Mural 11

“Corps of Discovery: Into the Narrows”

President Thomas Jefferson’s vision to reach the Pacific Ocean overland was about to be realized in less than 200 miles but first the Corps had to shoot the rapids of the Narrows at the Columbia. The important supplies were portaged and the swimming members of the party boarded the canoes and cast off.

The Short Narrows were where the Columbia River constricted to only 45 yards wide and a quarter of a mile long and the Long Narrows were 100 yards wide and three miles long. Captain William Clark wrote: “… the horrid appearance of the agitated, gut swelling water was boiling and whorling in every direction…”

In the standards of today’s canoeists, this was a Class V rapid (on a scale of 1-6). Luckily, the Corps with their five heavy dugout canoes made the run without incident.

Artist: Gary Kerby
 Downtown, E. Federal Street, 1st Street between Federal and Laughlin, facing the Wasco County Veterans Service Office