Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Great Muddy - Weldon Springs Hike

The Missouri River, also known as “the Great Muddy”, is the longest river in the United States. Starting in Montana, it flows for 2,540 miles before it joins the Mississippi River just north of St. Louis.

Today we were hiking (Weldon Springs Clark Hike) some bluffs overlooking the river, and got this glimpse through the trees. It is a big river, and looks to be very rapidly flowing to me. Maybe if we'd hiked a little further we would have gotten better views of the river, but it was pretty hot. When the weather cools down, we'll do it again.

It was in 1803 that President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis to explore the Missouri River and any streams that led to it and might provide access to the Pacific Ocean. Captain Lewis chose as his co-commander his friend, William Clark.

On May 14th 1804 Lewis and Clark set out from St. Charles on their expedition with 42 soldiers and hired hands. Lewis was 30 years old and Clark, 33. They started out traveling in a keel boat and two small boats called pirogues. The boats were propelled, as conditions required, by oars, poles, sails, or tow ropes.

They sure weren't going downriver!

They would return to St. Louis 2 years, 4 months, and 10 days later, on September 23, 1806.

According to a sign at the bluffs, Lewis and Clark camped nearby and traded with the Indians that lived in the bottomland forests along the banks of the river.

It was hot, but the shade made this a very fun hike, even in midday. Quiet, no sounds of traffic or civilizations. It was easy to imagine what it was like for the Indians. We didn't meet too many other hikers.

More photos on the Flickr site.


nwlimited said...

This is an enjoyable read.
Thanks for it!

beth said...

Thanks, NWlimited. I'm not quite sure where I'm going with it.