Lewis & Clark Trail: Planning the 2008 Adventure

Discussion in 'Americas' started by DBrentMiller, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. DBrentMiller

    DBrentMiller Sojourn Chronicles

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    Ten years ago, I thought, "wouldn't it be great to ride the Lewis & Clark Trail during the L&C Bicentennial?" Well, the 200th anniversary of the epic adventure came and went, but not for me on the motorcycle. I did, however, attend three bicentennial events, including the event on the Pacific in November 2005.

    My plan is to not only ride the western portion of the trail (west of the Mississippi), but also the eastern portion which inclues Jefferson's home in Virginia, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Harpers Ferry WV, Pittsburgh, and Clarksville IN, before L&C reached the winter camp in Woods River on the Mississippi, across from the mouth of the Missouri. L&C history buffs, will understand this extended route. Living in the Cincinnati area will allow me to break the ride into two pieces and take a little break.

    I'd like to hear from others who have ridden the trail--suggestions, comments, etc. I'm hoping for a great adventure, and hope to publish a story or two as a result of the trip. Of course, planning is the key to a successful adventure.

    Although I do not have it yet, I plan to ride this on a V-Strom DL 650, tweaked a little to improve off-road performance. It is a very capable bike, and of course there are other bikes that would do this equally well. It's not about the bike, it's about the advnture.

    Ideas?

    Brent
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  2. DBrentMiller

    DBrentMiller Sojourn Chronicles

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    I should have added a bit about the trail. It is not a "trail" in the true sense of the word, as most Adv Riders would like to see. The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is a National Park designation. To follow the trial, which is primarily Missouri River, some land route, then the Snake and Columbia rivers, you have to ride alongside or near the water routes. Most of the route will be pavement, but there are a few areas where you can closely follow the route on gravel and fire roads. It's not a lot, but those roads are truer to the LCT. More info about the LCT is available from the National Park Service.

    Brent
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  3. Cumminsman76

    Cumminsman76 befuddled

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    When I was in school I helped build one of the boats in St. Charles. Neatest part was taking a boat down the river with them to a reenactment that was at Fort Massac. But have never voyaged west along the trail.
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  4. DBrentMiller

    DBrentMiller Sojourn Chronicles

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    Now that's cool--actually working on the bicentennial event. The three bicentennial events my wife and I attended were: Clarksville, Indiana, St. Louis-St. Charles, Missouri on the departure, and the arrival at the Pacific Ocean. It was all a lot of fun. I probably have a photo of the boat you worked on.

    Brent
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  5. byways

    byways byways

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  6. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    I was on the Lolo Motorway in July 2007. You don't want to miss that part of the trail.

    [​IMG]

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  7. DBrentMiller

    DBrentMiller Sojourn Chronicles

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    Now THAT'S what I wanted to see. V-Strom on the L&C Trail.

    Thanks.
    Brent
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  8. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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  9. DBrentMiller

    DBrentMiller Sojourn Chronicles

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    Andy, that is cool! Thanks.

    Is that an extra gas tank on the back of the V-Strom? Was it necessary or just a precaution?

    Brent
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  10. Exurban

    Exurban Been here awhile

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    If you haven't yet, read Undaunted Courage, one of my favorite alltime books. Also, Out West by Dayton Duncan- intersperses history with his own trip in a VW bus. I don't know if I'll be able to work it in my Alaska trip next year but that Lolo Motorway is on my must do list.
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  11. DBrentMiller

    DBrentMiller Sojourn Chronicles

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    Thanks. Yes, I have those books and about a dozen more including an edited version of the Lewis and Clark journals! Fascinating reading--all of it!

    That's why I want to ride the entire trail--eastern and western routes.

    Brent
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  12. andy29847

    andy29847 Dirt Road Rider

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    Extra gas is NOT necessary. I put the fuel cell on in early spring for a coast-to-coast-to-coast Ironbutt ride. I didn't make the ride but I liked having the fuel cell. The story of my 2007 ride to Idaho is here:

    http://www.angelfire.com/extreme4/andy112652/wmr2007.html
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  13. Timmer

    Timmer Curious Adventurer

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    Back in 2005, my wife and I rode the L&C trail from the Pacific Ocean to Missouri. All of our route was on pavement and we stopped at all of the major L&C interpretitive centers we could find.

    Photos of our trip are found at www.pbase.com/tkbowman . If you would like a copy of my daily journal, PM me. The journal has pretty specific details about routings.


    Timmer
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  14. DBrentMiller

    DBrentMiller Sojourn Chronicles

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    Tim, thanks. I'll PM you for some details. It looks like you had a pretty nice trip, camping a little along the way on that big Wing.

    Seeing the replica keel boat in your photos brought back a few memories of my own.

    Brent
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  15. EdOriginal

    EdOriginal Been here awhile

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    I was at the Wood River reinactment and departure of the keel and pirogue boats, also. I've covered the entire trail 3 times...covering well over 35,000 miles. Last month I was finally able to locate "Turnip Island". The island near Hartsburg, Missouri where York (Clark's Slave) swamp to retrieve wild turnip greens for supper. Another favorite place is the urinal that was only located a few years ago in Travelers Rest. Another favorite is Gibbons Pass is almost a mystery along the LCT (runs across mts from Gibbonsville, Idaho to Wisdom, Montana...great mountain pass. Met two of Sagagawee's ancestores on the trail. I have a collection of roughly 4,000 photos of the trail...and still trying to put them together with text documentation. L & C trail tracks are a giant puzzle that you unravel as you travel the trail.

    My advise is study study study first....I have two books that document the campsite of the Lewis and Clark Expedition..but remember the Missouri River is a meandoring river so it's course has changed up to 12 to 15 miles in some places (like Ft Atkinson), but most of the river has not changed that much. Your mc will make it...since some sites are very off road (I used an 1150GS and it's just too big for some of the trails). I have spent countless hours documenting the GPS cooordinates of the campsites and hope to eventually publish them. There are well over 1,000 campsites, since they sometimes stopped several times a day.

    Some other favorite sites:
    1) Portage Landing (at Great Falls) it's at Mr. Fleming house/wheat field in Portage, Montana.
    2). The monument at Camp Disappointment in Browning, Montana. Where Lewis confirmed/Proved there was no Northwest Passage.
    3). The ditch in Validiaz(sp?), Montana where Lewis killed 2 Blackfoot Indians when they tried to still his horse in the middle of the night.
    4). The house were Lewis lived when he was 7 to 10 yrs hold...rock foundation is still there.
    5). Pollock, South Dakota Museum where the local population voluntarily built a museum dedicated to the campsite in their city.
    6) Ft Clatsop in Astoria is special and should be rebuilt by now after the fire that destroyed it.
    7) Site of "Colt Kill Creek Camp", where they eat their smallest horse in order to survive. (Was very hard to find)

    A dissappointment is many of the museums & historical sites since many are not where the event actually happened (since the they are on private property). Ft Mandad is like 15 miles from the actual site...I did not give up and located most (if not all) of the original sites/campsite (where it was possible; some sites are totally unknown) (but never imposed on owners land) without permission.

    Interesting side note: The troops and Seaman were miserable in places due to mosquitoes....I have riden by some of these same campsites and the mosqujities are still there. I was at a campsite last month near Kansas City and saw the biggest wild turkey I'd ever seen and checked the LC Journals and noted Clark that their daily hunters had brought in a dozen turkeys that day for their supper. Montana and Missouri are the most interesting states for LC history. If you really look into the history there is quite a bit of miss information....that is why they are called Lewis and Clark Interpretative Centers. Some of the best documentation is the free brochures given out at the local visitors centers and museums. Locals tend to know what is truth from fiction. Pompe (Sagagawea's baby's grave was thought to be in Montana for 200 yrs, until about 3 years ago when it was discovered and proven to be in Washington state). Take in Weipie Indian Village...Idaho...darn hard place to find but worth it.

    Best Museums: (I've been to all of them)
    Wood River (Camp Dubois)
    Great Falls Montana Interp Center
    Dales L C Interp Center (Oregan)
    Ft Mandan Int Center
    Ft Clatsop (Astoria Oregon/Washington)
    Sioux Falls Interp Center

    I was headed to Alaska this summer, and like a magnet the Lewis and Clark Trail drug me kicking and screeming back to Montana, Lolo Pass, Gibbons Pass, etc..so I decided to by passed Alaska...BUT ENJOYED EVERY MINUTE OF MY LEWIS AND CLARK EXPLOITS THIS SUMMER. :D

    The original Lewis and Clark Journal are stored in Philiadelphia and are only visible something like once a year....(very near disintegration)

    I have a very small ride report here under "Lewis and Clark took the Ultimate Adventure", PM me an address and I'll mail you a CD of a few hundred of my pictures, if interested.
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  16. DBrentMiller

    DBrentMiller Sojourn Chronicles

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    Ed, I must bow to your passion for the Lewis & Clark Trail. You have probably spent as much time on the trail, researching, as did Steven Ambrose, the historian who wrote the book, "Undaunted Courage." BTW, I met his daughter at the Clarksville, Indiana, Bicentennial Event, and she signed my copy of the book.

    You have delved deeply into the journey, to try to document and record GPS sites. WOW! I am totally impressed. Maybe I should take you along as my guide!

    Thanks for the insight. I would like to talk with you as my planning continues. I'll be in touch.

    Brent
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  17. Exurban

    Exurban Been here awhile

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    Oh, that Ed thinks he knows so much, what with his research and finding sites and all. Well...I read a whole book about it and it was mostly words, not pictures. So there.
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  18. DBrentMiller

    DBrentMiller Sojourn Chronicles

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    :rofl

    One never knows what expertise shall reveal itself. Thanks for a good laugh. :lol3
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  19. EdOriginal

    EdOriginal Been here awhile

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    As you get closer to your trip let me know with a PM. I am still working on GPS coordinates and will gladly share the names of the better books/maps that I have discovered.
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  20. DBrentMiller

    DBrentMiller Sojourn Chronicles

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    Thanks. That would be great.

    Ed, since you are such a Lewis & Clark buff, have you done any of the eastern route--from D.C. to Camp Dubois?

    Brent
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