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The tour winds along the benchland above the river, which is deep and placid at this point. The west bank is marked by a series of benchlands, gargantuan steps leading to the irregular hills beyond. To the northeast rise the saw-toothed Huckleberry Mountains. Orchards, farms, and stands of tamarack, pine, and fir border the highway.

This route along the east bank of the Columbia was followed by John McLeod, superintendent of the Hudson’s Bay Thompson River District, when in 1826 he drove the first herd of cattle to be brought into this Northwest region through hundreds of miles of Indian country to Fort Colville.

Rice is a village on Cheweka Creek, east of the Columbia River and southwest of Kettle Falls in west central Stevens County. It was named for, and founded by, William Rice in 1903. The place had previously been a water-powered sawmill on Cheweka Creek. Later on, a general store and post office were established; but after a destructive fire in 1950 only some of the buildings were rebuilt.