Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Cape Disappointment & The Spirit of Lewis and Clark

(The view of the Pacific Ocean from the Cape Disappointment Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.)

 "I think it may be established as a general maxim that those nations treat their old people and women with most deference and respect where they subsist principally on such articles that these can participate with the men in obtaining them; and that, that part of the community are treated with least attention, when the act of procuring subsistence devolves entirely on the men in the vigor of life."  -Lewis, Jan. 6, 1806
(There is a wing inside the center that is devoted to the Coast Guard and their incredible presence on these waters. Protecting ships from dangerous shifting sand bars as well as sea rescues and the many people who have lost their lives in service.)

"It appears to me that nature has been much more deficient in her filial tie than in any other of the strong affections of the human heart, and therefore think, our old men equally with our women indebted to civilization for their ease and comfort."  -Lewis, Jan. 6, 1806
(The Interpretive Center is certainly a place of enormous pride in the past and future of these waters.   In the Journals, the Corps of Discover were stuck here for a week during a terrible storm in which they were soaked to the bone. It was a miserable week were they almost lost hope and valuable equipment.)

 "This day I overhauled our merchandize and dried it by the fire, found it all damp; we have not been able to keep anything dry for many days together since we arrived in this neighborhood..."  -Lewis, Jan. 6, 1806
(But they never lost faith.  Strolling around here, I was overcome with the massive challenge Lewis and Clark took, crossing the Bitterroots, half-starved, meeting Indians in the plains, dodging rapids, carving out canoes from tree trunks... just navigating these rocky passages.  It's so incredibly inspiring but also, leaves me with a sense of powerful awe and trepidation.)

"The humidity of the air has been so excessively great, our merchandize is reduced to a mere handfull, and our comfort during our return the next year depends on it."  -Lewis, Jan. 6, 1806

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