Our blog is to keep family and friends informed of our motorhome journeys.
We have dreamed of this for many years and finally our dream has come true.
We are looking forward to many happy miles ahead.
One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. Henry Miller.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Confluence of Snake and Clearwater Rivers in Lewiston, ID

26 June 2017

Another very hot 100 degree day, so we stayed close to campground except for 2 mile drive to the Confluence of the Snake and Clearwater display near downtown Lewiston.  It was on the Snake River that Lewis and Clark made camp on October 1805. At that time the Snake was named Lewis.The Nez Perce word for the meeting of the rivers is Tsceminicum.

Walkway From Parking Area


Another View

At the entrance to the display is a beautiful bronze sculpture by artist Nancy N. Dreher interpreting Indian mythology with its symbolic Earth Mother at the headwaters representing the native wildlife presided over by the coyote,the most important figure in Nez Perce legends.

The Snake River is 1.078 miles long and the largest tributary of the Columbia River joining at Pasco ,WA.It rises in Wyoming, flows through southern Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The river was created by a volcanic hotspot underneath Yellowstone NP. The Shoshones made a hand sign representing fish that was misinterpreted to represent a snake, thus the name Snake River. More than 11,000 years ago, Native Americans lived along and fished the River.Salmon from the Pacific Ocean spawned in the river.

The Clearwater River is 75 miles long and flows from the Bitterroot Mountains along the Idaho and Montana border joining the Snake at Lewiston. This is the largest tributary of the Snake. The Nez Perce named it Koos-K00s-Kai-Kai meaning "clear water".

Below is flower display by office at campground.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

More Historic Signages and Sites on Hwy 95 S in Idaho

24 June 2017

Happy Birthday, my Love. Are you really 80? Sure don't look or act it. So happy we are together and sharing this journey of life. You bring love, joy and laughter to me.

Today we drove Hwy 95 south to Whitebird,ID. Enroute we passed the Lawyer Creek Canyon Railroad Trestle.A series of high railroad trestles were built in 1908 that served the area for 80 years. Lawyer Canyon was named for a Nez Perce leader who served as high chief from 1818-1871. He lived near the canyon and fur traders gave him the name Lawyer for his talents in language and oratory skills. He died in 1876, a year before the 1877 Nez Perce War.

The main purpose of the drive today was for John to visit and old and now closed AF Radar site in Cottonwood. When he was stationed at Othello, WA AF Station, he was sent down here to observe. This site as with so many others, has fallen to the elements and neglect and is now abandoned. To get to the site you pass the old housing area which is still in use, the contonement which is now a state prison, up a narrow gravel rutted road pass Cottonwood ski area you finally reach the site atop a hill overlooking the Camas Valley.

In Cottonwood there is a cute, very large doghouse with store so had to get a photo. These people are really into dogs.

In Cottonwood we visited the Monastery of St. Gertrude and Museum. The purpose of the Museum is to preserve the heritage of the Monastery, Camas Prairie and surrounding area. They have a very nice collection of artifacts.

Also located on the grounds is a Spirit Center and Inn. This is a Benedictine community of Sisters. The Benedictine legacy in the Northwest began with three sisters arriving from a cloister in Sarnen Switzerland in 1882. They immediately began founding schools, hospitals and attending to those needs of the community. Their journey took them through Eastern Washington, Oregon and finally Cottonwood. where the motherhouse was founded in 1906.

Our next stop was the site of the Cottonwood Skirmishes between the Nez Perce and US Army  3rd and 4th July 1877.

Camas Valley Prairie was the last gathering place of the Nez Perce before the war of 1877.

Whitebird Battlefield on 17 June 1877 saw the first battle of the Nez Perce War. 34 soldiers were killed and none of the Nez Perce.

While we were in the area, we intended to drive to the Pittsburgh Upper Landing for a view of the Hell's Canyon Gorge,After traveling on a winding, gravel and unmarked lane road for 6 miles with another 10 to go, we decided to turn around. Fortunately we did not pass anyone as it would have been a tight squeeze with no railings on the side. There are many boat trips to take, but they are very expensive and long. Maybe if we had a better vehicle, we might have continued.

Returning home, went to dinner at The Quay a few blocks from the campground on Port St.

Tomorrow we move to our site for next few days before going back to original site. Huge Fantasy tour group coming in.

If my timeline on visits seem out of order..they are. technically you should do the tour starting in Lewiston going south on Hwy 95 and back to Hwy 12. That would make for a very long day.

Drive on Hwy 12 East to Kooskia,ID

23 June 2017

Before driving on Hwy 12 East (this is route we will take to Missoula), we drove to the viewpoint above Clarkston and Lewiston which also has signage about Donald MacKenzie's Pacific Fur Co. Trading Post. He established the Post in 1812. The effort failed and he sold out to the British.

Our drive today took us beyond our drive yesterday with stops as far as Kooskia. This is a beautiful drive along the Clearwater River pass rolling farmland, forests and small towns. Idaho does a very good job of pointing out the historical signage and sites on their roads. Hwy 12 is known as the Lewis and Clark and Nez Perce Trails. So much history.

Our first stop was the Lenore Archeological  Sign and Site. For over 10,000 years this site was inhabited by Nez Perce.Today it is a rest area.

Moving on toward the town of Orofino is the Canoe Camp site of Lewis and Clark where in 1805 Lewis & clark used the chip and burn method to make canoes for their trip to the Pacific Ocean. As you wak the site, you can't help but think that you are walking in the same area as the Nez Perce and Lewis & Clark.

On reaching the town Greer we took a detour to the town of Wieppe to see the Wieppe Prairie where Lewis and Clark first entered the homeland of the Nez Perce on Sept 20, 1805 after coming over the Lolo Pass. The road was very winding and  climbs to elevation of almost 5,000 ft. Views breathtaking.

Continuing on to Kamiah, we visited the Asa Smith Misson Signage and the Lewis and Clark Long Camp.Asa Smith and his family estabished a mission in 1839; however, unsuited to the demands of hard work, they left in 1841.

Our next stop was Long Camp where Lewis and Clark camped in the spring of 1806 while they waited for snow to melt in the mountains.

A brief stop at Heart of the Monster, birthplace of the Nez Perce, we continue on to sites and signage near Kooskia including Clearwater Battlefield where on 11 July 1877, General Howard hoped to take the Nez Perce by surprise. The Nez Perce withdrew and the fighting ended.

Our last stop was Looking Glass Band Campsite. In 1877, the Band tried to remain neutral in the conflict between the Army and the non-treaty Nez Perce.   Unfortunately the Army did not trust them  and they were attacked. Their village was destroyed and hundreds of horses were stolen. The Bank then joined forces against the Army.

Signage About the Battle
Site of Clearwater Conflict

We did not do the Lolo Pass due to distance. Will save that for our drive to Missoula.

On our return we stopped in Orofina for a bite to eat at Augie's Deli. I had the best Reuben ever and John had a ranch chicken wrap.  It was another day of history learning and more to come tomorrow.