Friday June 21, 2002: Billings, MT
- Helena, MT
Musings on Day 10 by Mickey Dodge
Oh, the luxury!!
Breakfast 20 stories above thriving billings. What do you think our brave
and adventurous Corps would have thought of that?
As we travel west I am humbled by the enormity of their achievments.
Someone along our route compared the expedition to Neil Armstrong waking
on the moon. Perhaps. I am still pondering an equivalent.
I can't help wondering if the young men of the Corps of Discovery, as
the grew older, ever looked back to realize the scope of their miracle.
For me, each day peels back another layer of understanding and
realization. Seeing each new day's hardships and obstacles I am convinced
that their journey was meant to be. A miracle in every sense of the word. Mickey
|From The Webmaster
Today we visited one of the most magical spots on the face of the
earth--the Three Forks of the Missouri River. It was on July 27 that Lewis
and Clark, after investigating quite a distance upstream on three
converging rivers, named them after the Treasurer, Albert Gallatin, James
Madison, and "that illustrious personage,
Thomas Jefferson, the author of our enterprise." I love
the wild, original look of this headwaters. Man has several times tried to
build forts and towns right at the confluence, but all failed. It is as if
this spot has been reserved to always remain pristine.
Gallatin River entering the Missouri at 3 forks
Notes from Patricia
We visited prairie dogs where they live in a
large number of holes, an urban setting on a slanted hillside near the
Yellowstone River. Some ducked into their burrows, as if to spread the
oight backs and forelegs folded over their chests, as if guarding their
burrows. At another hole was a couple, one lying prone on his stomach,
with black tail wagging back and forth, and the other standing on hind
feet, both calmly looking back at us. We heard their high pitched barking
at us and they did not let us approach cloe enough for good photos.
men of the Lewis and Clark Expedition also found it difficult to approach
this brown-haired, unknown animal. They dug six feet into their bottomless
hole without success. Then they spent nearly all day carrying water from
the river and pouring it down their hoes, finally succeeding in capturing
a live specimen to send to President Jefferson.
||This is Lewisia
Rediviva, or Bitterroot. Lewis gave it that name after tasting
the roots given to him by Sacagawea. The name became attached also to the
Mountain Range they crossed and a river they followed. It is Montana's
this day we also saw a large herd of Buffalo, but could not get a picture
of it from the fast moving bus. This picture is from the University of