Sept. 21, Day 16,
The Dalles, OR to Astoria, OR
Multnomah Falls, mentioned by Meriwether Lewis on the return in 1806
Day 16, Monday, September 21, 2009, the Dalles,
OR. -- Astoria, OR, 237 miles – 3134 total
By 8 A.m. we were driving on I-84 heading toward I-205 near Portland
beside the Columbia River on a beautiful sunny day. We passed the
Cascade Locks and the Bridge of the Gods overhead. Indians sell salmon
here. We saw Bonneville Dam and Beacon Rock beyond.
We saw Horsetail Falls and ten minutes later
stopped at Multnomah Falls and walked closer to see this gorgeous,
powerful, tall waterfall. We spotted Vista House on a hilltop, the Crown
Jewel of the Historic Columbia River Highway, built in 1913-1919. We
picked up our lunches and Tom’s costume at Troutdale, OR.
In the Fort Vancouver Area Lewis and Clark stopped
to get Wapato from the local Indians. They described how an Indian woman
goes into the swamp up to her neck in water to loosen the root of this
plant. They will stay for long hours, even in winter.
Tom gave us a history of attempts to find the mouth
of the rumored Great River of the West.
- Aug. 17, 1775 Bruno Heceta of Spain was at the
mouth of the river but did not go in because he did not have enough
well men to raise the anchor once he let it down.
- July 6, 1788, Brtisher John Meares, with the
Spanish chart in hand, asserted there was no river because a line of
breakers stretched totally across its opening. The northern
promontory obtained the name Cape Disappointment.
- April 27, 1792, George Vancouver of England
saw “river-colored water”, but did not think the opening worthy of
- May 11, Boston merchant Robert Gray entered
the river, traded with the Indians and named the river after his
ship, the Columbia Rediviva. Columbia’s River.
Tom read from Clark’s journal about the many times
he said they were “wet and disagreeable” at the mouth of the river from
Nov. 5, 1805 to March 23, 1806. They were stuck for many days at “Cape
Swells”, “Dismal Nitch” and Station Camp.
We viewed the Jetties created to control the flow
of the Columbia River. Over 100 acres was created by the jetties in less
than 30 years. (Sand which is cast out by the speeded up river is
redeposited by ocean currents on the landward side of the jetties.)
We proceeded on to our comfortable Holiday Inn
Express hotel bordering the beautiful Columbia River, what a marvelous
view. After a wonderful dinner we enjoyed Tom’s wonderful portrayal of
William Cannon, an early pioneer who came on behalf of John Jacob Astor
to establish the Pacific Fur Company at the mouth of the river in
response to Lewis and Clarks reports to Jefferson.
Download Amy's Complete Journal in Word