There is something very otherworldly and endearing about the Oregon coast. I love it so much that our family took a second trip there this year, just a couple of months after our last visit. I always try to soak in as much beauty as possible, and to be expected, as much historical trivia as the kidlets can swallow.
As part of my quest to see every stinkin' Lewis and Clark spot in the U-nited States, we made the trek to Ecola State Park. "Ecola" (ekkoli) is the Chinook word for "whale," which is what Lewis and Clark went to find at this site. They had heard it through the grapevine... that some beached whale coulda been thine... blubber blubber, yeah!
Well, the words "beached whale" and "blubber" are enough to get me on the move too.
So. While wintering at Fort Clatsop, Lewis and Clark hiked a team off in search of the "monstrous fish." Sacagawea had begged to walk along; I assume she needed to see something other than the four walls of the room in her fort. Just guessing!
Anyway, the team was just in time to see the whale stripped to its bone, with the local villagers "busily engaged boiling the blubber." However, they were still able to barter for 300 pounds of blubber and a few gallons of oil. From the journal of William Clark:
“Small as this stock is I prise it highly; and thank providence for directing the whale to us; and think him much more kind to us than he was to jonah, having Sent this Monster to be Swallowed by us in Sted of Swallowing of us as jonah’s did.”
A thankful and witty character, that Willy!
We hiked much in the way that Lewis and Clark did, that is if they'd traveled via a classy red minivan. But that didn't stop us from seeing the same views, as Clark described, "the grandest and most pleasing prospects which my eyes ever surveyed, in front of a boundless Ocean.”
I hope you enjoy the pleasing prospects (taken from Indian Beach) as well.
More from the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail: The Salt Works, Cape Disappointment, and Fort Clatsop.
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