May 5, 2004
This day was all about preparation.
I have been preparing my talks and websites, and our Onboard Coordinator,
Don Popejoy, spent the day preparing material to prepare the hostelers for
27 eager Elderhostelers arrived at the Fairfield Inn in St. Charles, ready
to start their adventure along the Lewis and Clark Trail. They are from
all over the country. States represented are Tennessee, Michigan, Georgia,
Connecticut, Missouri, California, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia,
Maine, Minnesota, Vermont, and Washington. ok
After our orientation and
preparation for the trip, we had an excellent dinner in The Columns
Doctor Debbie Crank Lewis of St. Charles Community College gave us
a great talk about the preparation for the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
She took us all the way back to the fall of the Roman Empire, which
virtually canceled Europe's land trade with China. The voyages of Columbus
were an attempt to reestablish trade by a water route.
to Dr. Lewis, the Lewis and Clark Expedition was the final phase of the
search for the Northwest Passage. The final proof it doesn't exist.
After this preparation by history itself, she went on to Jefferson's 20
year preparatory phase which included 3 failed attempts at exploring the
Finally she moved on to the preparations by Lewis and Clark themselves
at Camp Dubois just across the Mississippi River fro the mouth of the
Dr. Lewis' talk touched on a wealth of material, and raised a lot of
questions which we will spend the next 17 days answering.
We are prepared to meet any challenge.
Tom Laidlaw, Onboard Instructor