Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Along the Missouri River
We have made a brief stop in the small village of Oacoma, South Dakota and are camped along the banks of the Missouri River. This area is part of the Lewis and Clark trail. In my school days everyone learned about this historic adventure into the western wilderness. This was truly the first organized step towards the United States’ expansion to the Pacific Ocean. It also marked the beginning of the end of the traditional life of the Native Americans of the west. There have been many books and studies on this expedition and is a fascinating story. There are also many web sites on the subject. One of my favorite is below.
Our first visit here was to the Akta Lakota Museum at the St Joseph’s Indian School. We have, in the past, been contributors to this school and were very interested in seeing the school and museum first hand. The museum has excellent history and culture exhibits. Unfortunately, they did not allow photographs.
We then drove the river roads marked as the Lewis and Clark Trail. In many areas, it is possible that Lewis and Clark would have recognized the area still today, even to the sight of native ponies on the hills. Of course, many other things have changed from the installation of a dam on the river to the native tribes now living for the most part on reservations.
We also visited the larger town on the east bank of the river-Chamberlain, SD. What can I say about this town? We have seen so many in a similar condition.