Columbia River Camping Trip by Trevor Northrop

On the 19th of October we left for our “beginning of the year field trip” to the Columbia River Everyone was excited and in a good mood. The ride took us about six hours with a few bathroom breaks. About four hours into the ride we stopped at Beacon Rock which is 850 feet above sea level. Lewis and Clark used it as a landmark for their exploration of the area. Later it was bought for a dollar in 1915. We decided to hike to the top where we saw some amazing views of the Columbia River and surrounding area. After that we drove for another two hours until we arrived at our campground on Horse Thief Lake.

We set up camp and had a late dinner. Then we played a game of sardines in the dark, which is basically the opposite of hide and go seek. The next morning we had an easy morning and ate breakfast. Then we went to the Maryhill museum.

There we saw a lot of interesting things, like a royal gown that had a twenty inch waist! We saw Exhibits from Auguste Rodin, Theatre Da La Mode, orthodox icons and some native art. Everyone enjoyed the museum and a lot of us took pictures.

While at the museum we met Elise’s dad, David, who has been a historian and naturalist on the Columbia River for over a decade. Ha shared some information and was a great guy to be around.

When we all returned to the campground we were all relaxed and wrote in our journals and before got dinner started. Some of us also played some football before dinner. After dinner we played another game of Sardines before we went to bed.

The third day of our trip was upon us and we were going to see some ancient Petroglyphs and pictographs near our campsite. The native art had been removed from its original place because when the dams were built they would have been submerged, so they removed them and placed them in a viewing area near the campsite. The camp host, who was named Tangela, talked to the group about the Petroglyphs and Pictographs. David also got to talk to us a bit about them too.

After the Petroglyphs, we drove to Horse Thief Butte. We hiked up onto the butte and played around on the rocks. We then got to see some more Petroglyphs that were on the butte. All of us had a good time that the views were spectacular.

When we got back to camp we had some writing time then made dinner. When we had eaten and cleaned up, we went over to David’s camp site to watch a movie called Whale Dreamers produced by Julian Lennon. The movie is about a group of Australian aborigines who center their culture on whales. The whales are sacred to them and even their creation story is centered on whales. We all enjoyed the movie and had s’mores after.

The trip was almost over and there was still stuff to do. On the fourth day we went on a hike up the Dalles mountain where saw some amazing views of Mt. hood and Mt. Jefferson. We headed down the mountain and went to a historical farm with lots of cool old machinery. We got some pictures then went over the Columbia River into Oregon to go to the Oregon discovery museum. There were lots of interesting exhibits including, the ice Age, Lewis and Clark, The Oregon trail and some on the Columbia River. Some of also watched a movie about the Oregon Trail which I thought was very interesting. When we got back to our campsite we had an early dinner and went to bed.

The next day it was time to head home so we had a quick breakfast, packed up our stuff and we were on the road by ten o’clock. The drive home was easy and everyone was happy to be heading home after a fun week of camping. We stopped in Ellensburg and had a really good Mexican lunch; we even got to practice ordering in Spanish. The lunch filled every one up including Jonas and we continued the last stretch of drive home. When arrived at school there were lots of parents glad to see their kids and we all unloaded our gear and headed home. The trip was an overall success and every had fun time and we learned lots to!

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