Putters Travels 2007 travel blog

The Columbia Queen up from Portland, OR. At dock in Clarkston awaiting...

Bridge crossing the Columbia to the north side

A bend in the Snake River. We are at our lunch stop...

Many cabins and some elaborate homes dot the banks along the way....

Looking back at Snake River from Cash Creek stop.

Small craft docking area in Clarkston, Wa.

Picture of jet boat we took up the Snake River. Dual diesel...

Local resident at Cash Creek stop

Lewiston and its twin city across the Snake River, Clarkston, have longer histories than most inland Northwest communities and, given the names, it's not too difficult to guess why. The famed Lewis and Clark expedition spent time in the area both westbound in 1805 and again heading home in 1806. The explorers had endured early snows and near-starvation while crossing the Lolo Trail in September 1805. When the tired party finally reached the Weippe Prairie east of Lewiston, the Nez Perce Indians gave them food. The explorers regrouped, built canoes, and were able to continue their journey.

Lewiston is at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers, where Native Americans have gathered for centuries to fish for the wild salmon that swam upriver to breed in streams deep in Idaho. Now, however, barge traffic rules the confluence country. Even though it's hundreds of miles from the Pacific Ocean, Lewiston is the most inland seaport in the West. An elaborate system of locks and dams allows barges loaded in Lewiston with potatoes or timber products to navigate on the Snake and Columbia Rivers downstream to Portland, Oregon, and return with consumer goods.

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