A Walk Down the River

Last week I led my first interpretive nature walk down the Lewis and Clark River and it was great. I led two walks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. In the morning I had 50 people, mostly older couples, while the afternoon was more interactive with only 20 people. My talk focused on the river as a source of survival for the different groups of people who used the river. Before Lewis and Clark, the native Clatsop people used the area to sustain themselves. The river and surrounding area provided all they needed to survive: food, water, and shelter. The area is filled with various berries like red huckleberry, evergreen huckelberry, salmon berries, and thimble berries. The river acted as a highway for the native people to access the ocean to find fish. This area is also filled with a lot of cedar trees which provided the natives with tools, clothes, and shelter. When Lewis and Clark arrived, they used the area in a similar manner as the natives. They were able to endure the 3 months of winter in the area by following what the natives did. Later by the mid 1800’s, the area was exploited as a logging area with all of its cedar and spruce trees. Remnants of the logging boom still exist with wooden pilings sticking out of the river. The highlight of the day was when a visitor, an elementary school teacher, asked how long I’ve been doing the walks. since it seemed I was knowledgeable and approachable. She had a hard time believing that it was my first time doing the walk and encouraged me keep doing what I’m doing. It was really nice having people thank me at the end of the walks despite me feeling nervous throughout the whole time. I can’t wait to do more programs with the public.

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