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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/284

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276 CHARLES WILKES It receives the Kooscooske, Salmon, and several other rivers from the east and west, the former from the Rocky Mountains, the latter from the Blue Mountains, and were it navigable would much facilitate the intercourse with this part of the country. Its length to its junction with the Columbia is 520 miles. The Columbia at Walla Walla is 1,286 feet above the level of the sea and about 3,500 feet wide; it now takes its last turn to the westward, receiving the Urnatilla, Quisnels, John Days, and Shutes Rivers from the south and Cathlatses from the north, and pursuing its rapid course for 80 miles previous to passing through the range of Cascade Mountains in a series of falls and rapids that obstruct its flow and form insurmountable barriers to the passage of boats by water during the flood; these difficulties are, however, overcome by portages. From thence is had still-water navigation for 40 miles, where its course is again obstructed by rapids; then to the ocean, 120 miles, it is navigable for vessels of 12 feet draft of water at the lowest state of the river, though obstructed by many sand bars. In this part it receives the Willamette from the south and the Cowlitz from the north. The former is navigable to the mouth of the Klackamus 20 miles, 3 miles below its falls, for small boatsĀ ; the latter can not be called navigable except for a small part of the year during the flood, and then only for canoes and barges. The width of the Columbia within 20 miles of its mouth is much increased, and it joins the ocean between Cape Disap- pointment and Point Adams, forming a sand spit from such by deposit and causing a dangerous bar, which greatly impedes its navigation and entrance. Fraser River, next claims attention. It takes its rise in the Rocky Mountains near the source of Canoe River, taking a westerly course of 80 miles. It then turns to the south, re- ceiving the waters of Stuarts River, which rises in a chain of lakes near the northern boundary of the Territory.