In the Footsteps of Lewis and Clark
From Illinois to the Pacific
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Sept. 21, Day 16, The Dalles, OR to Astoria, OR

Multnomah Falls, mentioned by Meriwether Lewis on the return in 1806

Historian Tom and Driver Marv act out a passage in the Lewis and Clark Journals.

About 1 mile west of the Astoria-Megler Bridge is Station Camp. They could go no further by water, but stayed here 10 nights taking bearings and investigating the norther shore of the Columbia River around Cape Disappointment and up into Long Beach...

Reuben Fields shot a "buzzard of the large kind." -- a California Condor

On their way to Cape Disappointment Clark and 11 men rounded the "Yellow Bluff."

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

They reached this spot on the P)acific Ocean Nov. 19, 1805

Among other things Clark tells us he saw the "carcass of a whale" on the beach.

Amy's Journal

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. April 27, 1792, George Vancouver of England saw “river-colored water”, but did not think the opening worthy of further attention.
  4. 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 or PDF

2897 + The Dalles to Astoria  237 = 3134

Copyright 2006 DeLorme ( Street Atlas USA® Plus

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