The Pride of Orofino

"You can bet one thing. This is gonna be the prettiest boat on the river," said ex-logger Virgil Wilmarth . "No doubt about that. Hopefully, it will be the best. I like to work with wood and I like to play on the river, and I'm real interested in the Lewis and Clark Expedition. I figured it would be fun to re-enact it. I knew it would be a lot of work in the hot weather, but work never hurt anybody. But we don't kill ourselves. We work until we get tired, and then we go home."

"We shaped the outside the way we wanted it; then we drilled 1/4 holes through the bottom and the sides. We wanted 3 inches of wood left in the bottom and 1 1/2 inches on the sides. So we colored these little 1/4 dowels, blue on the end and drove them through, so when I start chipping here, when I get to the blue top, I know I'm at the right depth. That way when we're all done, it will be pretty. The prettiest boat on the river. It's like blue topping a highway. You scrape her off to the blue top and it's the same thing we're doing here."

"We built the back up high, so the captain can sit up here and look down the river. He's got to tell all the guys which way to paddle, so he's up here shouting orders. He'll be about 2 feet higher than the other guys going down the river.

"Nobody knows how they're going to handle. I use a drift boat fishing, but that's a lot different than this. This is 27 feet long. When we get heading down the river, we're going to have to have it going in the right direction when we get in the current or we're in trouble. Everybody will have a life jacket on. We'll make sure of that."


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