Lewis and Clark Trail, 8 yrs of it...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by LewisNClark, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. Gotchile

    Gotchile Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    51
    Location:
    Wichita Kansa
  2. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,284
    Location:
    North GA and Atlanta
    One of my riding buddies has a VersaHaul and I helped load his WR250R on to his VersaHaul last week and I can see advantages and disadvantages of one...compared to a trailer...my Honda Element would probably be straining with the hitch weight. Current plan is to get to somewhere like Sioux City or Bismark (away from heavy traffic), store Element & trailer, and WR it to Montana.
    DesertSurfer likes this.
  3. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,203
    Location:
    Kingdom of Belgium
    Those men were really giants: back then an inch was probably today's foot :D
    Very appreciative of your report and the stories. Very good to pay attention to other expedition members.
    I have a vague recollection that the Sarafian movie 'A man in the wilderness" was based on Colter's misadventure with the Blackfeet. Might be wrong, though.
    Looking forward to the continuation.
    :clap
  4. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,284
    Location:
    North GA and Atlanta
    Thanks for looking. Deaths of several other members coming...Drouillard ,Seaman, Branson, Jean Baptiste...Currently sitting on the banks of the Columbia River east of Astoria, Oregon...is amazing we can today travel in a leisurely 10 minutes what those guys did in a full day, then had to stop to shoot enough of something for 33 men to eat, field dress it and cook it over a fire, and repeat this for around 890 days of travel.

    Will look into Sarafian. Certainly a shame Colter could not read and write, since he had some facinating verbal tales of his travels, as told to Wm Clark, who did put a pen to his stories.

    Flew over Yellowstone (commercial flight) today and seeing the distance of the Tetons from Jackson Hole/Yellowstone over into Gravely Range (Colter's route) gives a different perspective to his trip over the Tetons hiking solo, with a 30 pound backpack, buffalo cape for sleeping, and a leather tarp for a tent, across the dozens of Tetons ridges in the dead of winter.
    10ecjed and EdOriginal like this.
  5. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,284
    Location:
    North GA and Atlanta
    Thanks for that link about bicycling the L & C route. I ordered one of the segments and was impressed but some of the routes are 20, 30, sometimes more, miles from the actual L & C Trail. My GPS coordinates put you right under a tree or rock the Expedition actually camped under or walked across...I've done the broad freeway/dirt road routes of the L&C Trail (twice) and enjoyed it but it is so much more fun to walk in the Expedition members tracks and camp where they did, or at least see their campsites.
    EdOriginal likes this.
  6. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,284
    Location:
    North GA and Atlanta
    A riding buddy and I have talked about riding the Lewis and Clark Trail in the Winter just to see what the boys went through battling the freezing cold of the Dakota's, Montana, and Idaho.

    Conversation went like this:

    Chicago Friend: Guess what? I just sold a truck to a guy in Portland and he wants the truck next week and I can't do the trip? How does a thousand bucks sound to deliver the truck. (Then laughs)

    My response: Do I pay you or do you pay me?

    We both laugh: I picked up the truck the next day and picked up the Lewis and Clark Trail in Sioux City, Iowa, paid my respects to Sergeant Charles Floyd then plowed my way to Astoria, Oregon (to their western Fort Clatsop) in 6 days...

    Must say this trip gave me a different perspective on what these guy went through...just a sampling of the conditions through the Lolo Pass in Idaho on December 18-20, 2015. Temperatures ranged from -5 degrees to 15+ degrees. Snow depth was pretty much exactly what the Lewis and Clark Expedition went through in Oct 1805....1 to 4 feet of snow. In the 4 hours and 150 miles over Hwy 12 paralleling the Lolo Trail saw 5 other vehicles, two were snowmobiles.

    Lolo Trail

    Parachute Road – this is one of 3 entrances to reach Forest Road 500 (FR-500) the
    Forest service road that run pretty close to the actual L&C Trail.



    FR-500 - View looking down Parachute Road.



    Private Whitehouse – taylor, clothing and moccasin maker and also a hard laborer.




    In the background is the pond named after Private Whitehouse. Their Indian guide lead them down off the mountain to see if they could catch some fish when they desperately needed food.







    Wendover Ridge - One of the most popular sections of the Lolo Trail is the Wendover Ridge, named after a hard working laborer of the Expedition. Wendover Ridge is the eastern entrance into the Lolo Trail.



    The hillside to the right is the first clearing Lewis saw coming off the Lolo heading west towards the Pacific. Near starvation with 26 men to feed, Lewis shoots a single grouse (but he thought it was a pheasant) on the back side of this hill and combined the single bird to make a stew from bear fat and roots Sacajawea had picked...and camped at what he called Pheasant Camp.







    Heading back home the Expedition was anxious but they patiently camped at the below site called the Long Day Camp for 27 days. In June 1806 the local Nez Perce Indians warned the captains that until the doves cooed and the salmon were running again, the snow would not have melted on the top of the Lolo (Bitterroot Mts) enough to cross. Being the Summer of May, then June the Captains became impatient and decided to head back over the Lolo Trail, now without an Nez Perce guide.

    After the second day they did a reverse march after facing 4 feet of snow at the lower portion of the Lolo Trail. They returned to the Nez Perce village to hunker down for another week and hire 3 Indian guides. The below is the known site of the Long Day Camp of 1806.

    10ecjed and bomose like this.
  7. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,284
    Location:
    North GA and Atlanta
    Saddle Back Ridge



    10ecjed likes this.
  8. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,284
    Location:
    North GA and Atlanta
    The Lolo Motoring Hwy is 122 miles from start to end and Saddle Camp (or Saddle back Ridge) is about the half way point for any one wanting to bail out of the trail.




    Saddle Camp Road in the summer.



    Parachute Hill Road in the summer



    A painting of what the L & C Expedition traveled through in 1805, 7 to 10 miles up to the top of the Bitterroot Mountains.



    From the Top of the Bitterroots overlooking Lewis' Pheasant Camp in the summer - 2013.



    View of Whitehouse Pond in the summer.



    From the top of the Lolo in the summer - 2012. The peak of the Lolo is normally
    3 to 6 feet of snow for five months out of the year.




    Long or Long Day Camp



    Long Day Camp in the summer 2012
    10ecjed likes this.
  9. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,435
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    Brrrrr!
    Only 6 more months till its riding time again.
    Thanks and Merry Christmas.
  10. refokus

    refokus Hmmmmmm

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Arizona
    I have only read the first page of this report so far but want to give huge props for writing this. I will continue to the end. Awesome....huge :thumb
  11. fourthree

    fourthree Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    nowhere special
    Thank you for this, just found this RR. Your efforts in writing this are appreciated. I'll read every word of it!
  12. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,284
    Location:
    North GA and Atlanta
    I know a guy from Ketchum with my book that hiked the Lolo Trail last summer....was that you?
  13. anglerdon

    anglerdon Senior Coot

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Northern California
    Thanks for everything you do. You make the adventure come alive. Merry Christmas.
  14. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,284
    Location:
    North GA and Atlanta
    Thanks for following along.....every AdvRider that likes to ride should take on this route. Most of the really scenic parts of this country are beside or pretty close to the L & C Trail.
    10ecjed likes this.
  15. 10ecjed

    10ecjed Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    356
    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    This has been a favorite thread. Very educational and the pics are top notch. I'd love to ride this. Thanks for the updates.
  16. anglerdon

    anglerdon Senior Coot

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    123
    Location:
    Northern California
  17. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,284
    Location:
    North GA and Atlanta
    Yeah did the Rattlesnake Grade couple of yrs ago. Came in from the back (top side) and being scared of heights was most surprised at the view down on Lewiston, an amazing view. Remained me of Moki Switchbacks. Missed the pie.
  18. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,567
    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    Thanks for the update! Wow! Kinda wondered what that area would be like in the dead of winter for the LC team back in the day when I was taking a break at Lolo Pass in the Summer of '97. That place is so rugged.
    Again, thanks for lessons on these brave men that did this journey.
  19. ROYAL COACHMAN

    ROYAL COACHMAN Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,132
    Location:
    Defiance, Mo.
    Just stumbled on to this, Wow!! Great pics and narrative!
    I'm only into your report a few pages so far and being a resident of Defiance, Mo. its great to see a perspective from some one else.
    I have been to many of the camps here local to me, but never to Tavern Cave. Headed there this week, thanks for the info!

    Btw, Danial Boone lived down the road from me and I know he knew John Colter.
    Its a shame Colter could not write a journal!
  20. SteveTheLocal

    SteveTheLocal Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    280
    Location:
    Island in the Salish Sea
    Also a late discovery of you RR, but read it end to end! It was excellent, thank you! I had ridden much of this route but never appreciating its significance. A very worthwhile addition to ADV. all of the artists portrayals seem show them nice clean, well maintained clothes but it must have been cold, hard, dirty work. I was also surprised by the promiscuity of the natives. I presume that it was a function of trading sex for survival rather than just a different value system? Were they promiscuous among themselves?