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Discovery Center hosts national exhibit

The Dalles one of 68 cities visited this year

Corps of Discovery II: 200 Years to the Future will be at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center Oct. 28 through 31, some 200 years after local tribes watched the first American white water crazies -- also called the Lewis and Clark Expedition -- shoot down the Columbia River.

"The Dalles was at the end of a difficult run down two sets of narrows the Corps of Discovery made on Oct. 24-25, 1805," said Betty Boyko, assistant superintendent of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and Corps of Discovery II. "The captains had met the Wishram-Wasco Indians below Celilo Falls and admired their canoes enough that Capt. Lewis traded for one. Their campsite at the end of the second day was at the mouth of Mill Creek, in present-day The Dalles."

The Discovery Center overlooks the Columbia River and is a natural spot for Corps of Discovery II, said Kevin Crisler, manager of the mobile Lewis and Clark exhibit traveling the United States to commemorate the bicentennial of the original 1803-06 expedition. "The Dalles will be our 71st stop on the tour that began back in January 2003."

Admission to Corps II is free. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 28-31. Corps II will be set up in the parking lot at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, 5000 Discovery Drive.

Corps of Discovery II: 200 Years to the Future has a variety of exhibits and hands-on activities as well as a large performance venue for speakers, song, dance, cultural lectures and activities, all to explore the epic American story of Lewis and Clark.

Corps II includes a walk-through tour, with audio or printed script, that offers visitors an overview of the original 1803-06 journey from Monticello to the Pacific Ocean and return. Corps II also has a 2/3 scale keelboat, a 16-foot diameter Plains Indian lodge and an explorer camp complete with a 25-foot dugout canoe.

"With two school days on the schedule, about 1,800 school children have signed up to attend Corps II," said Renee Walasavage of the Discovery Center.

The central element of Corps II is the "Tent of Many Voices," a nationally recognized venue where Lewis and Clark stories of many cultures are told. The tent seats up to 200 people for music, dance, story telling, first-person historians and ranger programs.

In The Dalles, Corps II will feature several regional and national Lewis and Clark presenters including Ron Craig as York from Film Works Northwest, Craig Rockwell of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as Capt. William Clark, and Ken Karsmizki, director of the Discovery Center, talking about Lewis and Clark Campsites.

John Fisher will speak about medicines, Wasqu Dancers of Warm Springs will perform Native dances, and Rex Ziak will be in the Tent of Many Voices with an overview of Lewis and Clark in the Columbia Gorge.

Corps II is largely staffed by the National Park Service but involves more than two dozen federal agencies, 41 Indian nations, 18 Lewis and Clark Trail State Commissions, dozens of state and local agencies, non-profit groups and thousands of individual volunteers.

The exhibit is on a four-year tour of the United States that began in January 2003 at Monticello, the home of President Jefferson. More than 300,000 people have visited Corps II in 68 cities near and along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.


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