It was chilly with a heavy mist and the wind in my face as I headed north this morning. That combination made this the chilliest morning of the whole hike. Starting out with a hot cup of coffee in my hand helped.
The radio said that yesterday had been a record rain for that date in Sioux City, so it was a good day to be in a hotel. Because it was so cold today was encouraged to just keep walking and walking and walking.
I took a single break in the first 4 1/2 hours. My greatest weakness is probably my hands stiffening when they’re wet and chilled. I could barely operate the zipper of my rain jacket. With minimal dexterity my break snack consisting of three tortillas and nearly a half cup peanut butter on them.
A nice lady stopped and asked if I wanted a ride, feeling sorry for me walking in the rain. Then a sheriff’s car started pulling over and I thought “oh boy, here we go.” But nope, he just wanted to know if I was OK. When he heard that I was hiking the Lewis and Clark Trail he was very interested in the adventure, asking me questions about my plans, a big smile on his face the whole time.
At 10:30 I’d come about 14 miles already and spotted a Dairy Queen. I elected to take an early lunch, get off my feet, and out of the cold wind and mist.
I could see Sergeant Floyd’s memorial obelisk for many miles. When I got there I had the whole memorial to myself. It’s a nice setting, on it’s green hill looking over the river and into Nebraska. And for me this was one of the most historical places I’ve seen so far. Here’s where a member of the expedition lies. There were some nice interpretive signs, too.
I’d nearly forgotten about the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. I looked it up and planned a route which took me through some construction of both the bike path and roads, but also along some beautiful riverside. I was looking at this especially nice large building complex when I decided to walk over there to see if it might be the visitor center, and by golly it was. There was a place mark on my map a mile away which I mistakenly thought was the visitor’s center.
There were some wonderful dioramas and displays of various kinds, including some animated figures of Jefferson, Lewis and Clark that were amazingly life like. There were also some outstanding photographs of the Lewis and Clark Trail.
The ladies working here were super nice and offered to let me camp here at the visitor center, including making sure the police would know I am here.
Clark, 20th August Monday…I am Dull & heavy been up the greater Part of last night with Serjt. Floyd, who is as bad as he can be to live…we Came to make a warm bath for Sergt. Floyd hopeing it would brace him a little, before we could get him in to this bath he expired, with a great deel of composure, haveing Said to me before his death that he was going away and wished me to write a letter—we Buried him to the top of a high round hill over looking the river & Countrey for a great distance Situated just below a Small river without a name to which we name & call Floyds river, the Bluffs Sergts. Floyds Bluff-we buried him with all the honors of War, and fixed a Ceeder post at his head with his name title & Day of the month and year Capt Lewis read the funeral Service over him after paying everry respect to the Body of this desceased man (who had at All times given us proofs of his impatiality Sincurity to ourselves and good will to Serve his Countrey) we returned to the Boat & proceeded to the Mouth of the little river 30 yd. wide & Camped a butifull evening
I had selected a spot to set up when I spotted a tiny little round ball of fur which was a baby cottontail. I didn’t want to cause him problems so I picked another good spot. This evening I’m reading some L&C books that the fine ladies loaned me.
Aug. 16th 1804…Capt Lewis with men went out to the Creek & Pond & Caught about 800 fine fish with a Bush Drag of the following kind i.e. 79 Pike, 8 Salmon, 1 Rock, 1 flat Back, 127 Buffalow & readHorse, 4 Bass & 490 Cat, with many Small & large Silver fish,—I had a mast made & fixed to day
18th August…the Party with the Indians arrivd. we meet them under a Shade near the Boat and after a Short talk we gave them Provisions to eat & proceeded to the trail of Reed, he Confessed that he “Deserted & Stold a public Rifle Shot-pouch Powder & Bals” and requested we would be as favourable with him as we Could consistantly with our Oathes-which we were and only Sentenced him to run the Gantlet four times through the Party & that each man with 9 Swichies Should punish him and for him not to be considered in future as one of the Party…Sergt. Floyd was taken violently bad with the Beliose Cholick and is dangerously ill we attempt in Vain to releive him, I am much concerned for his Situation-we could get nothing to Stay on his Stomach a moment nature appear exosting fast in him every man is attentive to him york prlly
Trip overview and route map with position updates:
wow, what great hospitality, I’m sure you will encounter more. I found folks at the interpretive centers generally helpful. Almost on the water….
Shared interests help, I think. They were super friendly regardless of the reason.