Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lewis & Clark in Nebraska City

I spent an afternoon in the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Nebraska city.
I'm a big Lewis & Clark freak. Particularly enamored of Sacagewea-and I've written about her before HERE. So I won't focus on her today.
Today, what struck me was all the work the expedition did beyond just making the trip.
The scientific research, the new animals, the surveying, the journals they kept.
All very interesting and impressive.
I took a bunch of pictures.

In a message to Congress, Jefferson wrote:
"The river Missouri, and Indians inhabiting it, are not as well known as rendered desirable by their connection with the Mississippi, and consequently with us. ... An intelligent officer, with ten or twelve chosen men ... might explore the whole line, even to the Western Ocean

Pointing the Way-Sculpture at the entrance
The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri river, and such principal stream of it as by its course and communication with the waters of the Pacific Ocean whether the Columbia, Oregon, Colorado or any other river may offer the most direct and practicable water communication across this continent for the purposes of commerce.[-Thomas Jefferson

Full sized replica of the keel boat. The keelboat, is 55 feet long and 8 feet wide

A model of it-inside

The Interpretive Center
Inside you'll also find a full-sized replica of a pirogue-the boat that went the farthest.
the White Pirogue is 32’ long and 8’ wide.
The second summer, traveling above Fort Mandan,
the white pirogue, considered the safer, more stable craft,
became the "queen of the fleet" on the upper Missouri.

You could read more about the pirogue...the Queen of the Fleet.

Enough medicine for two years!!!

Thomas Jefferson-who wanted the Louisiana Purchase explored and mapped,
but asked for so much more.

The famous map of Lewis and Clark's expedition. It changed mapping of northwest America by providing the first accurate depiction of the relationship of the sources of the Columbia and Missouri rivers, and the Rocky Mountains.

the Lewis and Clark expedition discovered 178 new plants and 122 new species of animals.

Including the grizzly bear--here's a bear claw necklace


Elk - I don't think these were a new species to Lewis & Clark.

This was a big one

Among the animal species and subspecies previously unknown to science were the grizzly bear, the California condor, the coyote, the black-footed ferret, the black-billed magpie, the black-tailed prairie dog, the pronghorn, and the gray wolf. The two explorers left their names imprinted on two bird species, Lewis’s woodpecker and Clark’s nutcracker, and the scientific name for the westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi). Among the plant species they described for science for the first time were the western red cedar, eastern cottonwood, red flowering currant, the mountain hemlock, the whitebark pine, Sitka spruce, Oregon grape, and the Pacific yew.

A trained naturalist, Lewis was especially noted for his meticulous observations and exacting measurements of new species. Perhaps more important for the future settlement of the West, Lewis and Clark returned with stories of the rich abundance of wildlife.



Jessica said...

HI Mary,
I'm a huge fan of the Seekers and have been seeing the cover of your books for months on the blog. But until a few days ago I never saw your books in the store. When I saw Calico Canyon in Walmart I had to have it. Remember, I've been waiting for verryyyy long. :-)
I'm over halfway through and I started it yesterday. Your story has blown me away. You really wrenched my emotions with Grace's plight and I just love the book. I wanted to let you know because I expected it to be funny (because you're funny) but I didn't expect to be hooked so completely in!
Just thought I'd let you know how much I'm enjoying it. :-)

Avily Jerome said...

Wow, what an adventure!

That would be such a hoot to visit- hope you had fun!

I'm excited about doing that sort of thing with my kids (who we're homeschooling) as they get older.

Mary Connealy said...


Jessica, you saw Calico Canyon at WalMart? I've never seen it there.

Are you SURE!!!!! it was at Walmart? I didn't accidentally wander out of WalMart and into a Barnes and Noble, for example????

I'm excited. It's hard to get in there.

Janet Spaeth said...

Mary, I *love* Nebraska City! Did you get to Arbor Lodge?

Mary Connealy said...

No, ARbor lodge was closed for the season.

Next booksigning...definitely summertime. There were hiking trails down to the river from the Louis and Clark Center but it was too drizzly to go walking.