Salmon Again. On The Trail of Lewis & Clark

The Lewis and Clark expedition traveled more than 8,000 miles over a period of 2 years, 4 months and 10 days. The Lewis and Clark journals are among the treasures of our nations written history.
Traveling with Lewis and Clark was Sacajawea, an Agaidika (Salmon Eater) Shoshone Indian. The Shoshone were a nomadic tribe based out of present day Salmon, Idaho. Sacajawea was taken hostage by the Hidatsa Indians in the fall of 1800. Along with other hostages she was taken to a large Mandan and Hidatsa trade center in North Dakota. Sometime afterword she became “the woman” of a French Canadian trader and interpreter, Toussain Charbonneau, who was hired by Lewis and Clark as an interpreter. Sacajawea was an unexpected bonus when Lewis and Clark learned her people were the Shoshone living near the continental divide between the Missouri and Columbia Rivers.
Amazingly, Sacajawea was reunited with her people when the expedition came upon the Shoshone. In preparing to interpret for the Expedition she discovered the chief (Cameahwait) was her brother – who she hadn’t seen in five years. She helped negotiate for horses which were needed to get over the divide and persuaded the Cameahwait to postpone their departure for the annual buffalo hunt to help the Expedition portage their supplies over Lemhi Pass.
The Sacajawea Visitor’s Center in Salmon, Idaho was closed when I arrived early this morning. But slowly a crowd gathered around my bike. I soon learned this was a group of adventurers who were following Lewis and Clark’s expedition through the journals to the day. Typically they would be dressed in full garb of the members of the expedition and each person took on the name and assumed the character of a member of the Expedition. Referring to themselves as The Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, Missouri, the first woman I talked to that morning was Sacajawea. Then I got to have a few words Tom Harris who took on the character of Col. Potts.

The objective of their journey is to experience the adventure and discovery of Lewis & Clark. They don’t stay in hotels and they don’t take modern transportation. Legends. Not everyone in the party will remain with the party until November when they will hit Oregon as the Expedition did in 1805. Along the way the group attends Lewis and Clark celebrations. Yesterday they were in Salmon and gave demonstrations during “Sacajawea Days”.
Though I only rode a few miles of the Lewis and Clark trail over the past two days, I feel a better understanding and have a grander appreciation for what this Expedition went through. Even better, Thomas Jefferson who convinced Congress to approve the expedition had dreamed for twenty years about an expedition west for commerce and knowledge. As President, he asked Meriwether Lewis, a neighbor and woodsman, to be his secretary. He prepared him to lead the expedition teaching him astronomy, zoology, paleontology, botany and medicine. With the massive Louisiana Purchase negotiated with France, Lewis recruited William Clark who he had befriended in the army. As they say, the rest is history.

In leaving Salmon my plan is to arrive in Sun Valley, Idaho through the back door taking a 50 mile dirt road over a mountain pass. With Sun Valley under my belt, I will make a beeline to Southern Utah and explore the region that is home to more National Parks than any other region in the country.

2 replies
  1. Glenn Heitsmith
    Glenn Heitsmith says:

    bottom two photos on this installment cover your text. Your words are two valuable to be covered by your valuable photos. Please fix.
    PS Glad to hear your back on the road and heading south.

  2. Glenn again
    Glenn again says:

    Okay. When I returned to your journey, text and photos were properly formatted. Man, you work fast. Guess it was just a MS glich.
    Yes, I mispelled “too” as in “too valuable.” Hope I got that write.


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