On the trail of Lewis and Clark

The famous Lewis and Clark Expedition has cropped up again and again on this trip, but also featured on my last American road trip. 

Commissioned by Thomas Jefferson to explore the Missouri River and attempt to find a navigable water course to thePacific Ocean, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, along with others, set off from St Louis, Missouri in May 1804. 

No doubt we would have learned a great deal more if the Museum of Westward Expansion had been open in St Louis. I’m the end I had to refresh my memory using the link above (GCSE history not to much sticking in my brain these days!). 

However, we did go up the arch in St Louis which is, dedicated to the Lewis and Clark expedition, together with all those who came after and settled the West. 

In 2013, which doing the Pacific Coast in an RV with The Monsters, we visited Seaside, Oregon and I wrote a blog post about our visit. About the only thing Seaside appears to be famous for is being the place where Lewis and Clark met the Pacific, and stayed over winter boiling sea water to make salt for the return journey. There’s a monument to them on what is, possibly, Oregon’s only roundabout. 

Today we visited the grave site of Meriwether Lewis. He died 3 years after completing the expedition, while he was Governor of the (then still relatively new and absolutely massive) Louisiana Territory. 

Given the somewhat vague wording on this memorial plaque, I had to look up what became of Lewis. It appears historians disagree on whether suicide or assassination was the cause of his death, but it was definitely suspicious.

So I feel that I’ve probably seen quite a lot  of the possible Lewis and Clark sights now. Though knowing this country’s propensity to put an information centre, road sign, and somewhat uninformative plaque on every place a historical figure has been documented to visit, no doubt I have only scratched the surface of the Lewis and Clark commemorative visits I could make had I the time, or indeed, any further interest. 


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