Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Walk In The Woods: Lewis And Clark Expedition...

Sometimes if you can just get a kid into the woods and let him do the talking, he amazes you. BumperT did just that recently. When #1Daughter's family last visited, we all went for a walk in the woods as soon as the rain let up. We headed straight to the waterfall, because it's at its showiest after a rain.
Our waterfall. The day before, it was flowing over the rock on the left as well.
By the time this next shot was taken BumperT had announced that we were all going to pretend we were part of the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery Expedition that left St. Louis in 1804 shortly after ceremonies transferring the Louisiana Territory to the United States.
BumperT, who had declared himself to be William Clark, casually informs BumperK that, as Meriwether Lewis, she was only going to live to be 35. He appointed her the primary scribe documenting the Expedition.

While Clark contemplates the dangerous and swift rapids of the Missouri River, his mother says she wants to play, too. He assigns her the role of Sakakawea and entertains us with tales of  controversy over the spelling and pronunciation of her name, for many years thought to be Sakajawea or Sacagewea.

By now I've been assigned the role of Charbonneau, husband of Sakakawea, close friend of Meriwether Lewis, and  experienced water traveler. Due to the latter, I am invited to accompany Clark on an exploration of a major fork in the Missouri River.

All forks lead back to the main passageway, and detailed exploration slows down forward progress. FaveSIL didn't bring his boots along, so the only logical role for him was as Thomas Jefferson overseeing the Expedition from afar.

As the group senses that they are getting closer to their goal of reaching the Pacific Ocean, members of the Expedition often step away to privately contemplate how this trip has changed them.

Success! We have reached the Pacific Ocean and opened a means of travel across this vast nation.
We know we are at the end because we have reached the barbed wire fence along the property line separating Le Rustique from the grass-fed cattle next to us. And besides that, PapaJ (aka Big Daddy)  has managed to portage the boat (aka the UTV) across perilous territory to pick up the crew and continue the overland portion of our tour.

The next morning, BumperT declared that he wanted to recreate the Expedition once again, because during the night he had remembered other important milestones he could teach us about. And more importantly, he wanted to see if we could find the opposite side of the big deer shed we found the day before (a side story for another blog.)

A smaller crew repeated the fun, but the return trip didn't go so well. Clark brought back a little more of the river this time, and we lost a member of the Expedition to a minor meltdown because we inadvertently laughed when she, too, filled her boots. Ah, the perils of the Corps of Discovery.

If you are ever in the St. Louis area or just want more information, HERE is a great place to visit.

And I'm linking up to Rural Thursday #14
It's a great place to read a lot of other rural stories and see some great rural photos.


  1. What a most fantastic journey. I was so entertained and wishing I were there!

  2. Well, I'll take the filled boots over dysentery ;-) Great expedition pics!

  3. What a perfect way to explore! Terrific imagination!

  4. Such a cute photo-story. And I even learned some things! Cool. :)

    Thank you for sharing at Rural Thursday this week. xoxo

  5. love his imagination! thomas jefferson overseeing the expedition. ha ha!

  6. Great little story, with photos and commentary. It's amazing what can happen when kids can be gotten away from computers, video games, and into the great outdoors.

  7. the title and the story!! this is a day the reluctant kiddos will remember for a long time!!

    good thing for the boots!!

  8. Looks like a great outing and imagination!

  9. Love the way you tell a story! What a wonderful day with family!

  10. Loved the photos and the story to go with them! What fun!

  11. What an exciting and interesting post you have today. It certainly came to life in the telling. Also, what a beautiful place you call home.


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