In the Footsteps of Lewis and Clark
from Illinois to the Pacific
Aug. 8 - 25, 2007

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The Elderhostelers begin arriving tomorrow, but each year I come to St. Charles a little early to see the changes in the Lewis and Clark interpretive infrastructure. Since I began in 2001 two different replicas of Camp River Dubois have been built, one large interpretive center, two confluence parks, and a tall viewing tower. It is fun to speculate on the beginning of the Lewis and Clark Trail. Many places are beginnings of sorts, but Lewis himself told us:


from the L&C Interpretive Center at Hartford, IL


Camp Dubois #1, near modern Mississippi-Missouri confluence. built by State


Camp Dubois #1 at Wood River, IL (community built).


L&C Interpretive Center at Hartford, IL


Bookshelf, showing many of the books L&C carried.


Interpreter at State site, showing equipment.


Mississippi-Missouri confluence from the point between them. Notice how the Missouri, coming from the right actually stops the Mississippi in its flow. They do not completely blend for many miles downstream.

One of the problems of modern interpretation is that the rivers have changed their course. the best anyone can do is put their representation somewhere close. At left is a comparison, and at right is a tower that has been completed for two years, but there is not enought money to open it. I was hoping for a really spectacular view--maybe next year.

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