On the Lewis and Clark Trail along the Columbia River

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.
Jefferson's Dream The Skamakowa Village Old Town Center  
Lewis's Mission Morning on the Columbia at Skamakowa Jenny shows us some strokes
Lewish chose William Clark for his leadership and mapping skills. Morning fog at Skamakowa Tranquil waters
Every day an adventure Group Photo number one Exploring the cliffs
We check out the route along the cliffs Andrew reads from the Journals for November 7, 1805: "We purchased a Dog, Some fish, wappato roots. . ." 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.
Sunny every day. Our experience was much better than theirs. Where are the waterfalls?
Along the basalt cliffs Onto the beach for a lunch break Through the Slough
The gazebo Jenny shows us our course The prettiest house on the Slough
Relaxing on the deck. Jenny and AJ change places Rafting up again.
Beverly Gail and Sally and I went for a swim. Crossing the river to Cathlamet
"Roll on, Columbia, roll on"--serenading the river. Waiting for dinner Container ships pass close by
Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment Park Ranger tells us about Fort Clatsop Bed at Fort Clatsop
Cape Disappointment-- Winter quarters: Fort Clatsop on a sunny day-- L & C had only six sunny days all winter. Follow the signs
Fresnel lens at Cape Disappointment Dugout such as Lewis and Clark used. Path to Cape Disappointment lighthouse
Valerie, Gail, Suzanne at Fort Clatsop We all fit into one dugout at Fort Clatsop Twilight at Skamakowa
Container ship passing! Sing-along with George & Andrew Moonrise over the Columbia

Part II


Alone, I retrace their route through the Columbia Gorge.

Crown Point with Vista House Bridal Veil Falls Vista House
Wahkeena Falls Multnomah Falls Rooster Rock
Model showing 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.
I would later paint this view   How did he get this great job?
The Bonneville Dam Sunrise from my room at the Skamania Lodge on the Columbia
The 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 the Celilo 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 on the Columbia.
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 Official Picture  
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.

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