Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Decision Point

6 June 2017

As the Lewis and Clark expedition traveling on the Missouri River was closing in on the area now known as Great Falls, MT, they received a big surprise.  The advice and guidance of Mandan people had been invaluable to the expedition to this point.  They arrived at a point where a second river went in a different direction.  The Mandan had not mentioned any such river.  There was some discussion and disagreement on which was the true Missouri.  A wrong decision here would mean they that might be trapped on the plains for a harsh winter without proper preparations and could well mean a tragic end to the journey. 

They decided to explore both branches.  They spent over ten days exploring far and wide.  Their journals mention the lush vegetation and abundant wildlife. In the end their decision to follow the clearer river proved correct. A few days after following their chosen river, they discovered the Great Falls.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Drifting along with Lewis and Clark

5 June 17

Today we took a float trip on the Missouri River Mid Canyon section near Great Falls MT.  Very nice trip traveling where Lewis and Clark traveled so long ago.  The trip ended at a landing where Lewis and Clark spent the night twice-once up bound and then down bound a year later. We had a picnic lunch at the landing. We then headed back to the campground via the route that LC travelled in 1805 and 1806.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Lewis and Clark and the Great Falls of Montana

4, 5 June 2017

As Lewis and Clark moved north and westward searching for the passage to the Pacific Ocean by water, they sought information from the native peoples about routes and obstacles.  They first heard about a great fall on the river that would be a major obstacle to overcome.  This great fall would be found in what is now Great Falls, Montana. The expedition encountered the falls on 13 June 1805. As they explored the area, they found not one but three falls.  These falls would prove to be their greatest challenge on the journey up to that point.

The Great Falls today has been harnessed by man to provide energy and prevent major flooding. You can imagine the anxiety it must have caused Lewis when he first saw it. We visited the falls on a nice sunny day and enjoyed the beauty and power on display.  There is a small knoll with a white pole which is thought to be the place that Lewis studied the falls for possible ways around it.

We then moved to the Lewis and Clark overlook which has a view of the two other falls:  Rainbow and Crooked Falls.

There are numerous accounts of the expedition and the falls.  A few are listed below, if you are interested in some quick summaries.