On Thursday of last week, our class had the opportunity to visit the Cathlapotle Plank-house in Ridgefield, WA. The plank-house is built on the archaeological remains of the town of Cathlapotle, a Chinookan town encountered by Lewis and Clark on their expedition west. We were treated to an incredible presentation on the plank-house and the objects within by the staff of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. The students were able to make tangible connections with many of the things they’ve been learning in class about the Chinook people and their culture.
Our next adventure was a longboat canoe trip. Educators from the Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership (LCREP) met us at the Ridgefield marina and expertly guided two longboat canoes of 18 (the Moose and the Osprey – our names for the day) along a stretch of Lake River. Students learned to paddle and work together just as the fur traders (upon whom these boats were modeled) would have in the 17 and 1800’s. We spotted numerous birds, including a Great Blue Heron, several Osprey, and at least one Hawk. We have some talented birders in our group!