Journal of A New Nation's Journey West
May 5 - 21, 2004

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May 21 - Astoria to Portland. We have reached the end of our journey, Fort Clatsop, where L&C spent four wet months, repairing and making clothing, making salt, and just plain surviving.  On the right is Tillamook Head, near the salt works. Clark had to climb over this to see a whale at Ecola Beach. ok

The Astoria Column, with its marvelous etchings depicting the history of Astoria.

We traveled to Portland where we said our goodbyes to new-found friends. We each got up and recounted our most memorable moments. We all got a  replica of the discharge Lewis gave his men in 1806, with our names inserted. A couple of us wrote poems, B.J. Leschen and Marge Markley.

From B.J. Leschen
Our journey of discovery has come to an end. It's time to say goodbye to each new-found friend.
All those struggles of endurance, getting on and off the bus. The muscles we built--friends won't recognize us.
Chicken, beef & ham -- hard to resist & I'm no saint; One step on the scales, we'll wish we had shown restraint.
So row those oars and push those poles, The Missouri & Columbia -- those are your goals.

We were hot in St. Louis & wished for the cold, Then it turned frosty, making some feel old.
We listened to talks about earth-huts & rocks. We saw skins of animals - beaver, buffalo, and even a fox.
We learned about Mandans, Hidatsas & Sioux. We learned that all these people preferred beads of blue.
We admired their skills at raising tipis & chipping flint. Even the Corps had a chore, each doing his stint.

The natives were hard workers, tending gardens & grinding corn, Building cradle boards for each child who was born.
We saw Sacagawea with a baby on her back. Her importance to the Corps was great, that's a fact.
It is sad to recall that Charbonneau got the pay, But that's the way things were I'm sorry to say.
Praying to heaven may have its place, But it was Sacagawea who saved his face.

the men matched the mountains, big & bold; Performing great deeds, or so we are told.
Packing animal skins and digging the plants. Send them to Jefferson, he'll do a dance.
Reading the sextant, looking at the stars. do you think they believed we'd ever get to Mars?
Some nights were quiet & full of peace; When we reached Medora, all that ceased.
The trains came regularly, so the people wouldn't be late, The whistles came on the hour, off the hour, that was our fate.

It's fun to read & hear our history with deeds so bright and shining,
Funny how some things stay the same, All ask When are we dining.
There were no court-martials & no one got lashed. We had a big party and no one got smashed

Lo & behold -- we felt that moment divine; the Big Mo divided -- Lewis saw it as a sign.
The was no water route from the East to the West, Without climbing high mountains, and that was a test.
Sliding down mountains and starving to death, would leave me weak-kneed & all out of breath.
But Lewis and Clark & all those stalwart men, took all that punishment meted out to them.
It took that little bulb, the Camas root, to really make them sick; a few good doses of Rush's pills & they began to tick.
Swoop down the Columbia -- take the rapids fast; there it is -- the ocean -- in view at last

Our resident artist sketched from morning til night. she painted all the scenery and everything in sight.
Her cleverness and talent left us all in awe. How could she so quickly pen everything she saw?
The coloring she added in the middle of the night, by sitting in the lobby so she'd have ots of light.
Look on the web for Marge's pictures when you get home. You'll have the perfect scrapbook of places we did roam.

Galen drove the bus safely and with care. He was always alert for our welfare.
A toast to Don and Tom for all their hard work, they never ignored us, never did they shirk.
Don's stories were fun, we believed every one; All the day long til the day was done.
They made the trip a pleasure & lots of fun; their sense of humor and antics kept us on the run.

We also give our thanks to Lewis and Clark. In comparing the journies, ours was a lark.
Now our trip is over & we're here to tell the tale. May your trip home be safe, but it will be so pale.
We made the journey in 18 days -- it took them 861.
We didn't discover, we didn't reconnoiter, but I say: a job well done.
B.J. Leschen

From Marge Markley
As we turned our backs on the Gateway to Western Expansion,
We turned our faces to follow Lewis and Clark with great anticipation.
We proceeded on with 27 able-bodied volunteers. Captains Popejoy & Laidlaw had many fears.
They must quickly establish rules and army discipline. Move two seats, no, three, no two; we found we could not win.

We traveled by bus, foot, horseback pirogue or keel. We found the trail left by the Corps of discovery quite real.
We learned of rivers, Missouri, Marias, Columbia, Jefferson, Madison, and Yellowstone.
We learned of terms -- confluence, glaciation, basalt, loess, portage and sandstone.
We saw bison, pronghorn, deer, elk, ground squirrels, to name a few.
Birds like Egret, Warbler, Ringlet, Pelican, Eagle, and Curlew.

We learned of Ordway, Gass, Newman, Floyd, and others. Of Indian tribes - Crow, Oto, Hidatsa, Shoshone -- our brothers.
We learned of close calls with bears, near drowning and Blackfeet. Of hardships - cold, thirst, sore feet, hail & no meat.
We saw forts, lodges, canoes, furs, and museums. Statues of heroes - Lewis, clark, Sacagawea, and Seaman.

We took a boat on the Missouri through the Gates of the Mountains.
Saw a spring in Great Falls pumpng water like a fountain.
Traveler's rest authenticated thanks to Von Steuben;
Thunderclappers left from way back when.

We answered questions, blew the horn, or toted the flag in the lead. In turn were awarded prizes - maps or a bead.
We dined, snacked, and dined some more. spent money in every center, museum, or store.
As we stood on the beach with our feet in the sand,
We knew we owed much to galen for guiding our band.

If you would reveal your deep feelings, not your age;
You would know we have all found the Northwest Passage.
Marge Markley

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