Cathlapotle Plankhouse. Ridgefield, WA.

Last week had quite the rain downpour, but like it often does, the sun came out for us. Today, scouts from all sections met at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (Washington) to experience a Chinookan Plankhouse, based on descriptions from Lewis and Clark’s Discovery expedition, and evidence gained during archaeological work on what was the Chinookan town of Cathlapotle.

Lewis and Clark came across Cathlapotle in 1805 as the Corps of Discovery headed west to the Pacific Ocean. A sense of this history lingered on site as we walked around, looking at tools, architecture, and aspects of daily life. We also got to hear a talk on Whapato plants–a staple source of starch for the winter months. Whapato tubers below,

Cathlapotle Plankhouse. Ridgefield, WA.

The Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge has much to offer in the way of plants and wildlife. If you have not been to the area, we recommend it. We also recommend putting a name on all scout clothes and items … If you are the owner of a Trackers Earth water bottle left in the Plankhouse, it is washed and we have it for you at HQ.

More photos of this adventure. If you have photos to add, please submit them to our 55th Cascadia Flickr pool.

Read more about the Plankhouse in the PSU Vanguard (article written in 2005 by our now-Rover leader and Vice Chief Commissioner, Sue Pesznecker).

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