When you follow the trail of explorers, you might as well follow the best.
SkiZer recently got the chance to hit the road from Clarkston to Cape Disappointment, hot on the trail of Lewis and Clark and their Corps of Discovery.
Well, not exactly hot on their trail. The explorers, you’ll remember, traveled across Washington state in 1805 at the behest of President Thomas Jefferson, who wanted them to find some kind of cross-continent waterway. After leaving Missouri in May of 1804, the Corps spent 18 months traveling more than 4,000 miles over unknown mountain ranges and running rapids on unknown rivers.
When they hit Washington state, they were in a hurry to get to the coast. Winter was about to close in and they hoped to reach the mouth of the Columbia before they were trapped in snow and ice.
The only problem was negotiating the rapids on the Snake and Columbia rivers. Their journal accounts are filled with harrowing adventures on the difficult waterways.
Today, their route remains fascinating and wild in many places. SkiZer camped and made like a Corps of Discovery member in their wake.
To follow their route offers a great opportunity to try to imagine what they saw with fresh eyes.