In the Footsteps of Lewis and Clark
From Illinois to the Pacific
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Sept. 14, Day 9, Medora, ND to Billings, MT


Lunch above the Yellowstone River


Dessert at Dairy Queen


Pompey's Pillar, which Clark sined on July 25, 1806


The Signature


Clark built canoes a few miles above here and lashed them together for a catamaran.

Amy's Journal

Day 9, Monday Sept. 14, Medora, ND to Billings, MT 287 Miles, total 1791
After our Chuckwagon breakfast in Medora we boarded our bus and drove by a beautiful large piece of petrified wood being used as a large outdoor flower planter. Dick Gelfond gave us a brief explanation of the interesting petrifying process to produce this lovely art piece. 

Our first rest stop was in Glendive, MT. Our driver followed the Yellowstone River, which was the route Capt. Wm. Clark and his crew followed on their return journey from July 15 to August 6, 1806. Lewis and Clark‘s plan to separate at Traveler’s Rest on the return trip to explore the Yellowstone Country was a bold, risky plan. Clark took 49 horses, 19 men, Sacagawea, Pomp, and York overland from the Three Forks to the Yellowstone River. They finally found cottonwood trees to build two narrow canoes and lashed them together like a catamaran.  

Four men were dispatched to bring the horses by land back to the Mandan villages. One night while they slept the Crow Indians silently made off with half the horses “as a toll for passing this way.” The next day the remaining horses were also gone, so they built bull boats and followed Clark on the river a few days later. During this time the expedition was split 5 ways. 

We enjoyed a sack lunch with a beautiful view overlooking the Yellowstone River, and then had a surprise Dairy Queen stop for dessert at Forsyth, MT.Our afternoon stop was at Pompey’s Pillar. Ranger Jeff Sherman gave us an orientation to this site. We then climbed the perpendicular sandstone tower that juts 127 feet above the Yellowstone. Clark carved his name and date on it and recorded the fact in his journal. At the top we had a group picture taken with our flag. 

We then rode 26 more miles to our hotel in billings, the Best Western Clock Tower Inn. On the bus this afternoon we enjoyed the Harry Truman video. Our hotel is very comfortable. Dinner was delicious lasagna. After dinner professor Keith Edgerton told the story of Clark and the Yellowstone with an interesting and short PowerPoint presentation. 

I will close with a Teddy Roosevelt quote: “The joy of living is his who has the heart to demand it.”

Download Amy's Complete Journal in Word or PDF

1487 + Medora, ND to Billings, MT  281 = 1768
Actual: 1504 + 287 = 1791
Copyright 2006 DeLorme (www.delorme.com) Street Atlas USA® Plus

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