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

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

  1. Aces 6

    Aces 6 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

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    No one spot I think as many streams feeding into the Missouri River.
    But, had to reenact the placard.

    Attached Files:

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  2. gianttrack

    gianttrack Adventurer

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    Thanks for the amazing RR LewisNClark! I just read it for the 2nd time. If you haven't done it, I highly recommend the float from Ft Benton to Kipp Recreation Area, the entire 149 miles of the Wild and Scenic Upper Missouri River. I made the trip with an old friend in 2013 and thoroughly enjoyed the 8 days we spent on the river. We used our own kayaks and simply had my truck dropped off at Kipp for the takeout. The "developed" campsites are all very nice, with Cottonwood trees, fire pits, and pit or composting toilets. There are many L&C campsites and abandoned homesteads to explore and the two river guides we purchased for $4 each had mile by mile maps with points of interest. Camping adds another layer of reality to the feeling of being where they were. I could be talked into doing it again!

    By the way, we experienced the Slaughter River in a realistic way--there were 6 cows decomposing at the bottom of the cliffs across from the mouth of the river. It isn't too difficult to imagine bison being pushed over the edge.
  3. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for reading, twice. When AdvRider switched to new software a bunch of pictures were lost...will reload missing pictures in future.

    You got me hooked..I will do it. Been trying to do it for 10 yrs. This summer it will be done. Only stretch of the trail I have not done. Better do it now, since our President opened the area for oil exploration last year, what a shame. :fpalm
    If interested let me know. Thanks for the motivation!

    Tried to reach Slaughter Creek last summer but too many ruts for a big bike. According to the Journals, 50 or 60 buffalo were floating in the river at Slaughter Creek/River due to crossing a frozen river the ice broke thru and they all drowned. Since it was summer Clark thought indians had shot them and left them to die.

    I've been elk hunting in the area and cattle, elk and pickups breaking thru the ice is a pretty common occurrence.

    At Choteau, MT, nearby, Clark wrote that that they waited an hour as they estimated 10,000 buffalo crossed the river in front of them.
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  4. Aces 6

    Aces 6 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

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    No idea it was opened up for oil exploration!
    Shizer!
    Might have to move up the planning/execution date.
  5. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    LCWhiteCliffsMap.JPG

    Red dots and green dots = Stop and campsites along the Upper Missouri River Breaks.......more later
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  6. Drybones

    Drybones Fish bones are on my truck seat cover, too

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  7. Aces 6

    Aces 6 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

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  8. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    That is the route and diary of Lewis and his new pup Seaman coming down the Mulaholan (Sp?) River from Pittsburg/Elizabeth Penn down the Ohio River In the new keelboat to pick up Clark and "The 12 Young Men from Kentucky". Several pictures in the RR (ie Buffington Island) of his route down the Ohio.

    A “ripple” was the word for “rapids” in the 1700s and 1800s.
  9. Drybones

    Drybones Fish bones are on my truck seat cover, too

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    It is interesting that several expedition members besides Lewis and Clark also kept journals. In June of 1805, Lewis recounts a bear encounter where he had to jump into the water. During the same period, Clark was very concerned for Sacagawea who was sick for about 2 weeks and nearly died.
  10. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    Four different enlisted men kept journals...most very brief. Sgt Gass was first to publish his journals in a book several years before Lewis came out with journals. Unfortunately Lewis died in 1809 before completing "The Journals of Lewis and Clark", so Clark took over the journals and hired a writer to help him compile the finished journals and maps. Clark had no more than a 5th grade education, mostly self taught to read and write.

    Sacajawea almost died in a small cave just yards north of the Great Falls in Montana from a venereal disease. Have a picture of the cave somewhere. Clark treated her for a week and sent for Lewis to urgently come to help him keep her alive. Lewis was the most knowledgeable medical person on the Expedition, due to learning mineral and plant treatments for illnesses from his mother.

    L & C were very upset with Trossant Charbonneau, Sacajawea's husband, for giving his 13 or 14 year old wife VD (probably syphilis). VD was rampant within the Indian tribes, believed to be imported from British troops entering the USA from Canada. Zero cures in 1800's. L&C both treated almost every ailment by "bleeding, sweating, and or laxatives. Sweating and laxative were done with drugs they brought with them from Dr. Rush in Philadelphia. VD was normally treated by cauterizing sores....had to be painful.... Both L & C avoided explaining how they treated Sacajawea. She probably survived in fear of more treatment. If they cured her VD it would have been more will to live than anything.

    It is a pretty sure fact that every single member of the 33 members of the L&C Expedition had VD.
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  11. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    Little cave where Sacajawea got deathly ill (at least I'm pretty sure, based on Clark's Coordinates). Cave is almost dead center top of picture, above the Missouri River. Cave is about a quarter mile north of the first of the five Great Falls.

    upload_2019-12-4_19-27-47.png
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  12. Aces 6

    Aces 6 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

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    ...and Mecurary poisioning...
    The good ol days weren't so good in a lot of respects.

    Wasn't there a falling out between SGT Gass and Lewis?
    I need to reread Undaunted Courage, but I believe Lewis was unhappy that Gass beat him to publishing (1806 I believe) his journal of the expedition. Did they have an agreement? Can't recall...need to go to the basement and dig up the book.
  13. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    Yes, Meriwether Lewis was very PISSED that Sgt Gass came out with his journal/book about a year after their return, while Lewis was struggling to get started. Gass started the Expedition as a private, but when Charles Floyd died in Sioux Falls, Gass became his replacement Sergeant...and his assignment as a sergeant was to keep a journal of which side of the river or trail they camped on each day and 2 or 3 sentences describing the most important events of the day...pretty simple book. I used Gass' book to help get coordinates for the L&C Trail, but he really thru me off by writing "port and starboard" instead of "left and right". One of the 1st addition books by Gass is in the Fort Mandan museum...just discovered/donated to the museum 5 or 6 yr ago.

    Many people, mostly Thomas Jefferson, were very pissed that Lewis was taking so long to get the journals completed, since many pioneers and trappers needed the journals and maps to travel west...many also believe this pressure and delay in getting the Journals finished contributed to his probably suicide.
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  14. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    The very first journal of the Lewis and Clark Expedition by Patrick Gass. Located in the Fort Mandan Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center/Washburn, North Dakota. Some little old lady donated it to the museum just a few years ago. 210 years old.


    upload_2019-12-4_20-0-44.png
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  15. Aces 6

    Aces 6 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over

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    Feel bad for Lewis. He should have just hired someone to knock it out (like Gass) reviewing and making adjustments but his debt load was very high...stress, stress, stress and his proclivity for periods of melancholy got the better of him.
    Journals were obsolete really when published.

    Can't blame SGT Gass. He was opportunistic. Being a man of little means and education he did what he had to do...and since he didn't sign a non-disclosure statement....:deal
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  16. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    Only Lewis and Clark could decipher their scribblings and sketches. Lewis is still believed to have discovered more plants and animals than anyone in history. He's draw a rough sketch of a plant squatting on the ground, redo it under candle light later. They give it its Latin name. Lewis learned just enough Latin in Philadelphia in order to do the expedition and name plants he discovered. No one but those two could rewrite the final version, Clark was a horrible speller and had horrible handwriting so it was mostly left up to Lewis. Almost no one could have ever deciphered their rough notes but them.

    Clark had 5 ways to spell Drouillard's name in the journals. I laugh every time I go through New Haven, Missouri where John Colter died. Colter moved there because it was the first buffalo they had ever sighted heading west in 1805. Clark sketched a map of the creeks and hillside around where the buffalo was sighted cause it was such a big deal. To this day the creek just south of new Haven has a state highway sign, "Bueflo Creek", just the way Clark spelled it on his map. Some historian figured this out 50 years later that he was spelling buffalo.
  17. spuh

    spuh Been here awhile

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    Ahhh,... spelling. One of my pet peeves; even in such an august venue as ADVRider! Why can't we all spell properly? Thirteen years of free and compulsory education should equip us all for near perfect spelling and grammar of the English language (the occasional mistake excepted, of course) (And the even more occasional solecism, too) More than a century of free and compulsory education is letting us decline to the standards of the nineteenth century?
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  18. gianttrack

    gianttrack Adventurer

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    I'm in. I would love to float the river again and doing that with someone who has your knowledge of the history would be great. I'll PM you.

    With respect to Slaughter, while falling through ice seems like the most likely explanation, I remembered reading about the buffalo having been driven off a cliff. I had to drag out my copy of Montana's Wild and Scenic Upper Missouri River, Manahan and Biggs. From page 103, "The name "Slaughter River", was given to this camp because of the large concentration of dead buffalo that the expedition observed just a short distance downriver, leading Lewis to conclude that they had happened on the site of a buffalo jump, or 'pushkin'. Archeological investigations have failed to substantiate the presence of a pushkin in this area, so the source of the buffalo carcasses that the expedition observed remains unknown." The book also include quotes from Lewis, May 29th, 1805, where he describes the "Buffalow (sp) which had been driven over a precipice of 120 feet...."

    The cows we saw were just upriver from Slaughter, but they definitely had fallen from the cliff. They were on the bank of the river and all in a small area. And it was September, so no ice involved in this case. 120 feet also jives with my memory of the cliff. Here's a photo:
    IMG_3036.JPG
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  19. gianttrack

    gianttrack Adventurer

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  20. Drybones

    Drybones Fish bones are on my truck seat cover, too

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    Love this report! I have been binge reading the actual journals at the link I posted earlier. Here is what I found to be an entertaining serious description of the Clatsop tribe members that Lewis wrote on Jan. 8, 1806 (I think he was commenting on their farting habits LOL):

    "The Clatsops Chinnooks and others inhabiting the coast and country in this neighbourhood, are excessively fond of smoking tobacco. in the act of smoking they appear to swallow it as they dran it from the pipe, and for many draughts together you will not perceive the smoke which they take from the pipe; in the same manner also they inhale it in their lungs untill they become surcharged with this vapour when they puff it out to a great distance through their nostils and mouth; I have no doubt the smoke of the tobacco in this manner becomes much more intoxicating and that they do possess themselves of all it's virtues in their fullest extent; they freequently give us sounding proofs of it's creating a dismorallity of order in the abdomen, nor are those light matters thought indelicate in either sex, but all take the liberty of obeying the dictates of nature without reserve. these people do not appear to know the uce of sperituous liquors, they never having once asked us for it; I presume therefore that the traders who visit them have never indulged them with the uce of it; from what ever cause this may proceede, it is a very fortunate occurrence, as well for the natives themselves, as for the quiet and safety of thos whites who visit them."
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