Jay and Gina's Journal
2 August - We’ll travel in one day what it took the Corps of Discovery 6 weeks.
There were 43 men, added two more in St. Louis. The group included some regular soldiers and volunteers, and 9 French boatmen. They were told that they would be encountering large giants who hated white men and totally unknown mountains. On the positive they would receive honors, rewards and acknowledgment.
On the boat, they found the Missouri River to be shallow and swiftly flowing. During the day lots of men would be out hunting on the riversides. A horn was used to call them back to the boat. Men preferred to row, and the captains preferred that the barge be cordeled ( pulling it upstream by rope- replacement rope made out of bear skins - Rope Walk Camp on June 18th), because they made more progress that way than by poling or rowing. The three Sergeants rotated duties on the boat according to their position. They were also all encouraged to keep journals.
Sgt. Gas’s journal was published first, much to Lewis’ chagrin. They fought it out in the newspapers.. The journal that was published may have been David McKeon’s
We passed through lovely treed area with corn and soy as we drive across MO.
Arrow Rock, MO
From 1803 forward, Arrow Rock was a favored crossing of the river, and the start of several of the trails, including the Santa Fe Trail.Boone Lick area - 20- 30 bushels of salt produced per day. Quinine pills were also produced here by the local doctor; great for traveling since if you had malaria, there was no cure for it and you were subject to the onset of chills- quite debilitating. Painting made by a local artist of the time are considered to be a good source of info on pioneer life.
Fort Osage, MO
largest and most profitable trading center established per L&C’s recommendations for such establishments every 320 miles along the river.
Independence, MO 110 degrees per the bus thermometer
most impressive statistic - at the end of WWII, 1/3 of the home in the US did not have running water.
Lovely small hotel - Higher Ground
Good dinner and great speaker - Jim Two Crows, the Rocky Mountain Fur Trader
Trapped in Spring and Fall, held up in the winter. The summer was non- productive. Average time a trader lasted was 2 years; accidents, disease, Indians. He was fully costumed. He had a chocker (rows of glass beads to impede being killed silently while he slept), bear claw necklace, fringe to draw water away from clothing, shoulders would have been covered with bear grease; brain tanned hide pants with suspenders, and pockets made from pelts. Blue glass beads highly prized by the Indians because they didn’t have any way to make anything of that color. Beavers pelts were worth $30-$120 per pelt, and the beads bought for 1 cent, and could be traded for 6 pelts PER bead!
He showed us how to set beaver traps, and how coats were made out of Hudson Bay blankets.
The fur trappers worked in for companies or on their own with a few trusted companions. Pelts could be brought to rendezvous to trade. Those men who worked for the companies ended up owing “their souls to the company store.” He added stories about his favorite mountain men; Jim Bridger, Jim Beckwourth, and Jedediah Smith.