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Locals help cross-country canoer get around dam


Last updated 6/6/2018 at 10am

Neal Moore stands with Jayme Brashears, the man who helped him get past the dam.  - photos courtesy of Neal Moore

Neal Moore, who is canoeing 7,324 miles on 22 American rivers over the course of two years, received some help getting around the Grand Coulee Dam on the last weekend in May.

Elmer City man Jayme Brashears gave Moore and his canoe a ride from Lake Rufus Woods near Nespelem Creek to the King's Court trailer court area, thus getting Moore around the dam.

Moore had run into strong currents and needed some help getting past the rough spots of the river.

Moore stayed the night at the King's Court campground and explored Grand Coulee a bit, saying he was struck by the architecture which he said "points to a storied past."

The next day, Moore spent time with three generations of the local Kiser family: Tanner, the youngest, about 13 years old; Jason, father to Tanner; and Ron, father to Jason.

Moore ate at Flo's Cafe, "just the coolest diner in the whole world," and visited the dam and the visitor center, saw a part of the laser light show, walked across the bridge, and caught a Babe Ruth baseball game where Tanner Kiser was playing.

Moore told The Star on Tuesday that he was struck by "the whole community spirit and the natives, non-natives and family members and friends, really a community coming together with the hot dogs and hamburgers - nearly full moon, playing nearly to 11 at night."

Tanner's team won both games of a doubleheader.

After he stayed with the Kisers, they drove Moore and his canoe to Spring Canyon, where he could get back on the water.

"He's a really nice guy," Jason Kiser said about Moore, "just smiles for days, real personable, seemed real happy."

Ron, Tanner, and Jason Kiser pose for a photo taken by Neal Moore, the canoe explorer they hosted in their home.

Moore then went on to Fort Spokane, up the Spokane River, and is now taking a short break in Spokane before continuing on to the Clark Fork River and beyond into Montana.

Moore has a website documenting his journey,, including photographs and stories of the people he's meeting along the way as well as towns he passes through.

Planning to finish by December of 2019, Moore then plans to publish a book similar to his first, "Down The Mississippi," which chronicles his journey down that river, documenting stories of Americana that he encountered.

"One idea is to listen and document, and the other is to connect," Moore said about his creative plans along the journey, having a Macbook Pro and camera along with his navigational gear. "By the time I get to the Statue of Liberty in New York City, when you string all these stories together, you'll have the story of our country in a positive way."


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