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Day: July 20, 2016

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July 20, Day 119 

Calm winds and light current made the early hours easy paddling. Many deer came down to the river throughout the day. I got a kick out of the little fawns. Sometimes they’d see me and usually just watch me curiously until mom gave the order to run, then they’d bolt with amusing speed.

Beavers are common. The mountain men would find good trapping here now again. 

As I neared Ulm I spotted a gas station. That unusually means food. I hiked up there and they had pizzas. Obviously I ordered a supreme large. 

Back at the river I was just about ready to launch when someone at the fishing access across the river put his arms in the air and yelled “Hey!” With no idea who it was I yelled “I’ll come over there.”

About half way there I saw it was my old smokejumper buddy Jim Griffin! What a great surprise. He was surprised to see me here as well, not thinking he’d run into me until later in the day. 

It was a fun reunion. When we got caught up we agreed to meet a few miles up river at the next fishing access. 

Griff had found a good spot with perfect shade and we took a nice break with camp chairs. The lap of luxury!

Jim Griffin and me

We made a plan to meet again maybe 9 river miles ahead. After I launched the wind came up. Good thing the current was light. At one spot I watched the strong wind blow tumbleweeds off a bluff into the river, it looked like sailors jumping off a sinking ship in a hurricane. 

I was getting tired fighting the wind so it was nice when we made the rendezvous. I tied off the boat and grabbed my camping stuff and we drove into Cascade for big burgers. 


The next stop was a nice campground on the river. We had a great talk until I headed for my tent. Griff was then called on by someone whose friends floating the river hadn’t showed up yet, just before dark. Griff drove them up the river and got everything straightened out. Colter

Lewis: Monday July 15th 1805. We arrose very early this morning, assigned the canoes their loads and had it put on board. we now found our vessels eight in number all heavily laden, notwithstanding our several deposits; tho it is true we have now a considerable stock of dryed meat and grease. we find it extreemly difficult to keep the baggage of many of our men within reasonable bounds; they will be adding bulky articles of but little use or value to them.

Trip overview and route map with position updates:


June 19, Day 118

One last fine complimentary breakfast, a packing of the boat, and then I carted the kayak to the river. 

The river was mellow and the winds were light, making for some of the easiest river paddling in a long time. It was just a pretty, sunny day. 

The shoreline alternated between wild country and mostly fancy homes, some of which would surely qualify as mansions. There were many whitetail deer, geese and beaver, even a flock of sheep on a steep hillside. 

Two labs, one yellow and one black, jumped joyfully into the river. Later I saw three kayaks with another yellow lab having the time of his life. He swam around the kayaks, over to shore for a romp, over to me and then back to his kayaks. I chatted with the kayakers who were interested in my trip, insisting I take a cold beer. 

A very dark storm was sweeping in from the south just as I hit 20 miles. My tent was barely up when the rain, and then the wind, hit. It is always fun to beat a storm like that. Colter

(Don’t forget to check out the many “catch up” days I’ve posted recently.)


July 10th Wednesday 1805 a fair windey day wind hard the most of the day from the S. W.rained modderately all last night (by Showers) we dispatched Serjt. Ordway with 4 Canoes loaded & 8 men by water to assend as high as I Should have found timber for Canoes & formed a Camp;-. I Set out with Sergt. Pryor four Choppers two Involids & one man to hunt, Crossed to the Std. Side and proceeded on up the river 8 miles by land (distance by water 231/ 4 ms.) and found two Trees which I thought would make Canoes, had them fallen, one of them proved to be hollow & Split at one End & verry much win Shaken at the other, the other much win Shaken, we Serched the bottoms for better trees and made a trial of Several which proved to be more indifferent. I deturmined to make Canoes out of the two first trees we had fallen, to Contract thir length so as to clear the hollow & winshakes, & ad to the width as much as the tree would allow. The Musquitors emencely noumerous & troublesom, Killed two deer & a goat. The Canoes did not arrive as I expected, owing to the hard wind which blew a head in maney places. we ar much at a loss for wood to make ax hilthes, 13 hath been made & broken in this piece of a day by the four Choppers, no other wood but Cotton Box elder Choke Cherry and red arrow wood. we Substitute the Cherry in place of Hickory for ax hilthes ram rods, &c. &c.

Trip overview and route map with position updates:

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