Texas Rapids, Washington
Posted by: Volcanoguy
N 46° 33.816 W 118° 05.959
11T E 415746 N 5157257
Quick Description: This Lewis and Clark history sign is located at the Texas Rapids Boat Launch Area along the Little Goose Dam Road.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 3/12/2010 7:55:56 PM
Waymark Code: WM8CQ0
This Lewis and Clark history sign is located at the Texas Rapids Boat Launch Area along the Little Goose Dam Road, north of Starbuck, Washington.
Marker Name: The Race to the Pacific
Marker Text:“Swifter than any horse could run”
In fall 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition raced against time, hoping to reach the Pacific Ocean before winter set in. Traveling faster than at any other time during the journey, the party often covered 30 miles or more per day on the swift waters of the Snake River. Joseph Whitehouse wrote, “the canoe ran down this channel Swifter than any horse could run.”
In their haste, they took extraordinary risks that sometimes resulted in dangerous consequences. On a stretch of the river near here, one of their canoes struck a rock and capsized, spilling people and equipment into the cold water. Clark wrote that the party would have portaged around more of the treacherous rapids “if the Season was not So far advanced and time precious with us.”
On October 12, 1805, the Expedition camped just across the river from here. Patrick Gass wrote, “A little before sunset we came to a bad rapid, which we did not wish to pass at night, so we encamped above on the north side . . . .”
The next morning, the explorers cautiously navigated the two-mile-long stretch of rapids, taking two canoes through at a time. With help from their Nimilpuu guides, they made it through safely.
October 14, 1805
“at this rapid the Canoe . . . Struck a rock . . . the Stern of the Canoe took in water and She Sunk . . . every article wet of which we have great Cause to lament . . . .” - William Clark
Snake River Rapids
Lewis and Clark named some stretches of rapids on the Snake and Columbia rivers, including:
“Three Canoe Rapid” - October 14, 1805 (For three canoes “Stuk fast for Some time on the head of the rapid”)
“Cave Rapid” - October 14, 1805 (For the cave the explorers saw along the river)
“Bason Rapid” - October 15, 1805 (For the wide, round, calm basin between the rapids)
“Muscle Shell rapid” - October 19, 1805 (For the large quantities of mussel shells piled on the shores of the Columbia River)
“Pelecan rapid” - October 20, 1805 (For the ‘great number of pelicans on the wing”)
Tribes from the region also had names for these rapids. Many of these names were lost when native people were forced to assinilate into Euro-American society.