"The Lewis & Clark Connection"
along the
Lower Columbia River Water Trail


Down the Columbia! -- The Westerly Lewis and Clark Campsites

from Cascade Locks (Oct. 30, 1805) to Pillar Rock (Nov. 7, 1805)


The westerly course of the Corps of Discovery took them on their final leg through the Columbia River Gorge. They had traversed mountain ranges and portaged great falls in their quest for an overland water route to the Pacific Ocean. On March 30, 1805 they encountered the last natural major obstacle, the "Great Rapid" or "Shute," now inundated under the reservoir of the Bonneville Dam (1937). As they camped on a small island opposite the town of Cascade Locks, Clark surveyed the 3-mile route for safe passage. At the lower end of the rapids he saw a large rock he estimated to be 800 feet high and named it "Beaten Rock". (On the return trip Lewis called it "Beacon Rock", the name it retains today). He also noted for the first time the tidal effect on the river there. November 1, the Corps portaged the rapids and began paddling towards mission’s end, the mouth of the Columbia River. The campsites were located as follows.

They spent the next week attempting to reach the mouth of the Columbia where they finally arrived on the 14th of November "in full view of the ocean." The two captains took separate treks from "Station Camp" near present-day Megler, Washington, to the headlands further down the Columbia to its mouth.  They decided to take a vote at Station Camp from all the expedition members as to where their wintering quarters should be. On November 24, 1805 the vote was taken with the majority favoring the south side of the river. On December 7th they arrived at the site where Fort Clatsop was erected in present-day Oregon, which became a very wet stay for their 106 days there. There were only 12 days it didn’t rain, and only 6 of those were clear and sunny!

Up the Columbia! -- The Easterly Lewis and Clark Campsites

from Tongue Point (Mar. 24, 1806) to Tanner Creek (Apr. 9, 1806)

The Corps departed on the 23rd of March to return to St. Louis. They rounded Tongue Point and stopped at a small stream. The campsites on their return upriver were as follows.

As we all know, the famed expedition continued up the Columbia, over the Rocky Mountains, and down the Missouri River to eventually return home.




Roger Wendlick began collecting memorabilia in 1980 from the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, which was held in Portland, Oregon in 1905. It was a great hobby for about four years, but his interest grew beyond that to include the expedition and it's history. Wendlick began his own epic journey to begin collecting books and other printed material relating to, and actually utilized by, the actual expedition undertaken by Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery. Skirting bankruptcy, using credit cards, three home mortgages, and working as many overtime hours as his boss would allow as a construction supervisor, after 18 years he had amassed what has became known toady as the finest and most complete collection of such material in the world! His collection found a new home at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon in 1998.

Half donation, and half purchase by the college, the "Wendlick Collection" is now available for research to scholars from around the world. Wendlick was able to take early retirement and so began his current journey following in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, and studying the very books that he once called "his children."

Wendlick is on the board of the National Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation and the Lewis & Clark College Bicentennial Committee. He can often be found in his buckskins portraying "George Drouillard" -- the man known as the third most important of the expedition -- and telling the story of the expedition at special events and presentations around the United States. He resides -- and practices throwing his tomahawk and knife -- at his home in Portland, Oregon.