Deadline to sign up from Lewis and Clark adventure: June 30 June 30 is the deadline to sign up for a 5-day adventure that offers first-hand experiences in important areas traveled by the 1803-06 Lewis and Clark Expedition that explored territory of the Louisiana Purchase and Pacific Northwest. Sponsored by the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation and two other organizations, the July 13-17 journey is for history buffs, educators, outdoor enthusiasts, wildlife watchers, and others with an interest in history, the outdoors or the expedition.
The trip includes canoeing July 13-15 on the Missouri River through Montana’s White Cliffs, a remote area that Meriwether Lewis described in his journal as having “a most romantic appearance” due to riverside cliffs that resemble lofty buildings and statuaries.
On July 16, participants will visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls, Montana, and the First Peoples Buffalo Jump, an archaeological site believed to be North America’s largest bison cliff jump.
On July 17, a short hike will be held to the Two Medicine River fight site where Lewis and three companions met eight young Blackfeet men.
The white men and Indians shared a campsite on the evening of July 26, 1806. They smoked tobacco around a campfire and chatted by sign language long into the night. Their relationship seemed cordial.
Early the next morning the Indians attempted to steal the explorers’ weapons and horses. A short fight ensued. Tragically, one Indian, possibly two, were killed in what was the only fatal encounter that the expedition had with native Americans.
Later, in his journal, Lewis wrote a dramatic account of the fight and the white men’s subsequent frantic horse ride of more than 100 miles to flee possible retribution from the Blackfeet, considered by other tribes to be the fiercest Indians on the Great Plains. Two Medicine River Fight Site: The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. National Geographic.
The tour of the fight site will be led by Larry Epstein, a Montanan and one of eight Boy Scouts who in 1962 located the site as part of their effort to fulfill requirements for a historic trails badge.
The scouts relied on Lewis’ journal descriptions, as well as their newly acquired skills in compass and map reading. Until the boys identified the site by connecting its topography to the description in Lewis’ journal, its location had not been known.
“I was obsessed with the site—it was my introduction into the world of Lewis and Clark,” recalled Epstein, who was president of the Lewis and Clark Trial Heritage Foundation in 2002 and 2003 during the start of a national celebration of the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Now a retired lawyer, Epstein and his wife Callie have led many tours to the site. He never tires of talking about the site. “I’m still obsessed,” he said.
The tour will include the reading of Lewis’ lengthy journal entry detailing the fight and escape.