Journal of A New Nation's Journey West
 
June 12 - 29, 2002

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Tuesday June 25, 2002:  Missoula, MT - Clarkston, WA

After four eventful days in Montana, we left the state today at noon and entered Idaho at 11a.m. (MDT-PDT). We proceeded on through Idaho and crossed the Snake River well before the setting sun. to encamp for the night in Clarkston, WA (ed. note: Our Motel is just across the river from the L&C campsite of Oct. 10, 1805)

Before we left Montana, our latest set of  local guides led us on a brief hike along a steep & narrow mountain trail, some part of which might be possibly have been stepped onby Lewis & Clark or their party.

Our guides then escorted us as far as the state border at the 5300 foot peak of Lolo Pass where, on a highway construction site, they fed us and then turned back. ok

At the construction site we saw a new log cabin being built to interpret the Lewis and Clark Trail during the bicentennial anniversary of the great expedition. As a matter of fact, projects like this are going on all across the country. Interest in the expedition is growing by leaps and bounds.The old log cabin was torn down, the highway will be re-aligned, and parking will be provided for the expected influx of visitors in the next 3 years and beyond.  

 

Proceeding on our own under the dauntless leadership of Captains Don & Tom, and skillful pilot, Phil, we traveled along the spectacular Lochsa and Clearwater Rivers (far better to look at the bubbling waters than to navigate heavy canoes on them), stopped for inspiration and sweat lodge instruction at Nez Perce National Historical Park and then, at the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake Rivers, found Quality Inn welcome and shelter for the night.
 Henry Hecht
On a lighter note, we were disappointed last Saturday to have a "no-show" by the advertised Mermaid in the pool seen at the "Sip and Dip" lounge at the hotel. However some individuals of our group were treated to a few swimming stunts by "Mermaid" Marylinda Wheeler - who was happily surprised afterwards by unexpected tips. No pictures were taken at the time, but here she is on the Lochsa River at DeVoto Grove. Bernard Devoto often came to this old growth cedar grove for inspiration when writing his paraphrase of the Lewis and Clark Journals, and other historical works.


We stopped at the Canoe Camp in Orofino Idaho, where the largely infirm expedition, aided by the Nez Perce Indians, built five dugout canoes from Ponderosa Pine. They had just conquered the Rocky Mountains and, on Oct. 7, 1805, finally found them going downstream toward the Pacific Ocean. O! the Joy!

Someone asked "How many did it hold?" Let's see. Looks like 12, but they only needed to hold six, plus all the baggage. And they cached some of that to save room.

 

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