Sacajawea State Park

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System, five special dogs, the Lewis and Clark Pups, will travel in the paws of their ancestor Seaman, dog of Meriwether Lewis. The pups will travel more than 3,700 miles to complete their mission to commemorate and protect the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. They will be joined by Seaman Jr. who will complete his portion of the mission on the International Space Station.

As they make their stops they will be reporting back in on their adventures. Follow Rocky, Harper, Dakota, Keelie and Seaman Jr. at: go.nps.gov/NewfieNews
toy dog near entrance sign
Hello! Harper here! Today I arrived at Sacajawea State Park, which is located at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers near the town of Pasco in southeastern Washington. Lewis and Clark first passed this spot on October 16, 1805 on their way to the Pacific Ocean. They camped at a well-established gathering place for Native people and it was here the explorers knew where they were for the first time since entering uncharted territory.
toy dog on desk
Since arriving at the park, I’ve been stationed in the Interpretive Center gift shop with Washington State Park staff, volunteers from the Friends of Sacajawea State Park group, and the park camp hosts. I’ve also spent lots of time with Sharon Stewart, a long-time volunteer coordinator. I’ve been greeting visitors, showing them the available brochures, the salmon sculpture, and the posters from past Heritage Day events held at the park.
toy dog near barrell
Heritage Days is a two-day event held in the park at the end of September every year. There are living history displays about the Corps of Discovery, about fur trappers and traders, and about the culture and practices of the Native-American groups who live in the area and used the park site (for example, the Wanapum and Umatilla peoples and the Yakama nation).

There are also displays by local museums, by a local archeological dig to uncover a mammoth, by local and regional community groups, by wildlife rescue groups, and many others. Sharon told me about the Friends of Sacajawea State Park, a charitable organization formed to promote the park by hosting various events such as the Heritage Days, and assisting other groups with their events held in the park. You can find more about the Friends Group, and Heritage Days, at Friends of Sacajawea State Park.
toy dog near reed shelter
Friday afternoon, I met Randy Kirkbride, the president of the Friends of Sacajawea State Park who came to take pictures of me visiting the park. I tried to get him to pose for the camera but he didn’t think I could get a good picture of him.
toy dog near statue of Sacajawea
Inside the Interpretive Center I found several places where I could do the same things as my sire Seaman. I could sit by Sacagawea (Janey to the captains), on the keel boat cargo bundles, and in a Wanapum Tule Reed shelter. Although I’m sure the Wanapum’s did not use Plexiglas cases to store their belongings.
Toy dog near artwork
One bonus I found in the museum was a replica of a painting showing great--great-grandfather Seaman. Sharon held me up so I could get a close look at it.
toy dogs on shelf
In the gift shop I found a book about my Seaman, which I had to pose by, another Newfoundland like me (maybe a distant cousin), and some smaller breeds who could be very distant relations.
toy dog near water
Outside, I had an opportunity to sit on two dugout log canoes, possibly in the same places that Seaman would have sat.
Toy dog on canoe
One canoe was at the beach and the other was on display near where the Corps of Discovery camped.
Toy dog near sign
Between the two canoes are seven plant and story circles designed by Maya Lin, where people can sit to listen to the elders tell about the plants and animals that lived here and how they were used. If you are really quiet, you can hear the plants and animals tell their own stories. The circles were dedicated on August 27, 2010, and more information can be found at http://www.confluenceproject.org/.
toy dog with visitor center in the background
Sacajawea Park is one of seven locations located at an important confluence of rivers or trails that has a sculpture (or sculptures) commemorating the historical and cultural importance of the location. Here I am in one of the story circles, at the top of a circle with the Interpretive Center behind me, and on the edge of one of the plant circles.
wild turkey on a road
I have to tell you about our walk out to see the park sign. On the way to the sign, four turkeys crossed the road in front of us. I behaved myself and didn’t go chasing them, but that silly Mr. Randy scared them away when he tried to get close for a picture. He should have let me use my Junior Ranger training to talk to them into posing for a picture.
toy dog near Sacajawea State Park sign
Sharon was very gracious to me and drove me to my next stop, the Hanford Reach Museum, so I got to see where the Yakima River comes into the Columbia, about 10 miles upstream of Sacajawea Park. That was such an enjoyable visit.

Learn more about Sacajawea State Park:
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Friends of Sacajawea State Park

Learn more about the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail:
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Last updated: August 6, 2018