deck. Rafting up again.
Gail and Sally and I went for a swim. Beverly Crossing the river to Cathlamet
Waiting for dinner "Roll on, Columbia, roll on"--serenading the river. Container ships pass close by
Park Ranger tells us about Fort Clatsop Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment Bed at Fort Clatsop
Winter quarters: Fort Clatsop on a sunny day--
L & C had only 6 all winter.
Cape Disappointment-- Follow the signs
Dugout such as Lewis and Clark used. Fresnel lens at Cape Disappointment Path to Cape Disappointment lighthouse
We all fit into one dugout at Fort Clatsop Valerie, Gail, Suzanne at Fort Clatsop Twilight at Skamakowa
Sing-along with George & Andrew Container ship passing! Moonrise over the Columbia

I continued on . . . alone.


Part II

Retracing the route by car, through the Columbia Gorge.

Crown Point with Vista House Bridal Veil Falls Vista House
Wahkeena Falls Multnomah Falls Rooster Rock
The Waterfalls coming from the Cascades Horsetail Falls Bridge of the Gods
I drove from Skamokawa along the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway 30, where all the waterfalls are. After climbing down to Bridal Veil Falls, I was glad to find Skamania Lodge located on Hwy 14, just across the Bridge of the Gods at Cascade Locks. This beautiful lodge became my base for exploring the trail in the area, starting at Beacon Rock.
Skamania Lodge view of the Columbia Gorges Clark saw the influence of the tides at Beacon Rock.
Skamania Lodge Lobby Fireplace View of the reservoir.
Cascade Rocks and the Bridge of the Gods is just above the Bonneville Dam; the reservoir there covers the rapids that impeded Lewis & Clark in 1805.
I went to the Dalles to see the Discovery Center, then across the Dalles Bridge to the Maryhill Museum on Hwy 14.
Sunrise from my room How did he get this great job?
The Bonneville Dam  
Horse Thief Lake St. ParkThe Discovery Center is not far from the site in the Dalles where Lewis and Clark camped for the night. Camping at night.
The Discovery Center has a video showing how the catastrophic ice age floods gouged out the gorges along the Columbia.
Horse Thief Lake St. Park
Wishram Overlook. The Celilo Falls that forced L & C out of the water, are now submerged under this reservoir above the Dalles Dam. How it looks now and -- How Cello Falls looked before the dam.
Indians that met Lewis and Clark as envisioned in a contemporary art exhibit at Maryhill. Beaded ornament such as L & C might have seen. Maryhill Museum --a jewel in the middle of a vast desert.
Maryhill Museum is a unique art museum, with a collection of Rodins and personal items of Queen Marie of Romania. It also has a wonderful collection of Indian artifacts.
I had always wanted to ride a sternwheeler through the Columbia, and this was my chance for a dinner cruise.
The sternwheeler Columbia Gorge
Bonneville Dam by evening light. The Captain's Bridge. Marriage on the Columbia Gorge

A waterfall in a Seattle Japanese garden.
Sunrise on a cloudy morning at Skamania. The end of their voyage and the end of mine.

Seattle family visit