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Old 10-14-2011, 08:40 AM   #15
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We did this trip from St. Louis years ago pre Airstream in a Chevy Van that had only two seats and nothing in back except our sleeping bags, a cooler and a Coleman stove. I read the DeVoto version of the Journals of L and C while we were passing by the exact spots detailed in the book. I can't tell you how great that was. Today, there are wonderful guides available to help the exploration, but you can't beat the actual Journals for a stunning experience.

I also recommend the old WPA guides to the states written in the 1930's. These books were written by wonderful authors--some famous who were out of work in the 30's and employed by the artist's project. If you can find the books (try used books stores and the library), they can give you marvelous histories of the area you are in and a picture into the way the countryside looked in the 30's. There is a book for each state.

We will be continuing the journey next summer seeing the areas not covered previously in the West and revisiting other. We, too, will have no schedule and will be able to plan as we go and meander about.

Another note: while in Philly, check to see if the Philosophical Society has any displays of the artifacts. They usually don't, but once in a while, they will put a page from the Journals or a seed pod or two on display. There isn't much left because the artifacts were organic and have disintegrated or are very fragile. But seeing a page of the Journal, to me, is priceless.

You have a Great Journey ahead. I hope you write or blog about it. And I hear that the Missouri won't be flooding next year which is a good thing on many levels.

Caryl
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:49 AM   #16
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Rodney,

You can't get much further north in the US than the route Lewis & Clark traveled following the Missouri River through North Dakota, Montana and Idaho. After the suggested pilgrimage to Jackson Center, OH, head up through Michigan to the UP and head across northern Wisconsin and Minnesota and hook up to the Lewis & Clark trail at Mandan, ND. That way you will avoid a lot of boring countryside in midwest (believe me, I grew up there). Then follow the Corps of Discovery route west as close as you dare. From the mouth of the Columbia River down US 101 along Oregon coast and California 1 as far as you want (again, consider what you are towing). That, in my opinion, would be a Grand Tour.

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Old 10-14-2011, 02:34 PM   #17
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We picked up Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose last year, and found it very interesting. As Lewis & Clark were heading out on their expedition, my ancestors were poling flatboats down the Mississippi river to settle the newly opened Louisiana Purchase. Such courage they all had.

Always so helpful to read something good and deepen your knowledge about an area, event or issue. After visiting Monticello earlier this year, we are now immersed in Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Fascinating.

As you head northward, perhaps make a side trip to Jack Canavera's Moraine View Rally in central Illinois the second weekend in June. There are many regular attendees who would love to meet you.


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Old 10-14-2011, 03:05 PM   #18
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Wow, a great trip full of history. I read a book some years ago about a guy that started in New York City and with powerboat and canoe took the Erie Canal to Lake Erie, down the rivers to Pittsburg and the Ohio River to the Mississippi. From there to St. Louis and continued following the Lewis / Clark voyage. A great read. Sorry I can't remember the title. Just to add a thought to your trip, In Minden, Nebraska is a great museum of early America. Pioneer Village. They even have a campground ( nothing great but safe and full hookups ). Camping fee includes one admission to the museum. Worth the side trip. South of Rt. 80, mid state, not far from Kansas border.
Enjoy all the trip has to offer.
See ya on the road sometime.
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Old 10-14-2011, 03:20 PM   #19
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Polarlyse

The book you read is in fact the above noted "River Horse" by William Least Heat Moon.

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Old 10-15-2011, 02:18 PM   #20
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New to me National Parks along the route

Theodore Roosevelt
Glacier
North Cascades
Rainier
Olympic
Crater Lake
Redwood
Lassen Volcanic

Lewis and Clark aside, this list is appealing on its own. North Cascades looks particularly interesting from what little I can see about it so far (IMO, the NPS webpages are not terribly informative). The terrain looks inviting, the lakes and peaks might make for some fun photography. Anyone with experience care to weigh in? On any of the listed parks for that matter (or places that I should have on the list).
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:15 PM   #21
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Theodore Roosevelt
Glacier
North Cascades
Rainier
Olympic
Crater Lake
Redwood
Lassen Volcanic

Lewis and Clark aside, this list is appealing on its own. North Cascades looks particularly interesting from what little I can see about it so far (IMO, the NPS webpages are not terribly informative). The terrain looks inviting, the lakes and peaks might make for some fun photography. Anyone with experience care to weigh in? On any of the listed parks for that matter (or places that I should have on the list).
I can't speak about TR NP (never been there), but all the rest are beautiful, especially if you get off the beaten track. Visiting them all would make a very full summer. Most of North Cascades NP is accessible only on foot. That makes it even more special. You could easily spend all winter researching them.

Ken
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:58 PM   #22
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I agree with Doug&Maggie; read Undaunted Courage. It's excellent. River Horse sounds great also. I think I'll pick it up. This is a trip my wife and I will probably take one summer soon.
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:41 PM   #23
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our trip this summer

Hi Rodney,
Larry and were on the road for 3 mo. this summer going thru the N.tier of states from OH to WA and then to the SE islands of AK. The back across to home in OH. We did alot of the Lewis and Clark interpretive centers and stuff along the way. There are lots of trails and parks that lay claim to the L&C trip. The only park that has an actual forensically proven camp of the L&C expedition is Lolo SP. They have found actual evidence from the encampment that they have been able to link to the men camped there. They dug up latrines, fire pits and the camp layout. It can be accomplished in a couple of hours. Small park but no camping there.
You will want to see Glacier NP about mid July. This year the snow was finally off of Going to the Sun Rd. about July 6th and they had plenty of construction on the road so the wait time was sometimes annoying. But that is THE most beautiful place! Construction will continue for the next three years. Road repairs can only be done during its brief summer.
We found lots of evidence of claims of L&C but as far as we know Sacajawea never owned a hotel. The names are used prolifically!
You will be pleased with a great digital camera! Larry took over 5000 pictures and we are still reviewing them. Photo opportunities abound!!
PM us if you want our list of places visited!
If you decide to drive through NE Ohio make sure you stop in for a visit. We are just sw of Cleveland, and about 3 hrs. from JC.
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:50 PM   #24
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Theodore Roosevelt
Glacier
North Cascades
Rainier
Olympic
Crater Lake
Redwood
Lassen Volcanic

Lewis and Clark aside, this list is appealing on its own. North Cascades looks particularly interesting from what little I can see about it so far (IMO, the NPS webpages are not terribly informative). The terrain looks inviting, the lakes and peaks might make for some fun photography. Anyone with experience care to weigh in? On any of the listed parks for that matter (or places that I should have on the list).
We have made stops in all of these parks except Lassen Volcanic, and they are all beautiful.

Glacier is spectacular, but the hordes of people there in August made it more annoying than enjoyable. Be prepared for that. There are many national forest sites in the surrounding area, though, which were mostly ignored by the hordes and much prettier.

I think you can't go wrong with this trip, whatever you decide to include. Such beautiful country to see!

Maggie
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:25 PM   #25
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Thanks Don. Without your refrence I don't think the title would have clicked with me. But I remember it being a great read. I'm not in the habit of re-reading books a 2nd. time but maybe I should. And begin with that one.

Thanks again for reminding me of the title.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:20 PM   #26
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Roger,

Since I live in Lewis and Clark country I keep my copy of "River Horse" in my AS when I travel along the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Not just for Heat Moon's comments but his quotes from Lewis' and Clark's journals.

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Old 10-17-2011, 03:07 PM   #27
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I tried to read Blue Highways (Least Heat Moon) but found it uninteresting. Is this book more of the same, or is it different in some way?
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:57 PM   #28
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Rodney,

I've read Blue Highway a couple of times, but I liked it. I guess if you didn't like that book you may not like River Horse because he sometimes gets bogged down in places. I've had a problem with a couple of his other books: Prairy Erth, and Roads to Quoz, both of which plod along at a slow pace.

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