Monsoon - our version of Blade Runner
Trip Start Apr 18, 2007
173Trip End Oct 16, 2007
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The day was overcast when we got away, heading for Camp Dubois - which was where L&C over-wintered in 1803/04. It's to the north-east of St Louis next to where the Missouri meets the Mississipi. The original campsite is now thought to lie in the river as both rivers have altered their course over the last 200 years.
There was a really excellent L&C museum at the site which includind a full-sized copy of the large pirout boat they built.
The Journey Begins...
The Illinois Starting Point of the
Lewis & Clark Expedition
On January 18, 1803, President Thomas Jefferson proposed the first official government expedition to explore the vast unknown lands west of the Mississippi River. Jefferson's plan was outlined in a secret message to Congress. He proposed an expedition across the continent to the Pacific Ocean, stressing the importance of discovering commercial opportunity. But it would discover much more.
The Mission to Explore the Continent
Jefferson selected Meriwether Lewis, a captain in the U.S. Army, to lead the expedition, entrusting to him responsibility to find "the most direct & practicable water communication across this continent for the purposes of commerce." The members of the expedition were also to document the territory and to make contact with the native peoples living there. Jefferson believed that a successful expedition might further American trade and political influence and advance American interests in its competition with France, England and Spain. Lewis's commission papers included many pages of specific, task-oriented instructions, a letter of unlimited U.S. credit, and British and French passports. With Jefferson's approval, Lewis invited William Clark to be co-commander of the expedition, and gave Clark the rank of captain.
I recommend the following internet site for any of you interested.
We then faced the 250-mile trek across Missouri west along the I-70 which links NYC with LA. It turned out to be a dual carriageway (4-lane highway in US) and remarkably busy through many towns which created their own traffic. After a McDonald's stop for lunch we moved on into darkening skies >> which turned into a massive thunderstorm with huge lightening. It got to the point we were doing 40 miles an hour in torrential rain.
We found our Super 8 hotel very easily and it's ok but not special. We've managed to turn the room into our own version of a Chinese laundry - wondering if we can get things dry in the dampest place we've yet been. We used their dryers last visit and everything shrunk. It is teeming with rain with occasional lightening. We've looked at the weather channel and as far as we can tell it's going to be like this in our general area for another WEEK!!! So much for the Florida sun - now only a memory.
Our plan is Truman museum tomorrow (the presidents set up a museum/library in their home town after they leave office - so let's hope no-one from Biloxi ever becomes president) followed by the local cinema (Spiderman3) and steaks at Longhorn (Laura is now smiling).
Currently we feel like two drowned rats sheltering - awaiting the return of the sun in a weeks time. We're not happy and blame the Americans and their gas-guzzling SUVs.