September  I spent 5 days on the Snake River, paddling down to Pasco,
8-13:            Washington from Lewiston, Idaho.  I hadn't done any 
                      serious paddling for 3 weeks, and it took a few days to get
                      back in shape, but I got back into the rhythm quickly.  My
                      first day out my old nemesis, the wind, caught up with me,
                      and in the afternoon I struggled with the headwinds and
                      choppy water.  It rained steadily on the second day,
                      slowing me down on my portage around Lower Granite Dam.
                      Still, I prefer the cold and wet to the wind.  The next 3 
                      days were warm and dry, with only light winds, and I made
                      good time.  

                             Richard, nearly home.

                      I find I'm less and less interested in the country
                      I'm passing through, and more determined to push on and
                      reach the Pacific as soon as I can.  When I reached the 
                      Continental Divide at Lemhi Pass, I felt a tremendous sense
                      of accomplishment.  Crossing the Bitterroot Mountains on
                      horseback was another coup.  So far, everything since 
                      then has felt like denouement.  I'm paddling on flat water 
                      on a dammed up river through arid, barren land, and I'm
                      getting bored.  Coming into Pasco, I began to see apple 
                      orchards along the river, lush patches of green dotting 
                      the parched hills.  I may see more of that on the Columbia
                      River, but I expect the first half of the Columbia to be like
                      the Snake - flat water and arid land.  I'm a bit more
                      apprehensive about the Columbia.  It's much bigger than 
                      the Snake, and everyone has warned me about the winds 
                      through the Columbia Gorge, which is apparently the 
                      wind-surfing capitol of the world.  I'm reminded of the 
                      Missouri lakes in the Dakotas, my least favorite part of the
                      journey.  I'm thankful I have only 325 miles to the ocean.

                   Click here for days 145 - 151 of Richard's journal