Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fort Clatsop to Yakima Valley

In 1804 following the Louisiana Purchase,  President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Lewis and Clark to explore the Northwest Territory from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.

Jefferson had 3 main goals in mind...
To establish a water route to the Pacific Ocean;
To declare sovereignty over the land occupied by many of the Indian Tribes occupying the land;
and To get an accurate sense of the resources acquired through the Louisiana Purchase.

Well, I can tell you, the first resource they found by the time they reached the Pacific Ocean was rain!  Lots and lots of rain.

The expedition lasted for two years and four months and was comprised of 33 men plus a Shoshone Indian named Sacagawea along with her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau who was hired as a translator

Many stories surround Sacagawea's role within the group but she served mainly as a symbol of peace with the tribes they encountered along the way. She may also have cast the very first 'female vote' in the new country....

When the expedition reached the coast a decision was required as to where to build the fort to protect themselves from the rain.  Both Sacagawea as well as York, Wm Clark's personal slave, were allowed to vote. 

"Here, at the end of their westward journey, Merriweather Lewis, William Clark and the 33 members of 'The Corps of Discovery' spent four rainy months preparing for their return to St. Louis, Missouri.  The men built huts to protect themselves and their supplies. They named it Fort Clatsop after the local Clatsop Indians."

"Nothing remains of the original fort.  This 2006 replica is based on William Clark's journal descriptions and floor plan."

"They didn't even have a TV!'

Well, the cabins were definitely waterproof.

In the end there was only one death, due to a fatal appendicitis attack.

It was finally time to leave the coast, the rain and the incredible rain forests.

We turned East along the Columbia River and the ride is quite beautiful.  This is Multnomah Falls just outside of Portland.  Dillon and his brother actually climbed to the top of the falls at one time.

The road followed the river the entire way ....

and it was easy to see why USA Today just this week cited this road as one of the top ten drives in the country.    

The rain began to slack off and the sun started to peek out.  

We stopped for an amazing breakfast at this appropriately named restaurant.  They served sweet rolls the size of dinner plates as SAMPLES!

Finally, we turned north toward the Yakima Valley and I was surprised to see such arid country.
The crops were either hops or vineyards and required lots of irrigation.

The dryness felt good and the terrain made me think of high desert. What diversity there is in this country.


  1. Looking at that restaurant....if they opened up another one....would they name it 2nd Cousin......or if the movd it to another location....would it be a 1st Cousin, once removed??


  2. Depending upon how far apart they are, they might call it a 'Distant Cousin'. Clearly they have the makings for a chain.