Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Dougs Beach, Washington"
Includes ... Dougs Beach ... Dougs Beach State Park ... "the friendly Village" ...
Image, 2008, Dougs Beach, Washington, as seen from Rowena Crest, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Dougs Beach, Washington, from Rowena Crest, Oregon. Image taken August 23, 2008.

Dougs Beach ...
Dougs Beach State Park is a 400-acre, undeveloped day-use park on the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 183. Across the Columbia on the Oregon side is Mayer State Park and upstream on the Oregon side is Crates Point. Downstream on the Oregon side is Rowena Crest. Downstream on the Washington side is the Washington town of Lyle and the mouth of the Klickitat River. Dougs Beach is one of the top windsurfing beaches in the Columbia River Gorge and is rated for advanced sailors. Parking is along the south side of Washington State Highway 14. There is a pedestrian walkway behind the vehicle-parking area, fenced from passing trains. Visitors access the beach down a paved path with railroad-crossing arms and signals. Dougs Beach acquired its name from a windsurfer who used to frequent the beach when the sport was in its infancy.

"The Friendly Village" ...
On October 29, 1805, Lewis and Clark stopped for supplies at an Indian village in the vicinity of today's park. They referred to the village as the "Friendly Village".

"... a Cloudy morning    wind Still from th West not hard, we Set out at day light proceeded on about 5 miles and Came too at a Lodge of a Chief which we made at the upper village at th falls    about his house there is Six others     This chief gave us to eate Sackacommis burries Hasel nuts fish Pounded, and a kind of Bread made of roots— we gave to the Women pices of ribon, which they appeared pleased with— those houses are large 25 feet Sqr and contain abt. 8 men, Say 30 inhabitents—     Those people are friendly    gave us to eate fish Beries, nuts bread of roots & Drid beries and we Call this the friendly Village   : We purchased 12 dogs of them & 4 Sacks of Pounded fish, and Some fiew Dried Berries and proceeded on    at 4 miles further we landed to Smoke a pipe with the people of a village of 11 houses     we found those people also friendly    Their Village is Situated imediately below the mouth of a River of 60 yards water which falls in on the Stard. Side and heads in the mountains to the N. & N, E, the Indians inform us that this river is long <but> and full of falls    no Salmon pass up it. ..." [Clark, October 29, 1805, first draft]

The "friendly Village" is in the vicinity of today's Dougs Beach, while the second village is near today's Lyle, Washington. The river was the Klickitat River.

View from Doug's Beach ...

Image, 2005, Oregon banks from Dougs Beach, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Oregon banks of the Columbia, as seen from Dougs Beach, Washington. Image taken June 4, 2005.

From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, October 29, 1805 ...
A cloudy morning wind from the West but not hard, we Set out at day light [from their camp on Rocky Island at Crates Point], and proceeded on about five miles Came too on the Stard. Side at a village of 7 houses built in the Same form and materials of those above, here we found the Chief we had Seen at the long narrows [The Dalles] ...     they are hospitable and good humered Speak the Same language of the inhabitants of the last village, we call this the friendly village [vicinity of Dougs Beach]. ...     after brackfast we proceeded on, the mountains are high on each Side [high basalt cliffs of the Rowena Gap, with Rowena Crest on the south and the Chamberlain Lake area on the north], containing Scattering pine white oake & under groth, hill Sides Steep and rockey; at 4 miles lower we observed a Small river falling in with great rapidity on the Stard. Side [Klickitat River] below which is a village of 11 houses [today the town of Lyle is on the upstream side of the Klickitat], here we landed to Smoke a pipe with the nativs and examine the mouth of the river, which I found to be 60 yards wide rapid and deep, The inhabitants of the village are friendly and Chearfull; those people inform us also those at the last village that this little river is long and full of falls, no Salmon pass up it, it runs from N. N. E. that ten nations live on this river and its waters, on buries, and what game that Can kill with their Bow & arrows

we purchased 4 dogs and Set out- (this village is the of the Same nation of the one we last passed) and proceeded on The Countrey on each side begin to be thicker timbered with Pine and low white Oake; verry rockey and broken [passing Mayer State Park on the Oregon side]. passed three large rocks in The river the middle rock is large long and has Several Squar vaults on it. we call this rockey Island the Sepulchar [Memaloose Island] - The last river we passed we Shall Call the Cataract River [Klickitat River] from the number of falls which the Indians say is on it- passed 2 Lodges of Indians a Short distance below the Sepulchar Island [Memaloose Island] on the Stard. Side river wide, at 4 mile passed 2 houses on the Stard. Side, Six miles lower passed 4 houses above the mouth of a Small river 40 yards wide on the Lard. Side [Hood River]    a thick timbered bottom above & back of those houses; those are the first houses which we have Seen on the South Side of the Columbia River, (and the axess to those dificuelt) for fear of the approach of their common enemies the Snake Indians, passed 14 houses on the Std. Side Scattered on the bank- from the mouth of this little river which we shall Call Labeasche River [Hood River], the falls mountain [Mount Hood] is South and the top is covered with Snow.    one mile below pass the mouth of a large rapid Stream on the Stard. Side [White Salmon River], opposit to a large Sand bar [from Hood River], in this creek the Indians above take their fish, here we Saw Several canoes, which induced us to call this Canoe Creek [White Salmon River] it is 28 yards wide, about 4 miles lower and below the Sand bar [Hood River sandbar] is a butifull cascade falling over a rock of about 100 feet [Wah Gwin Gwin Falls, location of the Columbia Gorge Hotel],

[On the route map (Moulton, vol.1, map#78) a "C___ Spring" is shown on the north side of the river, today the location of Spring Creek and Spring Creek Fish Hatchery, with no mention of it in any text. On the south side, at the location of Wah Gwin Gwin Falls, only "Cascade" is labeled and "4 Houses of Indians".]

a Short distance lower passed 4 Indian houses on the Lard. Side in a timbered bottom, a fiew miles further we came too at 3 houses on Stard. Side, back of which is a pond [today the location of Drano Lake. The Little White Salmon River empties into Drano Lake.] in which I Saw Great numbers of Small Swan, Capt. Lewis and went into the houses of those people ...     Here the mountains are high on each Side, those to the Lard. Side has Some Snow on them at this time, more timber than above and of greater variety.

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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

  • Washington State Parks and Recreation website, 2005;

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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October 2011