The End of the Trail for Lewis and Clark Expedition
September 4-5, 2007
What Obsidians on bus tours do best — explore new places, learn about wonderful sights along the way and enjoy each other. A fun-filled two days, experienced by 37 riders and one bus driver to the North Oregon Coast, literally walking the last footsteps of Lewis & Clark. The trip began at 8 a.m., leaving the Eugene area. The first stop was at Avery Park in Corvallis, a beautiful place to stretch our legs. We connected with Hwy. 22 at Rickreall and began heading west for the coast. A coffee break was enjoyed in the Van Duzer Corridor along the beautiful Salmon River. Continuing west, we joined with Hwy 101 just north of Lincoln City. We went north over Cascade Head to Pacific City, where we began our trek along the Three Capes Scenic Route to our destination for an authentic cookout of many of the foods Lewis and Clark would have dined on while wintering on the Oregon Coast in 1805 and 1806.
At noon, our Bus Expedition arrived at the Whiskey Creek Fish Hatchery, which is approximately ten miles southwest of Tillamook. Lunch was a feast of salmon prepared about five different ways, smoked, poached, grilled, planked and wrapped in corn husks with crab, venison stew with wild mushrooms, wild blackberry cobbler, chicken skewers, to represent some of the pheasant, duck and waterfowl eaten by the Expedition. A few extra goodies, like fresh garden tomato salad, watermelon, cornbread with honey whipped butter, with ice cream to top off the cobblers, to just mention a few extras that we like to eat now, to round out for a great barbecue. Lunch and the patio breakfast the next day at our lodge were prepared and served by the hands of the Beard family. After lunch, there was a tour of the facility, feeding of some of the brood trout in the open pond and learning about the operation of the fish hatchery. This facility is completely operated by donations and membership dues. No state monies go into the operational budget. It is a very unique place, and next time you are touring the Three Capes Scenic Route, stop by the Whiskey Creek Fish Hatchery.
Ron, for you — here are the ingredients needed for the venison stew. For best results, make a day ahead of serving. 2 lb. thin cut venison, floured with 1/2 c. flour, seasoned with salt, pepper, fresh chopped herbs, your choice. Brown in olive oil, with 1 clove chopped garlic. Dice 1 cup each of onion, carrots, celery. set aside. Bring liquid to simmer, 1 cup water, 1/3 cup white grape juice, the juice of 1 lemon and zest, 1 tsp. cider vinegar, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 tsp beef bouillon, 3 Tbs. wild berry jam. Add diced vegetables and cook 15 minutes. Add venison, 1 can chopped stewed tomatoes, 1 cup cooked white or red beans, simmer mushrooms the last 10 minutes. Adjust the flavoring of stew next day when reheating — salt, pepper, garlic salt, fresh herbs and 1/2 cup red wine if you desire.
Continuing our two day trek, we headed for Cape Meares and the beautiful lighthouse at this view point. The day was beautiful, blue skies and the views and walk to the lighthouse absolutely spectacular. We could not have asked for a better day to be visiting the Oregon Coast. Continuing around the Cape led us to the spit area of the Tillamook Bay. This was where the famous Bay Ocean town literally fell into the ocean over a period of approximately 50 years. Ewart Baldwin was one of the professionals asked to observe and comment on the area of destruction in the 50s regarding the cause of such losses. Most all agreed this was a manmade disaster. Another jetty has been built on the south side of Tillamook Bay entrance to maintain the Bay, and good access to the Ocean. Traveling around the bay on Hwy. 131 gives a good feeling of how that area can flood and slides occur at the slightest storm, most of the area, basically is all sand.
Joining again with Hwy. 101 in Tillamook, we continued north to Cannon Beach, where we would dine at the Doogers, a great place with excellent seafood. We arrived at our quaint lodge, overlooking the park and beach, the Ecola Creek Lodge. We were literally spending the night at the last recorded footsteps of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. A rough cross-country trip from Fort Clatsop, some 20 plus miles from their Fort Clatsop to trade with the Indians 300 lb. whale blubber. The trip was also made by Sacajawea, as she wanted to see the big fish and the big water. The big fish, was 105 feet long.
The lodge was a great place to be, with outside patios, fish pond and many bunnies playing in the grass and nibbling goodies from our hands. It is a picturesque place to be with breakfast outside on the decks the next morning.
Our day began with a little mist, but nothing to dampen our spirits, as we began another day of history seeking and grand sights of the North Oregon Coast. The rugged terrain of Ecola State Park, with fantastic views and thick forests, gave us a real appreciation of what the expedition had to endure the winter they were here. The hardships of travel they endured 200 years ago, was easily traveled on our bus with the skillful driving of our bus driver MO.
Before arriving at Fort Clatsop, we briefly stopped by the Salt Works in Seaside, to view the area and rockery built to keep pots of water boiling 24 hours a day to make enough salt for the six month trip back home. The process of salt making took approximately six weeks, and was a ten mile hike over forested and marshy wetlands to get to the beach where the fires needed to keep burning for the salt making. The rebuilt Fort Clatsop tour was also one to be remembered. Our tour guide was very thorough and witty, and came from the Ohio area to be a speaker and guide for the summer. One could really get a sense of how survival was when you walked the grounds and went inside the fort. It was really quite a small place for 30+ people.
On north to the mighty Columbia River via the Lewis River route. Over the top of Astoria Hill and down the steep streets of Astoria, to the historic Cannery Cafe on the Columbia River waterfront. There were great sights and views of this mighty river and some large ships and coast guard boats passing close by our windows. Such a sight as probably Lewis and Clark would never have dreamed to see, as they floated down this awesome river in their dugout canoes.
Our homeward bound trip took us east on Hwy. 30 to Clatskanie, where we headed south on Hwy. 47, a winding beautiful trip through wooded forests and also logged countryside. What a contrast. Hwy. 47 ends at McMinnville, so all riders could make their claim of traveling Hwy. 47 in its entirety. We were back to Eugene about 7 p.m. It was a grand time for the following riders tracing the last footsteps of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Riders were members: Ethel Allen, Ewart Baldwin, Barbara & Paul Beard (leaders), Paula Beard, Louise Behnke, MaryLee Cheadle, Kent Christoferson, Sharon Cutsforth, Rosemary Etter, Rachel Fiszman, Barbara Flanders, Dennis Flanders, Jeannette Forsman, Dora Harris, Maryann Holser, Marjorie Jackson, Rosella Jones, Dot Leland, John McManigal, Lenore McManigal, Cleora Mersdorf, Barbara Payne, Don Payne, Virginia Prouty, Liz Reanier, Dorothy Sistrom, Julie Snell, Dick Speelman, Janet Speelman and Vera Woolley; and nonmembers: Ron Baur, Suzy Hess, Juanita Morris, Carolyn Rayborn, Susan Reinoel and Jerry Wojcik.