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Tag: Lewis and Clark Trail Thru-hike

Resting on a storm day

Progress Map

Progress Map

Showers early, becoming a steady rain for the afternoon. Windy. Thunder possible. High 54F. Winds E at 25 to 35 mph.  

That was today’s weather report. It was pouring rain outside and the wind was slamming rain into the window. At breakfast I checked other weather websites. It is really easy to think of excuses to take days off, but I’ve only had one full day off in over a month. This would be a good day for another. 

With most of my chores done yesterday evening, I dedicated the day to goofing off, eating, channel surfing and researching the route ahead, including my route to visit the Sergeant Floyd monument tomorrow, and a place to camp later, without having to over 25 miles or so. 

I also went on Facebook to the Missouri River Paddlers group to ask about the best route through the braided River above Lewis and Clark Lake, likely the most confusing part of the river. Several people were kind enough to respond. 

The storm let up this afternoon, but it’s raining and thundering again this evening. I’m planning an early start tomorrow.  Colter

9th Augt Thursday 1804…Musquetors worse this evening than ever I have Seen them. Clark 
August 11th Satturday 1804 about day this morning a hard wind from the N. W. followed by rain, we landed at the foot of the hill on which Black Bird The late King of the mahar who Died 4 years ago & 400 of his nation with the Small pox was buried (1) and went up and fixed a white flag bound with Blue white & read on the Grave which was about 12 foot Base & circueller, on the top of a Penical about 300 foot above the water of the river, from the top of this hill may be Seen the bends or meanderings of the river for 60 or 70 miles round… Clark

Trip overview and route map with position updates:

Council Bluffs

Even at night it was beautiful in my camp, high on the narrow grassy ridge among the cedars. The big, bright moon slowly arced overhead to the west.

I slept great.  I drank the last of my water in sips as I packed in the morning. I could get more water in 6 miles, earlier if necessary.  It was a steep descent through sometimes thick brush to the road. Traffic was light on this Saturday morning.  There was a giant complex of greenhouses on the right, they were working today with people already arriving.

Soon my route turned off on the Wabash Trace Trail, another rails-to-trails project.  It was nice to see  a few runners and walkers and bicyclists out enjoying this nice trail. I followed it for quite some distance before turning off on another bike route that went around the beautiful campus of the Iowa School for the Deaf.

Wabash Trace

    Wabash Trace

There were several signs there telling the  story of the Mormon migration through this area.  They wintered in the Council Bluffs and Omaha area before moving on to Utah.

Morman Trail

Morman Trail

I was looking for five things in Council Bluffs: breakfast, water, a place to recharge my electronics, food for the next section of trail, and a bandanna to use for a sun shield for my ears and neck, to replace the one that I lost.

I walked through a giant, largely vacated mall where incredibly I couldn’t find a place to buy a bandanna.

McDonald’s took care of the breakfast, the recharge, and the water, as well as a large cup of coffee as a bonus.

I walked a couple blocks to a large somewhat groovy grocery store and when I was checking out the cashier said:

“And what are you going to be doing on this beautiful day?” I told her what I was up to and at first she thought I just meant the Wabash Trace, but I said all the way to the Pacific. When I was walking away I heard the bag boy saying: “Oh my gosh…”

Later, walking through town, I passed a sporting good store and went in to ask if they had bandannas,  but no luck. A few blocks later here was a Walgreens and I asked an employee and she took me directly to a rack with a nice selection of bandannas. Yes!

Council Bluffs is another nice town, full of old houses with shaded porches and mature trees.  Shortly before leaving I ran across an ice cream place and enjoyed a large cone in the shade, as it had become quite warm.

The route again paralleled the Loess Hills, and now there were occasional motorcyclists enjoying the unique scenery of this back road.

I stopped at Henry’s Diner in the little town of Crescent and ordered a full meal, which included two porkchops, bread, fries, a nice big salad, and veggies.  It was delucious it and so much I had to take the fries to go.

Even with all the goofing off and eating and shopping and whatnot I managed to put in about 23 miles today.  Once again I climbed quite some distance up a hill, and found another beautiful camp spot on a grassy ridgetop, this time among big oak trees.


July 22nd, Sunday 1804

This being a good Situation and much nearer the Otteaus town than the Mouth of the Platt, we concluded to delay at this place a fiew days and Send for Some of the Chiefs of that nation to let them Know of the Change of Government, The wishes of our Government to Cultivate friendship with them, the Objects of our journy and to present them with a flag and Some Small presents Some of our Provisions in the French Perogue being wet it became necessary to Dry them a fiew days—

26th of July Thursday 1804 the wind blustering and hard from the South all day which blowed the Clouds of Sand in Such a manner that I could not complete my pan in the tent, the Boat roled in Such a manner that I could do nothing in that, I was Compessed to go to the woods and Combat with the Musqutors, I opened the Turner of a man on the left breast, which discharged half a point. five Beever Cought near this Camp the flesh of which we made use of-This evening we found verry pleasent—

Lewis, July 27, 1804

Camped in a bend to the L. S. in Some wood, I took R. Fields & walked on Shore & Killed a Deer, and did not get to the Boat untile after night a butifull Breeze from the N W. this evening which would have been verry agreeable, had the Misquiters been tolerably Pacifick, but thy were rageing all night, Some about the Sise of house flais

Trip overview and route map with position updates:








Miles, and Miles, and Miles

Sean Phillips dropped me off where he picked me up in Platte City. We shook hands and I thanked him again for his hospitality. 

It might have been the prettiest day of the whole hike, a light breeze, sunny, warm but not hot. 

Sean texted me. Noting I was hiking through Weston, he directed me to O’Malley’s Pub. It was perfect. I sat in the shade and ate a giant burger. 

Weston was a really cool little town. It had a bit of a groovy vibe, unusually nice old houses, big trees, early flowers. 


Weston, MO

Weston, MO

I tallied up the mileage for the trip so far:

Missouri River miles, about 400

Lewis and Clark Bike Trail, 381

My miles, based on the bike route, about 340. 

I passed a ski area (!). There was a train track paralleling the road, with giant lines of coal cars. I found a campsite in the leaves on a hillside flat spot. There was a low ridge between the tracks and my camp. Animals were rummaging around the leaves when it got dark. Possums and coons likely. An owl glided silently against the night sky. Meteors streaked overhead. 


28 June Thursday…This River [Kansas] recves its name from a nation which dwells at this time on its banks & 2 villages one about 20 Leagues & the other 40 Leagues up, those Indians are not verry noumerous at this time, reduced by war with their neighbours, &c. they formerly liveid on the South banks of the Missouries 24 Leagues above this river in a open & butifull plain and were verry noumerous at the time the french first Settled the Illinois, I am told they are a fierce & warlike people, being badly Supplied with fire arms, become easily conquered by the Aiauway & Saukees who are better furnished with those materials of war, This nation is now out in the plains hunting the Buffalow our hunters Killed Several Deer and Saw Buffalow, [first of the trip] men impd Dressing Skins & makeing themselves Comfortable

29th of June 1804…

Passed a verry bad place of water, the Sturn of the Boat Struck a moveing Sand & turned within 6 Inches of a large Sawyer, if the Boat had Struck the Sawyer, her Bow must have been Knocked off & in Course She must hav Sunk in the Deep water below…The Court Convened agreeable to order and proceeded to the trial of the Prisoners Viz John Collins Charged “with getting drunk on his post this morning out of whiskey put under his Charge as a Sentinal and for Suffering Hugh Hall to draw whiskey out of the Said Barrel intended for the party”…The Court after mature deliveration on the evidence abduced &c. are of oppinion that the prisoner is Guilty of the Charge exibited against him, and do therefore Sentence him to recive one hundred Lashes on his bear Back.

Trip overview and route map with position updates:


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