I currently have the privilege of waltzing around the prairie along the Marias River; the exact area explored by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark back in June 1805. Why am I referring to them as total badasses? Because where I am able to drive 2 miles off-road through the prairie (trailblazing, anyone?), so that I only have to hike a half mile in this territory, they did not. As a matter of fact, they hiked and canoed all over the Louisiana Purchase territory without the sweet advances in technology that includes motorized vehicles, gps's, and modern maps. And now, having been in the exact area they explored, I have a new found respect for them. Though I must add, I will continue to (1) think that Meriwether is a totally sissy sounding name, and (2) read "Lewis and Clark," think "Louis and Clark," and then giggle to myself and think "Superman!!!"
|Map of the Lewis and Clark Expedition routes in Montana. See the blue loopy-loop? That is along the Marias River. (Lewisandclarkpictures.com)|
A view of the Marias River and the Lower Marias River Road. Yes, that small strip of dirt is the road.
|Lower Marias River area hilltops, looking west.|
|In my opinion, prairie indicates flatness...so where the hell did a valley come from?! But, yes. Lewis and Clark, and now my co-worker and I are roughing it through this cra....I mean, lovely area.|
"the grownd remarkably slipry, insomuch that we were unable to walk on the sides of the bluffs where we had passed as we ascended the river...In passing along the face of one of these bluffs today I sliped at a narrow pass of about 30 yards in length and but for a quick and fortunate recovery by means of my espontoon I should have been precipitated into the river down a craggy pricipice of about ninety feet."*