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Home Travel Guide Travel Guide Topics Travelin' Grandma Lewis & Clark Bicentennial - II

Lewis & Clark Bicentennial - II

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Travelin' Grandma
. . . on the trail of Lewis & Clark.

On the Trail of Lewis & Clark’s Bicentennial, 2003 to 2006

     For those grandparents who want to collect the grandkids and explore more tracks and trails of Lewis & Clark’s Corps of Discovery, there are many helpful resources to help plan your treks and trips. Here listed are dates and resources that cover, in particular, preparation on the East Coast for the Corp’s journey west to the Pacific Ocean (note: see other resources for Oregon and Washington sections of the trip in the previous issue of Have Children Will Travel).
    April 19 to May 10, 1803 —Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Meriwether Lewis summers here to learn the art of map drawing and the elements of celestial navigation; Pennsylvania Dutch Visitors Bureau (800-723-8824).

    May 10 through June 1803 —Philadelphia, PA; Lewis receives further training in navigation, studies botany and natural history, gets a crash course in first aid and medicine, and stocks up on trade goods such as beads, fishhooks, and flags; Philadelphia Visitor Center (800-537-7676). At the National Academy of Natural Sciences (19th & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 215-299-1000) see some 200 plant specimens that Lewis collected, in the Lewis & Clark Herbarium.

    July 15 to August 31, 1803 —Pittsburgh, PA; Lewis comes here to have a 55-foot-long keelboat built, which he and a small crew later paddle via the Ohio River and Missouri River to Mandan-Hidatsa villages and Fort Mandan, North Dakota where the Corps spend the winter of 1804-1805; Greater Pittsburgh Visitors Bureau (800-359-0758).

    September 6, 1803 —Steubenville, Ohio; In the keelboat Lewis and crew pass here on a windy and rainy day; Old Fort Steuben, restored circa 1787 fort (740-264-6304).

    October 15 to 26, 1803 —Clarksville, Indiana; young William Clark awaits his co-captain and signs up a hardy woodsmen crew, seven young men from Kentucky. He also introduces York, the tall African-American slave who accompanies the Corps; Clark’s Point and Falls of the Ohio State Park (via I-65, exit O, 812-280-9970).  

    December 13, 1803 to May 14, 1804 — Wood River, Illinois; Lewis and Clark and crew arrive here in a keelboat with some 8 soldiers, 2 civilians, and the 7 young woodsmen from Kentucky that Clark had recruited. They spend the winter here in a small log fort they build, naming it Camp Dubois. Volunteers are trained and final selection is made for “hardy frontiersmen” who will travel with the Corps of Discovery. Two blacksmiths craft tools, others parch corn to take along, and, in the spring, maple syrup is boiled for sugar. Lewis purchases more supplies and trade goods adding 2 tons to the already 8 tons carried this far. The expedition officially starts when the men leave here, mileage being recorded from the mouth of the Missouri River; National Trail Site and #1 Interpretive Center (Route 3, Hartford, IL, across from confluence of Missouri River with Mississippi River); Lewis and Clark state Historic site and park (Route 3, Hartford, IL, 800-258-6645).

    December 8, 1803; and return trip, September 23, 1806 —St. Louis, Missouri; the Corps of Discovery reaches the end of their discovery journey at noon that that day; Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and the Museum of Westward Expansion (North 4th Street on original St. Louis town site, 314-655-1700,; St. Louis Visitors Bureau (800-916-0092).

      The Corps of 33 members, including Clark’s Newfoundland dog Seaman, had traveled more than 8,000 miles on foot, in dug-out canoes, and on horseback. The record shows the time frame as two years, four months, and ten days. Their route encompassed sections of 11 states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. For additional information, maps, and events scheduled in all eleven states from 2003 through 2006 check www.lewisand;; and,

-- Myrna Oakley enjoys traveling with her grandchildren and she authors two regional guides, Oregon: Off the Beaten Path and Washington: Off the Beaten Path, both published by The Globe Pequot Press.  


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