A Communication Across the Continent by Water
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 44° 58.872 W 113° 26.767
12T E 307145 N 4983772
Quick Description: History sign at Lemhi Pass
Location: Idaho, United States
Date Posted: 8/19/2012 8:55:44 PM
Waymark Code: WMF410
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member muddawber
Views: 2

Long Description:
This sign is located along the interpretive trail on the west side of Lemhi Pass.
Marker Name: A Communication Across the Continent by Water

Marker Type: Roadside

Marker Text:
“. . . this I can scarcely hope . . .” Two days before reaching the Continental Divide, Meriwether Lewis speculated that the Columbia River would not have the same moderate character as the Missouri. “I do not beleive that the world can furnish an example of a river running to the extent which the Missouri and Jefferson’s rivers do through such a mountainous country and at the same time so navigable as they are. if the Columbia furnishes us such another example, a communication across the continent by water will be practicable and safe. but this I can scarcely hope from a knowledge of its having in it comparitively short course to the ocean the same number of feet to decend which the Missouri and Mississippi have from this point to the Gulph of Mexico.” -- Mariwether Lewis, August 10, 1805. Dividing the Waters of North America North America’s Rocky Mountains split the waters of the continent. To the east, the Missouri-Mississippi River system rolls placidly through the plains to the Gulf of Mexico. To the west, the Columbia River system roars to the Pacific through deep, narrow canyons filled with whitewater rapids. The Continental Divide at Lemhi Pass is 7,373 ft. above sea level. Water on its western slope runs about 600 miles to the Pacific Ocean. On the east side, water runs about 2,400 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. Having reached the headwaters of the rivers, Lewis could calculate river gradients. He suspected the gradient of the Columbia River would be about four times greater than that of the Missouri/Mississippi Rivers. As gradient increases, water flows faster. Lewis expected the rivers west of the Divide to be much swifter and more dangerous than the Missouri.


County: Lemhi

Group Responsible for Placement: U.S. Forest Service

City: Not listed

Date Dedicated: Not listed

Marker Number: Not listed

Web link(s) for additional information: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
In your log, please say if you learned something new, and if you took any extra time to explore the area once you stopped at the historic marker waymark. If possible please post a photo of you OR your GPS at the marker location. Also if you know of any additional links not already mentioned about this bit of Idaho history please include that in your log.

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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Volcanoguy visited A Communication Across the Continent by Water 10/7/2010 Volcanoguy visited it