Corps Discovery

Gorge greets 200th Lewis-Clark anniversary

October 22, 2005

Credit the USA Pear Bureau for finding a humorous and deeply retro way to market their product: postcards in hand-tint style showing Lewis and Clark in their most intrepid stances, accompanied by really large pears.

It is a giant Bartlett that fills their canoe, and not a behemoth bass or trout as seen in the 1950s-era novelty postcards. (Actually, those comic cards are still to be found.)

In another USA Pears postcard, Lewis surveys the Gorge from a cliff while Clark gazes at a huge Red Bartlett at their side – probably thinking how many explorers it would feed.

The postcard reads: “Lewis and Clark: The Other Great Pair to Venture West.”

The famously fruit-deprived diets of the Corps was starting to improve by the time they reached the Gorge. A juicy Comice would have gone well with all that salmon.

Yet this is the time to consider the arduous experiences as well as the historic significance of the Corps of Discovery.

In The Dalles, “Corps of Discovery II: 200 Years to the Future” will be at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center Oct. 28-31, 200 years after local tribes watched the first American white water crazies - also called the Lewis and Clark Expedition - shoot down the Columbia River.

The Corps’ campsite on Oct. 24-25, 1805, was at the mouth of what is now Mill Creek in The Dalles.

Admission to Corps II is free, and there will be plenty of interactive displays and activities. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 28-31.

Meanwhile. “Destination Expedition” arrives in Cascade Locks for 200th anniversary re-enactment of Corps of Discovery. Cascade Locks plans to celebrate in grand style on Oct. 30 at Marine Park. The Discovery Expedition has completed over 4,100 miles on the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, followed by the Snake and Columbia Rivers, making this the longest military re-enactment in American history.

Hood River News will carry full details of both events in the Oct. 26 edition. Make plans to attend one or both of these commemorative events.

Big juicy pears are a recurring pleasure in our area, but such opportunities to learn about Corps of Discovery are unlikely to pass this way again.

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