1805 – On the Cape
Clark and his party of 11 men hiked from Station Camp to Cape Disappointment on Nov. 18.
The last mile of their hike to the ocean was through present-day Cape Disappointment State
Park (formerly Fort Canby State Park).
As Clark and his party reached the narrow part of the cape, Clark wrote, "I
crossed the neck of Land low and ½ of a mile wide to the main Ocian."
They reached the open ocean at today's Waikiki Beach, near the main entrance to the park.
After climbing to the top of a "high open hill projecting into the ocian"
(today's McKenzie Head), they camped for the night on the beach.
With obvious contentment, Clark wrote, "Men appear much Satisfied with their
trip beholding with estonishment the high waves dashing against the rocks & this emence
In the morning, the party hiked "through ruged Country of high hills and Steep
hollers" to explore more of the landscape now in the state park, and then to the
long "Sandy coast" that stretched to the north. During Clark's journey to
Cape Disappointment, he realized that the exposed north shore would not serve for a winter
Trading Beads for Fur
After returning to Station Camp, trade was lively between the Corps of Discovery and
the Chinook Indians.
"One of the Indians had on a roab made of 2 Sea Otter Skins" noted
Clark, "the fur of them were more butifull than any fur I had ever Seen."
Desiring this robe, the Captains traded away Sacagawea's belt with blue beads on it.
Cape Disappointment State Park is a large park that offers many amenities. If you are
interested in history, the newly renovated Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center should be
first on your list of stops.
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