Lewis & Clark Roadtrip (2015)


In October 2015, I headed out on the open road to retrace the original trail of Captains Lewis & Clark, and the Corps of Discovery, in effort to recapture some of that vast open countryside of America that still remains relatively unchanged from over 200 years ago. It was a far-from-perfect trip (closed off sites and bad weather were small obstacles), but once the sun broke up the clouds, it was smooth sailing the rest of the trip, and I was able to capture some great photos along the way... Below are some of the highlights! Enjoy and Share!



Knife River Historical Site, North Dakota

These hunting spears are actually about four times the size of a standard arrow, and used to hunt buffalo.



To begin my adventure, I packed up my car and drove from Los Angeles, CA, making my way east across the country to Council Bluffs, IA. While Lewis & Clark actually set out from St. Louis, MO, on foot and horseback across what is now the state of Missouri, most of that area at that time had been somewhat explored by the local hunters and trappers. It wasn't until they put their boats and supplies into the Missouri River waters, paddling north, that the Corps of Discovery made their first encounter with native peoples, along the banks of Council Bluffs.



Fort Atkinson State Historical Park, Ft. Atkinson, NE

A cannon positioned on the inner field of the fort, with the small, square Powder Magazine building in the background, at the center of the complex. The walls of the powder reserve are built two feet thick, out of brick.



"First Council" Sculpture

Lewis presents gifts to the tribal chief, while Clark takes notes. The French trapper Charboneau sits behind them, while Lewis's dog Seaman rests in the foreground.



A medallion with Jefferson's likeness.

These medals were given out by Capt. Lewis to the "Chiefs" of each tribe, in effort to introduce the native people's to their new "Father".


After a relatively smooth and uneventful meeting with the natives at Council Bluff (Aug. 03, 1804) the Corps continued north on the Missouri toward modern day Sioux City. Likewise, I traveled along the river by car, but due to a major amount of construction along the river, I was sadly unable to get to the point of Sgt. Floyd's Monument.




After the disappointment in Sioux City, I decided to pick up "Scenic Outlaw" Hwy 12 and head north. Most of the roadway felt similar to a lot of Iowa's rural highways, with small towns and farms speckling the roadside. But the landscape changes as you get into northern Nebraska, and you begin to see the hulking, rolling bluffs that make up a lot of South Dakota.


It was about this time the rains set in, and the overcast skies took over my otherwise sunny dispositon. 

Appreciating the rainfall, I stopped off near Niobrara State Park to hike a bit, and spotted a few Whitetail Deer only a few minutes in. Within the hour, I encountered 8 wild turkey, but that ended up being the most excitement. Getting back to the Rogue around 6:30pm, there wasn't much left to see in the waning daylight, so I decided to press to Pierre, SD, to spend the night.

The Next Day...

Clouds and rain dominated the skies. I back-tracked a bit to check out the National Grasslands, but ultimately headed north toward Little Bend, which is a huge intersection for the Missouri River, and was a decisive point for Lewis & Clark, in determining which way to continue forward...

Inside a replica Mandan hut, Knife River

MANDAN villages at Knife River

The hide and planks on the left cover the entrance to the hut, which is a few feet behind, and can be entered from the left or right sides.


Outer supports of the Mandan dwelling

Moss and dirt often coated the outside of the Mandan style hut.



Interior, Mandan hut (replica)

Note the opening in the center of the roof, to allow smoke to escape.



UP NEXT... Into Montana!

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