June 11, 2002
Well we are almost ready to go. Tomorrow is our orientation day. My
partner, Don Popejoy, arrived about 5:00 today and we have been going
over the schedule. We are both eager to meet a new group of people.
During the last two days I toured the St. Louis area with my sister and
brother-in-law. I also re-visited the State of Illinois visitor center
at Camp Wood. OK
north in Illinois and much closer to the actual site of the winter
1803-1804 winter encampment, a private individual, C.J. Lanahan, is
building a replica of the actual fort built by the men of the Corps of
Discovery. Personally, I like the volunteer effort much better. it will
require a little more work from the visitor, but it will give a much
better picture of the way the camp really looked.
This will also be a site for mountain
man re-enactor rendezvous. It is on land donated by the city of Wood
River, and on a lagoon which was created by modern diversion of that
June 12, 2002
June 2002 program has begun. Here are just a few of the 44 people at our
first meeting. I'm not sure all of them are over 55, they are so lively,
energetic, and eager for new experiences. I hope some of them will
become journalists and share their thoughts on this website.
are people from all walks of life and all parts of the country. Tomorrow
we will be going to the Arch at St. Louis and touring the town of St.
Charles, MO. Friday, June 14 will be our first actual day on the road.
We will make Independence in one day, whereas it took the Lewis and
Clark Expedition over five weeks.
we are again...my beloved St. Charles! The first day is over and we seem
to have a high energy, happy, let's go group of people. Tom and I are
very excited about this trip across the country and each year, each
adventure, each group gets better and better. To paraphrase William
Clark's "O the Joy! Ocean in View" I say "O the Joy!
Elderhostelers in View!!!"
June 13, 2002
Today we went to the Arch at
St. Louis. We were greeted by this bear. Several rode the trams to the
top and others got a look at a new movie about Lewis and Clark. They
reported it was great, so I will have to see it some day. In the
afternoon we toured St. Charles and had a nice little character talk
from Mimi Jackson who owns the great, small Lewis and Clark Center
museum devoted to Lewis and Clark. She told us how important Peter
Cruzatte was the the expedition with his fiddle and boatmanship.
the evening we got a look at the replica boats of the Discovery
Expedition of St. Charles. The hostellers thoroughly enjoyed the talk by
Peter Geery, who portrays Sgt. Ordway. The mission of this group is to
educate the public and the nation about the Lewis and Clark Expedition,
through re-enactments and festivals. They wil use their three boats
to re-create the whole trip to Great Falls in the same time frame 200
years later.Most important the folks got a good
handle on what the boats looked like, so that will help them to more
completely understand the transportation system of Lewis and Clark. This
is a picture of the keelboat from the air during the summer 2001 maiden
Friday June 14, 2002
was the first actual traveling day, and it was a full one. we traveled
from St. Charles to Arrow Rock for lunch. During the trip we discussed
the underpinnings of the Expedition. It seems significnt that we have
the same number of participants as did Lewis and Clark 200 years ago:
44. We covered in acouple of hours what took them a month of hard
travel. The were really on a shakedown cruise and Clark wrote several
times about the boats getting in trouble and the men saving them. He was
very pleased and said "Our men are superior to any crew on the
Missope. that sounds like he means Mississippi, but they are on the
Missouri. Maybe this one of Clark's frequent creative spellings.
a tour of the quaint town of Arrow Rock we headed to Independence for
dinner and the night. Along the way we stopped at the re-created Fort
Osage for a wonderful time with several great re-enactors in period
clothing. They were quite knowledgable, and appreciated the 15 star, 15
stripe flage we carry with us. Our flag bearer is George Carr and here
is apicture of our flag and the same flag flown by Fort Osage. This fort
was built by William Clark in 1808 as a government factory to trade with
the Osage Indians for furs. It was closed for the duration of the War of
1812, reopened at the end of that war and closed again in 1822 when
private businessmen appealed to Congress to get the government out of
the fur trading business.
Next was a visit to the Truman
Library. Everyone loved the exhibits and the graves of Harry and Bess
evening program was given by Jim "Two Crows" Wallen, a
nationally known Mountain Man re-enactor who thoroughly captured the
attention of our group. As a matter of fact he literally captured nine
of us to help him illustrate the kind of life the Mountain Man had. He
gave each of the nine some piece of authentic equipment and demonstrated
how it was used. The upshot was that 7 of the nine had trouble with the
equipment and "died" out in the wilderness. According to Jim
the life span of the Mountain Man was about 2 years.