Outdoors

Festivities celebrate David Thompson's Columbia canoe journey

NATIONAL PARKS — To celebrate the bicentennial of fur trader David Thompson’s journey down the length of the Columbia River, a series of programs is being organized this month at the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area.

More than 100 hardy adventurers will paddle 50 foot voyageur canoes along the route surveyed by Thompson, who penned the first complete maps of the region. The canoe voyage is organized by the David Thompson Columbia Canoe Brigade.

The stops include old fur trading settlements such as Fort Colville, Fort Okanogan, Fort Vancouver and Fort Astoria/Fort George at the mouth of the Columbia.

Events are being planned in communities along the paddlers’ route. Among them:

June 17-18, at Kettle Falls Historical Center – Presentation by author/historian Jack Nisbet, canoe races and rides, small fur trade encampment and birch bark canoe building demonstrations.

The George Sibley film “Shadows of David Thompson” will be shown.

All-you-can-eat breakfast, served by the American Legion, starts at 7 a.m. June 18 at the Historical Center. Cost: $4.

Free rides in the voyageur canoes will be offered by The Brigade at:

  • Keller Ferry Campground, 4 p.m.-6 p.m. on June 21.
  • Spring Canyon Campground, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. on June 22.



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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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