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searching, hiking, swimming, powwows.
Usually one week after the Riverfront park powwow Spokane tribe has their powwow on the
reservation. Go to the Long Lake dam and continue on to the intersection a little past
there. Take a left turn into Wellpinit and ask for directions at the grocery store in
case they change the usual location. The Spokanes and Kalispels seem to very much welcome
non-tribal visitors, and we really enjoy this one.
Red Lake is visible from the road after Tumwater on the right side and is a
good swimming spot and is maintained by the Friends of Red Lake. See
Just before the Long Lake Dam, there is a pullout with interesting hiking.
See the pictographs first to inspire you and then go hike the same trails as the
initiates by taking the trail around to the left of the rocky hill which is very
hard to climb unless you are into mountain climbing. The trail leads to the back
side of the rocky hill where you may fairly easily climb into the maze of trails
inside the rocks. See Photos.
At Long Lake Dam there is a pullout with a nice view of the rocks around the dam and
the dam. Look for a huge Osprey nest on top of one of the telephone poles. It is fun to
watch the birds fly around the rocks there.
Tshimkian Mission was the first place in the Northwest where whites settled down with
the only purpose of meeting and trying to influence the Indians with Christ. Take a left
instead of a right into Wellpinit and head for Ford. Watch for a stone monument on the
right side of the road in front of a large farm that lies in front of a pine covered
hillside. We talked with the farmer (Robert Seagle) here as his farm is right on top of the mission
He had a big can full of treasures he had picked up over the years. Arrow heads, an old
thimble, a tool for casting old round bullets, and etc. We talked almost all the day and
were leaning on a twenty foot high tree whose foliage was about one hundred feet in diameter,
the height about 30 feet, and he
said, "What kind of a tree do you think this is?". I couldn't tell because the
tree looked old and different than any local tree I was used to. He said, "It is a
Lilac bush, and how long ago would you have to plant it for it to grow this large?"
This is why he said Mary Walker must have planted it. She was the preacher's
wife (see photo below). In 1976 Clifford Drury and Dr. Robert Ruby called the
bush/tree a horticultural wonder.
See more photos
The oldest Catholic church on the reservation still stands. See
A stop sign seen along the way with a bumper sticker
stuck to it :) And some scenery nearby.
The reservation boundary on the east side is the Tshimkian creek. Tshimkian
means plain of springs. In the
middle of the section of this creek from reservation road to the Spokane river there is a waterfall.
Paddle from Little Falls dam to the sandbar takeout 8 miles
downstream, ask natives for permission and directions to sandbar from Wellpinit.
For an inspirational story about Native Dancing click here: Prairie Chicken Dancer
The official Spokane Tribe site