Monday, July 18, 2011

North Dakota to Montana

Lake Sakakawea State Park is located close to where Lewis experienced one of his worst, and perhaps his most embarrassing accidents. Apparently, Lewis spotted some fat elk on a willow bar, so he and the ever popular fiddle-playing Frenchman, Pierre Cruzatte, loaded up their rifles and struck out to replenish the meat supply. Unfortunately, Pierre had one eye, and was extremely nearsighted. He wound up mistaking Lewis, who was clad in brown buckskin, for an elk and shot him in the butt. Lewis had difficulty sitting for the remainder of the trip.

Lewis seems to be pointing out the direction towards real elk on the front of each and every fire pit at the park.

Departing the area, we stopped at a store to replenish supplies and couldn't resist parking next to another Casita in the parking lot. Steve and Judy were surprised as they walked out of the store and found all the Eggs next to their newly purchased trailer (on the left side of this gaggle). A very nice couple, I'm sure we'll be meeting them at rallies down the road.

West of Williston, ND is the Fort Union Trading Post. Lewis and Clark made camp near there on April 25, 1805 and noted this location would be good for a trading outpost. Two decades after the expedition, the American Fur Trading Company established Fort Union,where a brisk trade in animal hides took place from 1828 to 1867.

One of the well preserved, knowledgeable, traders still works at the post and is more than happy to entertain questions from today's modern travelers.

Outside the fort, a grouping of tipis (local spelling) represents an encampment of Native Americans who would have come for trading with the white man on the Upper Missouri River.

Luckily, we had our tipi inspectors, Judy and Wayne along to check out the structures. They pronounced them to be in perfect condition.

With the visit to the trading post, we passed another state line and entered big sky country, Montana . . .

Lewis and Clark documented Indian civilizations that had wandered over these lands on their journey. What they failed to note, were the long, long, long ago inhabitants that were there before. At Peck Dam, there is an exhibit to these earlier inhabitants. This one would have thought Judy and Al were no more than an afternoon snack.
It's a good thing they didn't meet in person!

The scariest thing we've run into is a small, furry smiley thing that appears in my car.

To be continued . . .

1 comment:

brian said...

Safe travels to you Pete ... and Oscar!