Sunday, August 02, 2009

Lewis & Clark vs. Ed & Patty

I nudged Ed with my elbow over and over as we watched the film about the Lewis and Clark expedition. So many points rang true to our own expedition in our Prevost coach “Dolly’s Pride.”

We had stopped at the Missouri River Basin Lewis & Clark Interpretive Trail & Visitor Center in Nebraska City, Nebraska. The Center sits on 79 acres of a wooded bluff overlooking the Missouri River, the very river navigated by Lewis and Clark over 200 years ago. We parked our 40-foot-long coach in the lot not far from the 55-foot-long, authentic replica of the keelboat used on this historic journey.

A three-story building houses the interactive exhibits and a theater. It was the film about the Corps of Discovery that reminded us most of our own Grand Tour of the US & Canada.

From 1804 to 1806, Lewis and Clark traveled under President Thomas Jefferson’s order to explore and find an inland route to the Pacific. We had no presidential directive, but our road trip ran the course of two years 2007 to 2009. They had brief and tense encounters with Indians. We encountered Indians. The encounters were brief but never tense. American Indians nowadays run the casinos. They gave us warm greetings, free places to park the RV, and eagerly shared stories about their culture. Lewis and Clark discovered that their keelboat was too large for navigation. On occasion our coach proved to be a bit too big on some winding narrow roads like the one to Winslow, Arkansas or when we encountered an old fashioned covered bridge.

Lewis and Clark traveled without maps and had to seek information and help along their journey. Our Wal-Mart Atlas served us well, but we too stopped to ask for information and help finding our way. We now have a Garmin. Lewis and Clark saw hoodoos, perhaps some of the same ones we saw out west. They saw elk, buffalo, pronghorn antelopes and prairie dogs. We did too. They complained about unpleasant insects – the mosquito. We consider them “unpleasant” as well. The expedition’s elk skin-bound journals recorded daily activities. This epic journal described culture and lifestyle. I used my Dell laptop for destination commentary, to write a blog “Did Someone Say RV Road Trip” and to comment on Facebook about our experiences.

Sometimes the Corps of Discovery rested for two days, sometimes for as long as two weeks. Ed and I also paused for days at a time, once we parked for nearly three months in Florence, Oregon so we could enjoy the Pacific coastline. And, when the expedition ended after 8,000 miles, Lewis and Clark returned to St. Louis for a hearty welcome. We are wrapping up our Grand Tour after 28,000 miles and came 200 miles shy of St. Louis. We received our hearty welcome in Kansas City, Missouri.

July 24, 2009

Missouri River Basin Lewis & Clark

Interpretive Trail & Visitor Center

100 Valmont Drive

Nebraska City, Nebraska 68410


For RVers, I recommend staying at

Victorian Acres RV Park & Campground

6591 Hwy. 2, Nebraska City, NE 68410


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