Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Dog Mountain, Washington"
Includes ... Dog Mountain ... Campsite of April 13, 1806 ... Dog Creek ... Dog Creek Falls ... "Western Star" Excursion Train, July 6, 2005 ... The Golden Age of Postcards ... Dog Mountain Lookout ...
Image, 2004, Dog Mountain, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Dog Mountain, Washington. Dog Mountain, Washington, as seen from Starvation Creek State Park, Oregon. Image taken September 24, 2004.

Dog Mountain ...
Dog Mountain contains the thickest (over 4,000 feet) section of Grande Ronde Basalt in western Washington. It lies on the Washington side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 160, thirteen miles upstream of Stevenson, Washington. Just downstream from Dog Mountain is Wind River and Wind Mountain. Upstream lies Cook Hill and the Little White Salmon River. The Collins Point Landslide is between Wind Mountain and Dog Mountain, with Grant Lake nestled inbetween. Oregon's Starvation Creek State Park is across the Columbia, and a good view of Dog Mountain can be had from the parking lot. Use Washington State Highway 14 to reach Dog Mountain. Hikers can take a steep day hike with views of Mount Adams, Mount Hood, and Mount St. Helens. Dog Mountain elevation rises from 60 to 2,860 feet.

Dog Mountain Lookout ...
A lookout on Dog Mountain existed between 1931 and 1967, at the 2,480-foot elevation. Two buildings occupied the spot, one between 1931 to 1953, and the second between 1953 and 1967. According to "Firelookout.com" Website (2006) in later years it was staffed by personel from the Mount Hood National Forest for its excellent viewpoint across the Columbia River.

Image, 2004, West side of Dog Mountain, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
West side of Dog Mountain, Washington. View from Washington State Highway 14. Image taken November 4, 2004.

Lewis and Clark and Dog Mountain ...
On April 13, 1806, while Captain Lewis was on the Oregon side of the Columbia trying to purchase a canoe to replace one of their damaged canoes, Captain Clark proceeded up the Washington shore to the mouth of the Wind River, a river Lewis and Clark called "Cruzats River". Here he expected to find a party of hunters they had sent out two days earlier. Not finding them at Wind River, Clark and his men proceeded on upstream and set up camp at a spot at the base of Dog Mountain, between Collins Creek and Dog Creek, two creeks marked on the route map but not named [Moulton, vol.1, map#78]. Clark's campsite flag shows the camp to be very near the right bank (western) mouth of Dog Creek.

Dog Creek and Dog Creek Falls ...
Dog Creek is located on the Washington side of the Columbia at River Mile (RM) 161, just upstream of Collins Creek, and follows the east side of Dog Mountain. Dog Creek Falls is 30 feet high and 10 feet wide, and can be seen from Washington State Highway 14. Dog Creek Falls is one of many falls in the Columbia River Gorge.

Image, 2012, Dog Creek Falls, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Dog Creek Falls, Washington. Dog Creek is on the east side of Dog Mountain. Image taken June 15. 2012.

"Western Star" Excursion Train, July 6, 2005 ...
On July 6, 2005, two steam engines, the Spokane, Portland & Seattle's #700 and the Southern Pacific's #4449, pulled 17 vintage cars on an excursion up the Columbia River Gorge, from Portland, Oregon, to Wishram, Washington. Known as the "Western Star", the SP&S 700 pulled the outbound journey on the Washington side of the Columbia River, while the SP 4449 took the journey home. Since the journey operated as an Amtrak special, an Amtrak P42 was in the lineup as well. The excursion was chartered for the National Railway Historical Society's 2005 convention being held in Portland. A SPECTACULAR vantage point to view the event was from the pullout at Dog Creek, just east of Dog Mountain.

Image, 2005, Excursion Train and Dog Mountain, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Western Star" Excursion Train with Dog Mountain, Washington. Dog Mountain rises above a special excursion train, the "Western Star", July 6, 2005. View from Washington State Highway 14, at the Dog Creek Pullout. Image taken July 6, 2005.
Image, 2005, Excursion Train and Dog Mountain, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
"Western Star" Excursion Train, rounding bend, Dog Mountain, Washington. Dog Mountain rises above a special excursion train, the "Western Star", July 6, 2005. View from Washington State Highway 14, at the Dog Creek Pullout. Image taken July 6, 2005.

"The Golden Age of Postcards" ...

The early 1900s was the "Golden Age of Postcards", with the "Penny Postcard" being a popular way to send greetings to family and friends. Today the Penny Postcard has become a snapshot of history.

Penny Postcard, Shellrock Mountain and the Columbia River Highway, ca.1937, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Penny Postcard: Shellrock Mountain, Oregon, and the Columbia River Highway, ca.1937, with Dog Mountain in the background. Penny Postcard, Postmarked 1937, "At the foot of Shell Rock Mountain, Columbia River Highway, Oregon.". Published by The Oregon News, Portland, Oregon. Card is postmarked August 1937. Card #54. In the private collection of Lyn Topinka.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 30, 1805 ...
A cool morning, a moderate rain all the last night, after eating a partial brackfast of venison we Set out [from their camp near Drano Lake and the Little White Salmon River]     passed Several places where the rocks projected into the river & have the appearance of haveing Seperated from the mountains and fallen promiscuisly into the river, Small nitches are formed in the banks below those projecting rocks which is comon in this part of the river, Saw 4 Cascades caused by Small Streams falling from the mountains on the Lard. Side,

[The possiblities in a two-mile area are - upstream to downstream - Starvation Creek and Falls, the seasonal Cabin Creek and Falls, Warren Creek and Falls, Wonder Creek and Lancaster Falls, Lindsey Creek and Falls, and Summit Creek and Falls.]

a remarkable circumstance in this part of the river is, the Stumps of pine trees [Submerged Forest]

[The Submerged Forest existed along the reach from above Dog Mountain/Viento Creek on the upstream edge and Wind Mountain/Shellrock Mountain on the downstream edge.]

are in maney places are at Some distance in the river, and gives every appearance of the rivers being damed up below from Some cause which I am not at this time acquainted with [Bonneville Landslide],     the Current of the river is also verry jentle not exceeding 1 1/2 mile pr. hour and about 3/4 of a mile in width. Some rain, we landed above the mouth of a Small river on the Stard. Side [Wind River] and Dined ...   :  here the river widens to about one mile large Sand bar in the middle, a Great [rock] both in and out of the water, large <round> Stones, or rocks are also permiscuisly Scattered about in the river, ...     this day we Saw Some fiew of the large Buzzard    Capt. Lewis Shot at one, those Buzzards are much larger than any other of ther Spece or the largest Eagle white under part of their wings &c. [California Condor] ...     The bottoms above the mouth of this little river [Wind River] <which we Call> is rich covered with grass & firn & is about 3/4 of a mile wide rich and rises gradually, below the river (which is 60 yards wide above its mouth) the Countery rises with Steep assent. we call this little river <fr Ash> New Timbered river from a Speces of Ash <that wood> which grows on its banks of a verry large and different from any we had before Seen, and a timber resembling the beech in bark <& groth> but different in its leaf which is Smaller and the tree smaller. passed maney large rocks in the river and a large creek on the Stard. Side in the mouth of which is an Island [Rock Creek near Stevenson, Washington], passed on the right of 3 Islands <on> near the Stard. Side, and landed on an Island close under the Stard. Side at the head of the great Shute [head of the Cascades Rapids], and a little below a village of 8 large houses on a Deep bend on the Stard. Side, and opposit 2 Small Islands imediately in the head of the Shute, which Islands are covered with Pine, maney large rocks also, in the head of the Shute. Ponds back of the houses, and Countrey low for a Short distance. The day proved Cloudy dark and disagreeable with Some rain all day which kept us wet. The Countary a high mountain on each Side thickly Covered with timber, Such as Spruc, Pine, Cedar, Oake Cotton &c. &c.     I took two men and walked down three miles to examine the Shute and river below proceeded along an old Indian path, passd. an old village at 1 mile [vicinity of Ice House Lake] ...     I found by examonation that we must make a portage of the greater perpotion of our Stores 2 1/2 miles, and the Canoes we Could haul over the rocks, I returned at Dark ...     a wet disagreeable evening, the only wood we could get to burn on this little Island on which we have encamped [near Ashes Lake, the island is now under the waters of the Bonneville Reservoir. Ashes Lake was near the head of the Cascade Rapids. Across from Ashes Lake is Cascade Locks, Oregon.] is the newly discovered Ash, which makes a tolerable fire. we made fifteen miles to daye

Clark, April 13, 1806 ...
The loss of one of our large Canoes rendered it necessary to divide the loading and men of that Canoe between the remaining four, which was done and we loaded and Set out at 8 oClock A. M. [from their camp near Ashes Lake]     passed the village imediately above the rapids where only one house remains entire the other 8 haveing been taken down and moved to the opposit Side of the Columbia [downstream of Rock Creek and Stevenson, Washington] ...     Capt. Lewis with 2 of the Smallest Canoes of Sergt. Pryor & gibson and Crossed above the Rapids [Cascade Rapids] to the Village on the S E Side [east of Cascade Locks] with a view to purchase a Canoe of the nativs if possible. ...     I with the two large Canoes proceeded on up the N. W. Side with the intention of gitting to the Encampment of our hunters who was derected to hunt in the bottom above Crusats River [Wind River], and there wait the arrival of Capt. Lewis. I proceeded on to the bottom in which I expected to find the hunters but Could See nothing of them. the wind rose and raised the wavs to Such a hight that I could not proceed any further. we landed and I sent out Shields and Colter to hunt; Shields Shot two deer but Could get neither of them. I walkd. to Crusats river [Wind River] and up it a mile on my return to the party found that the wind had lulled and as we Could See nothing of our hunters. I deturmined to proceed on to the next bottom where I thought it probable they had halted at passed 2 P M Set out and proceeded on to the bottom 6 miles and halted at the next bottom formed a Camp and Sent out all the hunters [near Dog Mountain, between Collins Creek and Dog Creek].     I also walked out my self on the hills but saw nothing. on my return found Capt. Lewis at Camp with two canoes which he had purchased at the Y-ep-huh ...

I was convinced that the hunters must have been up River Cruzatt [Wind River]. despatched Sergt. Pryor with 2 men in a Canoe, with directions to assend Crusats River [Wind River] and if he found the hunters to assist them in with the meat. Jo: Shields returned about Sunset with two deer which he had killed, those were of the Black tail fallow Deer. <the> there appears to be no other Species of Deer in those mountains. We proceeded on 12 miles.

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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

  • "Firelookout.com" website, 2006;
  • McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press, Portland;
  • Tolan, T.L., Beeson, M.H., and Vogt, B.F., 1984, Exploring the Neogene History of the Columbia River: Discussion and Geologic Field Trip Guide to the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon Geology, Vol.46, No.8, August 1984, and Vol.46, No.9, September 1984, Published by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries;
  • U.S. Forest Service website, 2004, Pacific Northwest Region;
  • Waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest website, 2004;

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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Images are NOT to be downloaded from this website.
June 2012