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

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

  1. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer Supporter

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    Have you visited Grinders Mill, TN? I did see that you mentioned it as where Lewis committed suicide. I have visited there and after reading a lot of what they document there I came to the conclusion that he did not commit suicide but was murdered for the money he had on him. They do a pretty good job of presenting both sides of the story, but it's just my opinion that he was killed by some local thugs.
  2. sierrastone

    sierrastone Adventurer

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    Just finished the book Undaunted. This ride report contains much of what the book is about. This ride report provided some great pics that made book much more meaningful. Thanks!
  3. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    A very good friend, Mrs Kira Gale, wrote the book on "Did he commit suicide?" passed away 2 yrs ago, is considered the authority on Meriwether Lewis' death...No one knows for sure, but Kira thinks he was murdered by an enemy (via a hired gun) or thieves....more later.

    Yes, I've been to Grinders Mill a couple of times, most impressive historical site along the Natchez Trace. It would be pretty easy to prove suicide or murder but the state of Tennessee will not provide permission to exhume his remains, they believed that it might negatively affect Meriwether's image or tourism. Kira Gale's husband is a doctor of Pathology and says his skeleton and skull will still be intact after 230 yrs. Mrs. Grinder, the inn keeper was interviewed (supposedly) and said she heard 2 shots in the middle of the night and the two shots were several minutes if not longer apart.....50 something Lewis ancestors have petitioned Tennessee to allow an exhumation. Kira Gale and her doctor husband attended the Lewis family meeting in 2010 to discuss the exhumation request but it has never been approved.

    Interviews with Mrs. Grinders suggests that he was shot in the head. An exhumation of his remains could show where his bullet wounds were...rumors were that they were in the back of his head...all rumors. Without an autopsy no one will ever know. One rumor had it that his dog Seaman was with him, and I can prove that rumor is wrong.

    When Lewis died he was headed to an investigation in Washington D.C. and was being accused of overspending money during the Expedition. Thomas Jefferson had approved his expenses but in 1809, when Lewis died, T. Jefferson was no longer President. I'm pretty confident Lewis committed suicide, Wm Clark and Thomas Jefferson both wrote letters that Lewis was having emotional/depression problems due to the stress of the investigation he was going through.

    There are lots of mysteries about his death and events that will never be answered,
    Both Clark and Jefferson noted in letters that Lewis had the original and only copy of the L&C Journals in his luggage and they both feared their Expedition history had been lost. A month later, no one knows who, but the Journals were delivered to Thomas Jefferson...
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  4. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for looking at RR. Most of us have read "Undaunted Courage" and it was a good read but the master about L&C was Dr. Gary Moulton, Prof of Am History from University of Nebraska. Dr. Moulton dedicated probably 50 yrs documenting every possible detail surrounding the Expedition...everyone's go to source is his book below.

    Moulton, mostly his graduate students, dissected every word, rock, plant, etc in their journals and footnoted what it was....pretty much every creek, mountain on the Missouri River Valley all the way to Montana was names by L&C, often a creek might change names and Moulton’s staff of researchers would footnote the new name, etc. I spend days looking for Seaman Creek (where their dog was lost) to find out local Blackfoot Indians had changed the name to an Indian chief.


    [​IMG]

    For me the fun of traveling the L&C Trail has been finding as many campsites and things and places they document in their journals. Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to Lewis about how important it was to document every detail about their route, coordinates, what they saw, etc. because future pioneers would be following their trail. Jefferson sent Lewis to Philadelphia to learn how to use the sun, stars, horizon and a chromometer watch to calculate latitudes. Lewis then spent 6 days on the Ohio River teaching Clark how to calculate latitudes and the rest was a detail journal and Clark's sketches of maps....I've been able to find 95% of all their route based on their journals and maps. Sgt Gass was one of 5 that could read and write so he also kept a journal, he wrote 2 or 3 sentences describing the main events of the day and which side of the river or trail they camped on but used the word “port” or “starboard” as to “left” or “right” which ended up being a big help in finding campsites,

    You can look at some of Wm Clark's sketches of waterfalls, etc and go to the actual sites and see the same rocks that were there 230 yrs ago. Thomas Jefferson's letter to Lewis is in the lobby of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Library behind the White House in D.C. If they had not kept such detail journals (diaries) we would barely know who they were,

    Following Lewis' journal I found this a couple of yrs ago. Lewis wrote that the Shoshoni were the dirtiest of all the Indians they had met, half necked, and near starvation. He sent out the Field brothers and Drouillard to hunt for anything for the starving kids.

    They returned in a couple of hours with 2 deer and immediately gutted them beside a creek on Lemhi Pass....several elderly women and Shoshoni children sat down by the below creek eating the raw deer meat, including the intestines. Lewis description of the site was so clear I was able to ride straight to it. (below on my trusty WR250R)

    DSCN0738.JPG

    FYI - my link below leads you to around 7,000 photos of the Lewis and Clark Trail.
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  5. Mcgee

    Mcgee Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks Ed for posting up again about this epic adventure. I have read your self guided tour of the Lewis and Clark trail and enjoyed it very much! Tons of info there. I have traveled the route from Fort Clatsop to Great Falls following the route as much as possible. Love this story.
    Btw, I can't seem to open the smugmug pic's. Maybe my computer?
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  6. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer Supporter

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    While I'm kind of a causal follower of the L&C trail, I do enjoy coming across it while on M/C rides, it really makes the rides more meaningful. This thread has really added a lot to my rides.
    Combine this with following Chief Joesph and the Great River road (Mississippi River) have elevated my rides from just looking at the amazing country I have to ride across.
  7. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    Same with me, L&C traveled through some of the most scenic parts of the USA during the Expedition. Clark was picky and tried to always pick scenic campsites at the end of each day. Last summer I rode from Winiford, MT up thru the Upper Missouri River Breaks, Judith Landing, Big Sandy, to Fort Benton and down to Great Falls. UMRBreaks is the most inaccessible part of the L&C Trail, except by canoe. Link to Smugmug pictures of UMRBreaks area below: [DOUBLE CLICK PICTURES FOR BEST VIEW]

    https://lewisandclark.smugmug.com/4MariasRiverConfluence/UpperMissouriBreaks/

    And my one and ONLY video: (L&C and the boys, and Seaman went by this. Same RR that goes by Camp Disappointment above. Lewis & his crew of 3 rode all night to get to the below Panarama view, meet six L&C Crew members left at the Missouri River to wait for them, turned their 4 horse loose and started paddling for 2,000+miles to
    St Louis Missouri,

    Panarama


    I was loading a bunch of more pictures last night to Smugmug so that may be the reason. I find it amazing that the L&C pictures average 11,000 views a month. The most popular viewed pictures are of the American Phil. Society pictures of the "actual" Lewis and Clark Journals in Philadelphia.
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  8. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    If you have not been there, Sgt Pryor’s grave is fairly near you,,,,just a few miles from downtown Broken Arrow, Ok.

    Another favorite: L and Clark ran separate routes when they reached Montana. Clark documenting the river route with the 25 man crew, while Lewis headed ahead looking for Indians with horses since they could see the mountains 40 miles to their west. For 2 weeks they were lost from each other, but the rule was Clark always stayed with the river and Lewis could always back track to find him. Clarks crew in 5 dugout canoes ran out of river water at Dillon, Montana so he sat on the below rock for 2 weeks gazing into the distant Lemhi Pass looking for Lewis' return. You can sit on this same rock, 2 1/4 miles NW of Dillon. 214 yrs ago is nothing, my great great grandfather might have known Meriwether Lewis.

    Attached Files:

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  9. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer Supporter

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    I need to go there, sit on that rock! Wonder if will still be there when Covid blows over? :lol2
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  10. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    Just for the fun of it. This is a Google Satellite view of Camp Disappointment. Red Pen Point is Camp Disappointment. Right side of screen is access off Meriwether Road/Hwy 444. Total distance on a farm field road is 2.7 miles. Watch out for the Coulees,

    CampDisappointment.jpg
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  11. Dano7311

    Dano7311 n00b

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    What a great read....
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  12. ajayhawkfan

    ajayhawkfan Rock Chalk

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    I'm caught up again. Great information.

    I finished:

    [​IMG]

    The first chapters are about L&C. The next about John Colter and George Douillard and others, members of L&C that went right back to the mountains. After them the other famous mountain men of the west. While reading I was considering doing the L&C route again in 2021.

    Presently I'm reading about the Old Spanish Trail between Santa Fe and Las Angles and it connection to the Santa Fe Trail. At this time I'm thinking for following those trails west sometime in 2021.
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  13. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer Supporter

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    I'll be looking for that book, Thanks. I plan on another adventure this summer, back to Camp Disappointment, some amazing elk country there. But also plan on trying to get in sight of Mount Dreyer. As I've said before, it could or should have been called the "Lewis, Clark and Drouillard Expedition. So little is know about Drouillard, no one was even sure of how to spell his name....Clark had a dozen ways to spell his name.....but without doubt the L&C Expedition would not have survived Fort Astoria nor the return home without George Drouillard's hunting and tracking skills. He, Colter, John Potts, and Peter Weise and others eventually returned west...sometimes to get killed by the Blackfeet.

    Camp Disappointment was an amazing find for me and this summer I plan on returning to it and getting eye contact with Mount "Drewyer", the only marker or placed named after Drouillard, and they still misspelled his name. (ha, ha). View of his little mountain is probably best viewed from David Letterman's ranch near Choteau, MT. Map below. I did do the Lolo Motoring Hwy again last year and the only way to do it is by calling the Powell Ranger Station to see if the snow has cleared. The year you were trying to do it, it was closed due to snowed all the way through June and July.

    Only image of Drouillard is a painting:
    Drouillard-1660[1].jpg
    Google Map of Mount Drewyer:
    MoundDreyer.jpg
    Mount Drewyer (recently renamed correctly to Mount Drouillard)
    MountDrewyer.jpg

    Clark and Lewis held up their canoes at Choteau for 2 hours to watch a herd of buffalo cross the Missouri, Clark estimated the herd to be 10,000 buffalo.
    Drouillard's death was tragic - covered in this link.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Drouillard

    .
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