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The Volcanoes of
Lewis and Clark
October 12, 1805
On the Snake River - Almota Creek to Texas Rapids
 
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The Volcanoes of Lewis and Clark

Map of the Journey
Volcanoes, Basalt Plateaus, Major Rivers, etc.

The Volcanoes
Mount Adams, Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Mount Rainier, and Mount St. Helens

CALENDAR of the Journey
October 1805 to June 1806

Along the Journey
Pacific Northwest Maps - Columbia River, Volcanoes, Flood Basalts, Missoula Floods, Geology, etc.

The Corps of Discovery
The Journey of Lewis and Clark

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The Journals, Biddle/Allen, DeVoto, Gass, Moulton, Topo Maps, and others

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Links to USGS Websites highlighting the Lewis and Clark Journey

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Publications Referenced and Websites Visited


PREVIOUS

October 11
On the Snake, Clearwater Confluence to Almota Creek
October 12

On the Snake,
Almota Creek to Texas Rapids

Penawawa Creek, Central Ferry State Park, Deadman Creek Watershed, Little Goose Dam and Lake Bryan, Alakali Flat Creek, Riparia and Texas City (Washington), and the Texas Rapids
CONTINUE

October 13
On the Snake, Texas Rapids to Ayers Junction
 

On October 7, 1805, Lewis and Clark and the "Corps of Discovery" began their journey down the Clearwater River and into the volcanics of the Pacific Northwest. The Corps travelled from the Clearwater to the Snake and down the "Great Columbia", finally reaching the Pacific Ocean on November 15, 1805. Along the journey they encountered the lava flows of the Columbia Plateau, river channels carved by the great "Missoula Floods", and the awesome beauty of five Cascade Range volcanoes.

Map, Lewis and Clark in the Pacific Northwest, click for brief summary
[Click map for brief summary about the area]


 
To the Pacific - October 1805
On the Snake River - Almota Creek to Texas Rapid
 

Lewis and Clark's camp of October 11, 1805, was located near the mouth of Almota Creek, approximately 4 miles downstream of the Lower Granite Dam.

Monday, October 12, 1805
In the morning it shifted to the east, and we had a fair cool morning. After purchasing all the provisions these Indians would spare, which amounted to only three dogs and a few fish, we proceeded. We soon reached a small island, and in the course of three miles passed three other islands nearly opposite to each other, and a bad rapid on the left in the neighbourhood of them. Within the following seven miles we passed a small rapid, and an island on the left, another stony island and a rapid on the right, just below which a brook comes in on the same side, [Penawawa Creek] and came to a bend towards the right opposite to a small island. From this place we saw some Indians on the hills, but they were too far off for us to have any intercourse, and showed no disposition to approach us.


Along the Journey - October 12, 1805
Penawawa Creek:
Streams draining the north side of the Snake River include Alkali Flat Creek, Penawawa, Almota, Wawawai and Steptoe Canyon creeks, and those draining the south include the Alpowa, Deadman, and Meadow creeks. Little is known about most of these streams, but there is a recent effort by several agencies to sample fish populations and habitat conditions in them. These tributaries generally drain an arid landscape and they have similar climate and land use. -- Columbia Fish and Wildlife Authority Website, 2003, and Washington State Department of Ecology Website, 2004


After going on two miles to a bend towards the left, we found the plains, which till now had formed rugged cliffs over the river, leaving small and narrow bottoms, become much lower on both sides, and the river itself widens to the space of four hundred yards, and continues for the same width, the country rising by a gentle ascent towards the high plains. At two and a half miles is a small creek on the left [Deadman Creek, today the location of Central Ferry State Park], opposite to an island.


Along the Journey - October 12, 1805
Central Ferry Bridge, ca.1920s

Central Ferry State Park:
Central Ferry State Park is a 185-acre camping park on 10,000-acre Lake Bryan, the backwater of the Snake River behind Little Goose Dam. The park is a popular destination for campers and visitors who enjoy boating, fishing and skiing during hot summer days and warm evenings. The park is named for a ferry that operated in the park's location on the Snake River, linking Whitman and Garfield counties. Today a bridge spans the river where the ferry once ran. Central Ferry State Park is in desert surroundings on a large, backwater lake. The temperature gets above 100 degrees in the summer, with evenings cooling to 80 degrees, and there is an average annual rainfall of eight inches. The park features evidence of basaltic lava flows, Pleistocene glaciation and prehistoric mammal habitation. -- Washington State Parks and Recreation Website, 2002


Map, 1878, Snake and Tucannon Rivers, with Central Ferry and Almota Ferry, click to enlarge Map, 1881, Snake, Clearwater, Grande Ronde, Salmon, click to enlarge Map, 1893, Snake River and vicinity, click to enlarge Map, 1996, Recreation sites along Lake Bryan including the Central Ferry area, click to enlarge Image, ca.1924, Central Ferry Bridge, click to enlarge
  1. 1878 Map, part of the Snake River showing Snake and Tucannon Rivers, with Central Ferry, Penawawa City, Almota Ferry, Pomeroy, and Pataha City. (Click to enlarge). Original Map: "Map of south eastern Washington Territory compiled from official surveys and published by Eastwick, Morris & Co. ; drawn by John Hanson, 1878" Washington State University Historical Maps Collection #WSU371. -- Washington State University Library Archives Website, 2004
  2. 1881 Map, Snake, Clearwater, Grande Ronde, and Salmon Rivers (section of original). (Click to enlarge). Original Map: "Map of the Grande Ronde Wallowa and Imnaha Country, 1881". Map section shows the Snake River (name doesn't show), "Clear Water" River (central right, tributary to the Snake), Grande Ronde River (lower left, only "de River" shows, tributary to the Snake), Salmon River (lower right, tributary to the Snake) Lewiston, Central Ferry, Alpowai, Dayton, Pataha, and the Blue Mountains. By H. Chandler, Eng., Buffalo, 1881., Washington State University Historical Maps Collection #WSU468. -- Washington State University Library Archives Website, 2002
  3. 1893 Map, part of the Snake River showing location of principal rapids (section of original). Includes Central Ferry to Alpowa Creek. (Click to enlarge). Original Map: "Part of the Snake River from its mouth to the Grande Ronde, showing location of principal rapids". U.S. Engineers Office, 1893. Washington State University Historical Maps Collection #WSU586. -- Washington State University Library Archives Website, 2002
  4. 1996, Recreation sites along Lake Bryan, including Central Ferry. (Click to enlarge). Lake Bryan is the reservoir behind the Little Goose Dam on the Snake River. -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Website, 2004, Walla Walla District
  5. ca.1924, Central Ferry Bridge over the Snake River. (Click to enlarge). Central Ferry Bridge over the Snake River between Whitman and Garfield Counties. Image from the 1922-1924 Biennial Report. -- Washington State Department of Transportation Website, 2003

Deadman Creek Watershed:
Streams draining the north side of the Snake River include Alkali Flat Creek, Penawawa, Almota, Wawawai and Steptoe Canyon creeks, and those draining the south include the Alpowa, Deadman, and Meadow creeks. Little is known about most of these streams, but there is a recent effort by several agencies to sample fish populations and habitat conditions in them. These tributaries generally drain an arid landscape and they have similar climate and land use. The total watershed area is of the Deadman Creek Watershed (Pataha, Deadman, Meadow Creek, New York Gulch, Dry Gulch creeks) is 214,560 acres of which 121,000 acres are cropland. The topography of the Deadman watershed is primarily long slopes intersected by steep canyons. Landforms are mainly flat to moderately sloping. Slopes are complex, being irregular, concave and convex in shape. Elevations range from 650 feet above sea level at the confluence of Deadman Creek with the Snake River to 2,800. -- Columbia Fish and Wildlife Authority Website, 2004



For the three following miles, the country is low and open on both sides, after which it gradually rises till we reached a bend of the river towards the right, three and a half miles further, in the course of which we passed a rapid and an island.

Little Goose Dam and Navigational Lock is now located in this area, with Lake Bryan, the reservoir behind the dam, extending nearly 38 miles up the Snake River.


Along the Journey - October 12, 1805
Little Goose Dam

Little Goose Dam and Lake Bryan:
Today, the Lower Snake River has four dams and navigation locks along it: The uppermost dam is Lower Granite, followed downstream by Little Goose, Lower Monumental, and Ice Harbor. Little Goose Dam is located on the Snake River at River Mile 70.3. Construction began in June 1963, and the filling of Lake Bryan began on February 16, 1970, with the project was open to navigation in May 1970. Additional power units 4 through 6 were installed and power came online in July 1978. The Little Goose Dam features a fish viewing rooms that allows visitors an up close look at the many species of fish in the Lower Snake River. The dam is 2,655 feet long with an effective height of 98 feet. It is located at the head of Lake West, the reservoir formed by Lower Monumental Dam. The dam is the concrete gravity type, with an earthfill right abutment embankment. It includes a navigation lock, an eight-bay spillway, and has eight 50-foot by 60-foot tainter gates. There is currently one fish ladder in operation at the dam. Lake Bryan lies directly behind Little Goose Dam. It extends 37.2 miles up the Snake, until it reaches Lower Granite Dam. The second session of Congress, approved December 31, 1970, designated the lake behind Little Goose Dam as "Lake Bryan" in honor of the late Doctor Enoch A. Bryan. -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Website, 2002, and Columbia Basin Research Website, 2002


Map, 1996, Recreation sites along Lake West including Little Goose Dam, click to enlarge Map, 1996, Recreation sites along Lake Bryan including Little Goose Dam, click to enlarge Aerial view, Little Goose Dam, click to enlarge
  1. 1996, Recreation sites along Lake West, including Little Goose Dam (upper right). (Click to enlarge). Lake West is the reservoir behind the Lower Monumental Dam on the Snake River. -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Website, 2004, Walla Walla District
  2. 1996, Recreation sites along Lake Bryan, including Little Goose Dam (upper left). (Click to enlarge). Lake Bryan is the reservoir behind the Little Goose Dam on the Snake River. -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Website, 2004, Walla Walla District
  3. Aerial view, Little Goose Dam on the lower Snake River. (Click to enlarge). -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Website, 2002



The wind now changed to the southwest,and became violent. We passed an island at the distance of four miles, another one mile beyond it, where the water was swift and shallow, and two miles further, a rapid at the upper point of a small stony island. We went along this island by the mouth of a brook on the right [Alkali Flat Creek], and encamped on the same side opposite to a small island close under the left shore [near Riparia, Washington]. Our day's journey had been thirty miles, and we might have gone still further, but as the evening was coming on we halted at the head of a rapid, which the Indians represented as dangerous to pass [Texas Rapids], for the purpose of examining it before we set out in the morning.


Along the Journey - October 12, 1805
Lake West recreation sites

Alkali Flat Creek, Riparia, Texas City, and the Texas Rapids:
Directly downstream of today's Little Goose Dam, where Alkali Flat Creek meets the Snake River (at the head of Texas Rapids), two small communities developed, Riparia and the small community of Texas City, directly across the river from Riparia. Texas City, also known as Texas Ferry, eventually merged into Riparia. With shipyards and the coming of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Co., Texas City became important for trade and transportation capabilities. Completion of the Snake River Valley Railroad in 1907 gave Texas City a direct route to the Idaho border. The Texas Rapids, located on the Snake just downstream of Texas City and Riparia, are now under the backwater of Lake West, the reservoir behind Lower Monumental Dam. Today the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has two day-use parks at this location. On the north side of the river is "Riparia", a 32-acre day-use and camping park, located at Snake River mile 67. On the south side of the river is "Texas Rapids", a 113-acre day-use only park with boat launch, located at RM 66. -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Website, 2004, Walla Walla District, and Washington State Univerisity Historical Maps Archives, 2004.


Map, 1878, Snake, Palouse, Tucannon Rivers, Alkali Flat, with Texas Ferry, click to enlarge Map, 1893, Snake, Palouse, Tucannon Rivers, click to enlarge Map, 1893, Closer-in, Snake, Palouse, Tucannon Rivers, click to enlarge Map, 1910, town plat, Texas City, click to enlarge Map, 1922 Preliminary USGS topo map of Snake River and Texas Rapids area, click to enlarge Map, 1996, Recreation sites along Lake West including the Texas Rapids area, click to enlarge
  1. 1878 Map, part of the Snake River showing Snake, Tucannon, and Palouse Rivers, and Alkali Flat Creek, with Palouse Ferry and Texas Ferry. (Click to enlarge). Original Map: "Map of south eastern Washington Territory compiled from official surveys and published by Eastwick, Morris & Co. ; drawn by John Hanson, 1878" Washington State University Historical Maps Collection #WSU371. -- Washington State University Library Archives Website, 2004
  2. 1893 Map, part of the Snake River showing location of principal rapids (section of original). Includes Snake, Tucannon, and Palouse Rivers. (Click to enlarge). Original Map: "Part of the Snake River from its mouth to the Grande Ronde, showing location of principal rapids". U.S. Engineers Office, 1893. Washington State University Historical Maps Collection #WSU586. -- Washington State University Library Archives Website, 2002
  3. 1893 Map, Closer-in, part of the Snake River showing location of principal rapids (section of original). Includes Snake, Tucannon, and Palouse Rivers. (Click to enlarge). Original Map: "Part of the Snake River from its mouth to the Grande Ronde, showing location of principal rapids". U.S. Engineers Office, 1893. Washington State University Historical Maps Collection #WSU586. -- Washington State University Library Archives Website, 2002
  4. 1910 Map, Plat of Texas City, where Alkali Flat Creek meets the Snake River. (Click to enlarge). Original Map: "Plat Map of Texas City, 1910". Publisher: Anderson Map Company, Seattle. Washington State University Historical Maps Collection #WSU143. -- Washington State University Library Archives Website, 2004
  5. 1922 Preliminary Map (section of original), from Riparia 1:125,000 topographic quadrangle. (Click to enlarge). "Advance sheet 80-N-II&IV", Engineer Reproduction Print. -- University of Washington Library Collections Website, 2002
  6. 1996, Recreation sites along Lake West, including Texas Rapids. (Click to enlarge). -- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Website, 2004, Walla Walla District



The country has much the same appearance as that we passed yesterday, consisting of open plains, which when they approach the water are faced with a dark-coloured rugged stone. The river is as usual much obstructed by islands and rapids, some of which are difficult to pass. Neither the plains nor the borders of the river possess any timber, except a few hackberry bushes and willows, and as there is not much driftwood, fuel is very scarce.
"... Country as yesterday open plains, no timber of any king ... The hills or assents from the water is faced with a dark ruged Stone ..." [Clark, October 12, 1805]


Along the Journey - October 12, 1805
The Camp - October 12, 1805
Lewis and Clark's camp of October 12, 1805, was at the mouth of Alkali Flat Creek, near the town of Riparia, Washington, just west of Little Goose Dam. The campsite was at the head of Texas Rapids which is now below the backwater of Lower Monumental Dam.



 
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