Journal of A New Nation's Journey West
 
June 12 - 29, 2002

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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 Dodge ok

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
Nature 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.

The 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 state flower.
During 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 Montana. http://www.montana.edu/~wwwcbs/
 
 

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