Tuesday, June 30, 2009

National and State Parks

Now that I can't think of anything more to write about John Colter, I want add another directory to the blog. This is a list of national and state parks included in my website's Google Maps. Each of the following links takes you to a page dedicated to the referenced park. That page will give you a map showing the park's location, contact information and a brief description of the available activities and features.

The links are grouped by state, and the order of the states follows the Lewis and Clark trail from St. Louis to the mouth of the Columbia River. Within each state, parks are listed from east to west. In some cases this ordering is very helpful (e.g. Missouri and Oregon) and in some cases it really doesn't help at all (e.g. South Dakota).


Fort Belle Fontaine Park St. Louis, MO
Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park Wildwood, MO
Binder Park Jefferson City, MO
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park Columbia, MO
Van Meter State Park Miami, MO
Weston Bend State Park Weston Bend, MO
Lewis and Clark State Park Rushville, MO
Big Lake State Park Craig, MO


Fort Atkinson State Historical Park Fort Calhoun, NE
Platte River State Park Louisville, NE
Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area Ames, NE
Ponca State Park Ponca, NE
Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area Crofton, NE
Niobrara State Park Niobrara, NE


Waubonsie State Park Hamburg, IA
Lake Manawa State Park Council Bluffs, IA
Preparation Canyon State Park Onawa, IA
Wilson Island State Recreation Area Missouri Valley, IA
Lewis and Clark State Park Onawa, IA
Stone State Park Sioux City, IA

South Dakota

Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve McCook Lake, SD
Spirit Mound Historic Prairie Canton, SD
Chief White Crane Recreation Area Yankton, SD
Lewis and Clark Recreation Area Yankton, SD
Randall Creek Recreation Area Lake Andes, SD
Snake Creek Recreation Area Platte, SD
West Bend Recreation Area Pierre, SD
Swan Creek Recreation Area Gettysburg, SD
West Whitlock Recreation Area Gettysburg, SD
Farm Island Recreation Area Pierre, SD
West Pollock Recreation Area Mobridge, SD
Indian Creek Recreation Area Mobridge, SD
Oahe Downstream Recreation Area Ft. Pierre, SD

North Dakota

Ft. Abraham Lincoln State Park Mandan, ND
Double Ditch State Recreation Area Mandan, ND
Cross Ranch State Park Center, ND
Fort Stevenson State Park Garrison, ND
Lake Sakakawea State Park Riverdale, ND
Crow Flies High Scenic Overlook Epping, ND
Little Missouri State Park Center, ND
Lewis and Clark State Park Epping, ND
Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Northern Unit Medora, ND


Makoshika State Park Glendive, MT
Pirogue Island State Park Miles City, MT
Fort Peck Lake Reservoir and Recreation Area Fort Peck, MT
Hell Creek State Park Miles City, MT
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Fort Smith, MT
Pictograph Cave State Park Billings, MT
Lake Elmo State Park Billings, MT
Chief Plenty Coups State Park Pryor, MT
Cooney State Park Roberts, MT
Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park Billings, MT
Sluice Boxes State Park Great Falls, MT
Smith River State Park Great Falls, MT
Giant Springs State Park Great Falls, MT
Missouri Headwaters State Park Bozeman, MT
First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park Ulm, MT
Tower Rock State Park Great Falls, MT
Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park Whitehall, MT
Black Sandy State Park West Helena, MT
Clark's Lookout State Park Dillon, MT
Bannack State Park Dillon, MT
Salmon Lake State Park Seeley Lake, MT
Placid Lake State Park Seeley Lake, MT
Beavertail Hill State Park Missoula, MT
Travelers' Rest State Park Lolo, MT
Council Grove State Park Missoula, MT
Frenchtown Pond State Park Missoula, MT
Painted Rocks State Park Missoula, MT


Winchester Lake State Park Winchester, ID
Hells Gate State Park Lewiston, ID


Hat Rock State Park Salem, OR
Deschutes River State Recreation Area Salem, OR
White River Falls State Park Salem, OR
Memaloose State Park Salem, OR
Wygant State Natural Area Salem, OR
Ainsworth State Park Salem, OR
Tryon Creek State Natural Area Portland, OR
Bradley State Scenic Viewpoint Salem, OR
Saddle Mountain State Natural Area Salem, OR
Netul Landing Astoria, OR
Sunset Beach State Recreation Site Salem, OR
Fort Stevens State Park Salem, OR
Ecola State Park Salem, OR

Washington State

Fields Spring State Park Asotin County, WA
Steptoe Butte State Park Whitman County, WA
Lewis and Clark Trail State Park Columbia County, WA
Palouse Falls State Park Franklin County, WA
Sacajawea State Park Franklin County, WA
Maryhill State Park Klickitat County, WA
Columbia Hills State Park Klickitat County, WA
Doug's Beach State Park Klickitat County, WA
Beacon Rock State Park Skamania County, WA
Reed Island State Park Clark County, WA
Lewis and Clark State Park Lewis County, WA
Fort Columbia State Park Pacific County, WA
Cape Disappointment State Park Pacific County, WA

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Adventures of John Colter

This article has been relocated to http://lewis-clark-trail.us/History/ColterPart1.php.

An All-Water Route: Outfitters and Guides

President Thomas Jefferson's principal objective in sending the Corps of Discovery to explore the northwest was to find opportunities for new commercial ventures. These could involve trading goods from the United States (as it existed at that time) with native tribes inhabiting the Louisiana Territory and beyond, and it could involve opening up a new route for trading goods with the Far East.

In those days the only way to move large quantities of goods over long distances was by water, so Meriwether Lewis was instructed to seek an all-water route linking the two sides of the continent. Jefferson's instructions read:

"The object of your mission, is to explore the Missouri river, & such principal stream of it, as, by it's course and communication with the waters of the Pacific ocean, whether the Columbia, Oregan, Colorado or any other river may offer the most direct & practicable water communication across this continent for the purposes of commerce."

After setting out, the expedition was to follow the Missouri River to its source (as instructed), cross the Continental Divide and the Rocky Mountains, follow the Clearwater River across the Idaho panhandle to its confluence with the Snake River at the Idaho-Washington border, follow the Snake forty miles or so to its confluence with the Columbia River, and then paddle downstream to the Pacific Ocean.

That being the case, the Lewis and Clark trail today offers many opportunities for those interested in combining historical curiosity with an enthusiasm for water sports, particularly fishing. I should talk about which species are popular at different points along the route, but for today I simply want to list the Outfitters and Guides that are referenced on my Google Maps website.

Lower Missouri River

Missouri River Paddling Company Parkville, MO

Upper Missouri River & its Tributaries in Northern Montana

Billingsley Ranch Outfitters Glasgow, MT

Yellowstone River & Southern Montana

Rollin’ Boulder Outfitters McLeod, MT
Bear Paw Outfitters Livingston, MT
The River's Edge Fly Fishing Shop Bozeman, MT
Medicine Lake Outfitters Bozeman, MT

Western Montana

Central Montana Outfitters Great Falls, MT
Beardsley Outfitting Ennis, MT
Carl Mann's Montana Experience Outfitters Stevensville, MT
Redbone Outfitting Corvallis, MT
Osprey Outfitters Guide Service and Fly Shop Hamilton, MT
Blackfoot River Outfitters Missoula, MT
Wapiti Waters Victor, MT

Snake River

Northwest Fishing Guide Service

Lower Columbia River & its Tributaries

Mid Columbia River Guide Service Milton-Freewater, OR
Adventure Fishing Klickitat, WA
Young's Fishing Service The Dalles, OR
Dennis Pratt's Guide Service Battle Ground, WA
Lucky's Guide Service Vancouver, WA
Portland Kayak Company Portland, OR
Columbia River Fishing Guide Woodland, WA
Streamside Fishing Guide Service Forest Grove, OR

Monday, June 22, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Public Lands: An Owner’s Manual

Guest Author: Kimberlee Riley of the Jefferson National Parks Association

In 1803 Thomas Jefferson sent instructions to Lewis and Clark advising them that the object of their mission was to ‘explore’. The purpose for the exploration was to learn about the lands and rivers to the west which for the most part had been unseen by American citizens. The information gathered about the plants, the animals, the peoples and the accessibility of this uncharted territory was to be used for the growth and development of our country. The growth envisioned was beyond just possessing the territory but growth through the inhabiting and development of commerce in this territory.

As we know today, Lewis and Clark explored this territory and found an abundance of lush lands and natural resources. The journey was a difficult and challenging one, with natural threats as well as threats from the tribes they would encounter. Thomas Jefferson knew the challenges and the risks involved, and he advised Captain Lewis to measure their risks and to abandon the mission should they be too great. Thomas Jefferson noted “… in the loss of yourselves, we should lose also the information you will have acquired…”

After the successful return from this exploration, with the incredible information detailed, this territory was used for our country’s growth and development. The opportunities to inhabit this territory and the new commerce increased American citizens’ prosperity as well as our country’s prosperity. In the late 1800’s our government began to recognize that in order to sustain this territory for future generations and for our country -- the use of the territory would have to managed properly. In 1872 America’s first national park was established in Yellowstone. This lush land and abundance of natural resources now was reserved for the benefit and enjoyment of the public. The natural resources would be managed appropriately and by 1916 the National Park Service was established for this purpose.

Today there are hundreds of national and state parks with millions of acres along the Lewis and Clark trail, public lands reserved just for you. Just as Lewis and Clark were instructed by Thomas Jefferson, these lands are there for you to explore. Fortunately today, because of the management of public land agencies and the support of non-profit organizations and their donors, these lands are maintained for accessibility and have educational exhibits and programs to help you explore and enjoy them and to benefit from them.

While the variety of ways we enjoy our public lands may be obvious, the benefits are not always as obvious. Public lands provide educational programs and healthy lifestyles. In addition to the physical activities we do on our public lands research shows that a connection with nature can have physical and psychological benefits. For some of us public lands provide inspiration. Public lands provide environmental benefits such as pollution control. There are economic benefits to public lands – they can positively impact residential and commercial property values. Public lands attract visitors and business to local areas, too. So, with all these benefits and the enjoyment we have when we do visit our public lands – is there any action we need to take for our public lands?

We do need to guard against their loss just as Thomas Jefferson advised Captain Lewis in 1803 to guard against the loss of information about the uncharted territory. Public lands today help us to explore our country’s natural and historical treasures. These are now our lands. However, they do not come with an owner’s manual. If we had an owner’s manual it would tell us what actions to take for the general care and growth and development of our public lands, actions such as these:

1) Access your public lands and explore them often so that you may reap the fullest benefits from them.

2) Exercise the seven Leave No Trace principles so that others may find our public lands in the same conditions you have.

3) Contact the agency caring for your land for more information. There are a variety of national, state, and city agencies that conserve and manage our public lands.

4) Communicate and collaborate with your fellow land owners and exercise your democratic privileges to provide direction for your public lands in public sessions or on voting ballots.

5) Participate in the management of your public lands by volunteering and working with the land management agencies or their non-profit partners.

6) Engage youth with their public lands, so that they receive the same benefits as you. Also, instill in them the details of this owner’s manual in order to prepare them to be good land owners.

7) Reinvest in the maintenance needs of your public lands to ensure that future generations will continue to benefit from them.

Non-profit partners like Jefferson National Parks Association provide support for the land management agencies that care for and improve our public lands. Lewis and Clark Visitor Center in Yankton, SD is one of our partner sites. Learn more about Lewis and Clark and the natural resources along the trail with books and products from our store.

Your invaluable support is critical to the future of these, our most treasured places.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Campgrounds and RV Parks

This "blog entry" is nothing more than a directory of all the campgrounds and RV parks included on my website. Each link takes you to a page showing the campground on a Google Map, with contact information and a brief description of the campsite. For each state, entries are ordered from east to west as you scan the list from top to bottom.

If you have been enjoying my historical background articles, I do intend to return to that very shortly, so please bear with me!


Granite City KOA Granite City, IL


Historic Route 66 KOA Eureka, MO
Meramec KOA Stanton, MO
Kan-Do Campground & RV Park Montgomery City, MO
Crooked Creek Campground Kingdom City, MO
Interstate RV Park Higginsville, MO
Country Gardens RV Park Odessa, MO
Oak Grove KOA Oak Grove, MO
Rock Port KOA Rock Port, MO


Longscreek RV Park Auburn, NE
Victorian Acres Campground Nebraska City, NE
West Omaha KOA Gretna, NE


Woodland Campground Little Sioux, IA
Blue Lake KOA Onawa, IA

South Dakota

Sioux City North KOA North Sioux City, SD
Al's Oasis Oacoma, SD
Kennebec KOA Kennebec, SD

North Dakota

Bismarck KOA Bismarck, ND
Lewis & Clark RV Park Hazen, ND
Hazen Bay Recreation Area Hazen, ND
Summit Campground: Little Missouri National Grassland Bismarck, ND
Juniper Campground: Theodore Roosevelt National Park - North Unit Medora, ND


Miles City KOA Miles City, MT
Hardin KOA Hardin, MT
Billings KOA Billings, MT
Red Lodge KOA Red Lodge, MT
Old West RV Park Reed Point, MT
Big Timber KOA Big Timber, MT
Spring Creek Campground & Trout Ranch Big Timber, MT
Rock Canyon RV Park Livingston, MT
Osens RV Park & Campground Livingston, MT
Livingston / Paradise Valley KOA Livingston, MT
Conestoga Campground White Sulphur Springs, MT
Bozeman KOA Bozeman, MT
Great Falls KOA Great Falls, MT
Townsend / Canyon Ferry Lake KOA Townsend, MT
Alder / Virginia City KOA Alder, MT
Butte KOA Butte, MT
Dillon KOA Dillon, MT
Missoula KOA Missoula, MT
Square Dance Center & Campground, Inc. Lolo, MT


Sundown RV Park Grangeville, ID
Bear Den RV Resort Grangeville, ID
Hells Canyon Resort Lewiston, ID


Pendleton KOA Pendleton, OR
Pioneer RV Park Hermiston, OR
Cascade Locks / Portland East KOA Cascade Locks, OR
Crown Point RV Park Corbett, OR
Pheasant Ridge RV Park Wilsonville, OR
Kampers West RV Park Warrenton, OR
Astoria / Seaside KOA Hammond, OR

Washington State

Dayton / Pomeroy / Blue Mountains KOA Pomeroy, WA
Coyote Run RV Park Connell, WA
Beach RV Park Benton City, WA
Timberlake Campground and RV Park Home Valley, WA
99 RV Park Vancouver, WA
Columbia Riverfront RV Park Woodland, WA
Bay Center / Willapa Bay KOA Bay Center, WA
Ilwaco / Long Beach KOA Ilwaco, WA
Lands End RV Park Long Beach, WA
Driftwood RV Park Long Beach, WA
Westgate Cabins & RV Park Ocean Park, WA

Guest ranches, dude ranches and resorts

After starting to develop The Lewis and Clark Trail Road Trip Planner, I quickly realized that an arbitrary rule was needed to decide which points of interest could be included. I wanted the maps to show anything along the trail that looked interesting, but what is "on the trail" and what isn't? I decided to include anything within a distance of twenty miles from the line drawn to represent the trail.

I found a small number of guest ranches, dude ranches and assorted resorts along the way, and you probably won't be surprised to see that most of them are in Montana. This is just a list showing who they are and what town they're in. The links will bring up a Google Map displaying their location and contact information, and give you a brief description of what the place has to offer.

As you go down the list, the ranches are ordered from east to west, which might help you guess where in Montana some of those ranches are.

Badlands Trail Rides and Eastview Campground Killdeer, ND

Montana River Ranch Bainville, MT

Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch McLeod, MT

Lone Mountain Ranch Big Sky, MT

Madison Valley Ranch Ennis, MT

Five Rivers Lodge Dillon, MT

The Alta Ranch Darby, MT

Lolo Hot Springs Lolo, MT

Mt Adams Lodge at the The Flying L Ranch Glenwood, Klickitat, WA

Eagles Nest Resort Ilwaco, WA

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Guided walk at Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park

Located about ten miles west of Three Forks, Montana, Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park is Montana's first and perhaps best-known state park. The park features one of the most highly decorated limestone caverns in the US Northwest. These spectacular, naturally air conditioned caves are lined with stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and helictites.

On June 20 at 7 p.m., the park will offer a guided walk to publicize their newest hiking trail. The nature walk will feature wildflower viewing and birding opportunities. The event is free for registered campers and Montana residents. Call 406-287-3541 for more information.

Places mentioned in this article

Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park

Other points of interest in the Three Forks vicinity

Missouri Headwaters State Park
Madison Buffalo Jump State Park
Parker Homestead State Park
Medicine Lake Outfitters

Find more places of interest in southwestern Montana

The Lewis and Clark Trail Today: On to the Continental Divide

The Treaty of Fort Clark

This article has been relocated to http://lewis-clark-trail.us/History/treaty-of-fort-clark.php.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Voyages of the Columbia Rediviva

This article has been relocated to http://lewis-clark-trail.us/History/columbia-rediviva.php.

Hiking Trail Improvements at Beacon Rock State Park

Beacon Rock State Park is a 5,100-acre year-round camping park located on the Washington State side of the Columbia River Gorge. The park is famous for the historical 848-foot rock, and boaters value the Columbia River moorage and boat ramp. It was near Beacon Rock that Lewis and Clark first measured tidal influences from the Pacific Ocean on the Columbia River.

The park's largely unappreciated value lies in thirteen miles of old fire roads and twelve miles of hiking trails. The State Department of Natural Resources logged the area in the early 1960s, leaving a network of old roads.

A connection between fire roads on the west and east sides evolved in the mid to late 1990s by adventurous hikers, and that informal path has just been improved. Working in partnership with the Washington Trails Association, Backcountry Horsemen of Washington and others, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has created a 1.6-mile connecting route that offers hikers easy access to spectacular views from both the east and west sides of the rock.

Source article, containing more information
Hardy Ridge a hiker haven in the Gorge | The News Tribune - Northwest

More points of interest near Beacon Rock State Park

Mt. Hood National Forest
Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Ainsworth State Park
Hamilton Island Boat Ramp
Fort Cascades Historic Site
Franz Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Fate of the Arikaras

This article has been relocated to http://lewis-clark-trail.us/History/fate-of-the-arikaras.php.

Road To The Buffalo

Guest author: Dennis A Carroll from Augusta, Montana

On their return from the Pacific, the Corps of Discovery split up on 3 July 1806. William Clark took his party to the Jefferson River. Sergeant Ordway and nine men would follow it to the Missouri and eventually to the confluence with the Yellowstone River. Clark’s remaining men headed for the Yellowstone and followed it to the Missouri.

Meriwether Lewis made a direct overland route to the Great Falls of the Missouri. Lewis’ journal said:

[. . .] the road which they (Nez Perce) shewed me. . . would lead up the East branch of Clark’s river and a river called Cokahlarishkit (Lewis mistranscribed, “Qoq’aalx’Iskit”), or the river of the road to buffaloe and thence . . . the falls of the Missouri where we wished to go. They alleged that as the road was a well beaten track we could not now miss our way. July 3, 1806

The “well beaten” track was the result of generations of Indians and travois coming and going from buffalo country on the plains. It must have been easy to follow. Within four days, Lewis’ contingent traveled over 70 miles, crossing “Smitu Sx cu si,” or Indian Fort Pass. Indian Fort Pass, named by the Salish, referred to small stone forts used to watch for Blackfeet warriors. The pass is now known as Lewis and Clark Pass, although Clark never saw it.

The modern explorer can mirror Lewis’ path. From Missoula, Montana, take Interstate 90 south about five miles to the Bonner Exit. Take Montana Highway 200 toward Great Falls. Highway 200 parallels much of the Buffalo Road until it reaches Lander’s Fork, 7 miles east of Lincoln, Montana.

Buffalo Road followed Lander’s Fork a short distance, then crossed a ridge to Alice Creek. Today’s discoverers can take the Alice Creek road (about three miles beyond Lander’s Fork) off Highway 200 to the trailhead, eleven miles distant. The road is passable by all vehicles, but the last four miles is one lane and has potholes. The trailhead has several kiosks that describe the Buffalo Road, Lewis’s journey over the pass and the first settlers in the area. The more adventuresome may want to take the mile-and-a-half hike to the pass. Although good trail, it is an uphill climb. Those in average physical condition, taking their time, can complete the round-trip in 2 hours.

Looking southeast on “Smitu Sx cu si,” or Indian Fort Pass, today’s Lewis and Clark Pass.

If you hike remember it’s grizzly country--take precautions. While not as fearsome, ticks are present, especially in spring and early summer. For more information see:

Bear Safety - Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Ticks - Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Forest Service sign on Lewis and Clark Pass, elevation 6000.

Private ranches deny public access east of Lewis and Clark Pass, but you can approximate Lewis’ journey by returning to Highway 200, crossing the Continental Divide at Roger’s Pass and taking County Road 434 below the pass. The road closely parallels Lewis’ journey from today’s Highway 200 to present-day Augusta, Montana. Road 434 is safe for all travel unless there has been a heavy rain. Stretches of mud road become impassable to all except four-wheel drives. All-weather travel can be accomplished on US Highway 287, which intersects 200 several miles past 434.

Looking west, up Torrant River (Dearborn) a mile or two above where Lewis’ group crossed.

Lewis probably crossed the Torrant River a mile or two below the picturesque high bridge on the Dearborn River. At the time, Lewis was unaware that the Torrant River was the Dearborn River he had named 18 July 1805 on the westward leg.

As you top out of Dearborn canyon, Shishequaw Mountain--one of Lewis’ navigation points--can be seen 10 miles distant. Modern maps list Shishequaw Mountain as “Haystack Butte.”

Looking west from County Road 434 to Shishequaw Mountain (Haystack Butte). It perfectly fits Lewis’ description, “a high conic mountain standing several miles in advance of the Eastern range of the rocky mountains. 8 July 1806”.

County Road 434 becomes asphalt, and crosses Shishequaw Creek, later called South Fork (for South Fork of the Sun River), and is now called Elk Creek. Lewis followed Shishequaw Creek to the Medicine River. In earlier times, Medicine River was called “Pile of Rocks River,” and is now called the Sun River.

Lewis’s party traveled along the Medicine River to the Missouri and camped several days on White Bear Island, one of their previous camps.

This phase can be approximated by taking Highway 21 to Simms, turning left on Montana Highway 200 to Vaughn and finishing the trip to Great Falls on Interstate 15.

Lewis remarked in his journal that he saw buffalo everywhere near the Missouri:

[ . . ] it is now the season at which the buffaloe begin to coppelate and the bulls keep a tremedious roaring we could hear them for many miles and there are such numbers of them that there is one continual roar. our horses had not been acquainted with the buffaloe they appeared much alarmed at their appearance and bellowing. When I arrived in sight of the whitebear islands the Missouri bottoms on both sides of the river were crouded with buffaloe I sincerely belief that there were not less than 10 thousand buffaloe within a circle of 2 miles around that place. 11 July 1806

Lewis noticed large herds of buffalo and the bluffs on either side of the river, but may not have connected the two. The bluffs on the south side of the river (your right going toward Great Falls) were called pishkuns, or buffalo jumps. Twenty pishkuns rise between Shishequaw Creek (Elk Creek) and the Missouri. Native American hunters stampeded buffalo over these cliffs. The north-side bluffs were rarely used. Prevailing wind is from the southwest, and buffalo hunters relied on their scent, carried by the wind, to panic the beasts.

The pishkun located between Great Falls, Ulm and Vaughn Montana has been made a day-use park, called First Peoples Buffalo Jump. To get there travel 10 miles south of Great Falls on Interstate 15, exit at Ulm, turn right and go 3.5 miles on the Ulm-Vaughn road.

Discoverers can find two more interesting sights in Great Falls that relate to the Corps of Discovery:

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center
4201 Giant Springs Road
Great Falls, MT 59405
406) 727-0900

The Interpretive Center has displays, dioramas, and events that relate directly to the Corps of Discovery.

C. M. Russell Museum
400 13th Street North
Great Falls, MT 59401
(406) 727-2402

The Russell Museum houses works of the late Charles M. Russell, renowned cowboy artist. His paintings, sculptures, illustrated postcards and letters cover subjects from cowboys, to Indians, to Lewis and Clark and before.

In three days your personal Corps of Discovery can retrace eight days of Lewis’ journey and connect with hundreds of years of pre-European, pre-Montana history.

Text and photos copyrighted 14 June 2009, by Dennis A Carroll.

More Montana Outdoors, Montana Elk Hunting, and a little humor can be found at Montana Elk Hunting.

Bad Humor Island in South Dakota

This article has been relocated to http://lewis-clark-trail.us/History/bad-humor-island-s-dakota.php.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Lake Francis Case in South Dakota

This article has been relocated to http://lewis-clark-trail.us/History/lake-francis-case-s-dakota.php.

The Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge

The Missouri River is nicknamed "Big Muddy" because of the high silt content. Mark Twain once famously described the Missouri as being “too thick to drink and too thin to plow”.

The Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge is actually a series of small units in the state of Missouri, located along the entire stretch of river between St. Louis and Kansas City. The units are named after towns that once flourished, pioneers, or interesting facts or landmarks along the route.

Here is a list of units located close to the shoreline, from East to West. Each link takes you to a Google Map showing the location of that unit, along with a brief description and a link to the official site.

Boone's Crossing Unit
St. Aubert Island Unit
Jameson Island Unit
Lisbon Bottoms Unit
Overton Bottoms North Unit
Baltimore Bottom Unit
Jackass Bend Unit
Cranberry Bend Unit

For more things to do and places to stay in Missouri

The Lewis and Clark Trail Today: Eastern Missouri
The Lewis and Clark Trail Today: Western Missouri

The Cathlapotle Plankhouse on the Columbia River

This article has been relocated to http://lewis-clark-trail.us/History/cathlapotle-plankhouse.php.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fort Benton, Montana

This article has been relocated to http://lewis-clark-trail.us/History/fort-benton-montana.php.

Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge Complex in South Dakota

The Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge Complex is headquartered at Lake Andes, South Dakota, located a little to the east of the Missouri River and maybe ten miles north of the state's border with Nebraska. The complex comprises two separate refuges, the Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge and the Karl E. Mundt National Wildlife Refuge.

Lake Andes is a natural, shallow prairie lake that is fed by underground springs, and once every twenty years (approximately) the lake dries up. Sioux Indians frequently made camp at the lake while pursuing migrating herds of buffalo and flocks of waterfowl. Two dikes separate the lake into three sections, allowing better water retention during the dry summers.

Wildlife observation, hunting, and fishing are the major attractions at the Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge during wet years. Over one hundred species of birds nest at the refuge, including bald eagles, ring-necked pheasant, northern pintail, ducks and geese. Various mammal species are commonly found at the refuge, including white-tailed deer, coyote, muskrat and badger.

The Karl E. Mundt National Wildlife Refuge has the largest concentration of Bald eagles in the lower 48 states, with over 200 eagles often spending the winter there. The refuge is closed to the public, but bird watching is available from the Ft. Randall Dam. A kiosk at the dam provides information on optimal times and locations for viewing various species.

To obtain more information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge Complex
38672 291st Street
Lake Andes, South Dakota 57356
(605) 487-7603

To find more things to do and places to stay in South Dakota
The Lewis and Clark Trail Today: On to the Grasslands

Ulm Buffalo Days at First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park

For over six hundred years, Indians stampeded bison over the mile-long cliff at First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park, a day-use-only park in the town of Ulm. Ulm is located a couple of miles to the southwest of Great Falls, Montana. At the top of the jump there's a panoramic view of the Missouri River valley, the Rocky Mountain Front, and the buttes and grasslands of the High Plains. A visitor center and interpretive trails relate the story of this prehistoric site, one of the largest in the United States.

Today and tomorrow (June 12 and 13) the town of Ulm will celebrate its 120th anniversary with Ulm Buffalo Days, a two-day celebration jam-packed with events and activities. Events will take place in Ulm itself and at First People's Buffalo Jump State Park.

The celebration starts today with Native American dancing from 3 to 5 p.m., followed by a bison dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. The dinner will feature entertainment by singer and poet Greg Keeler and a Montana Black Powder shooters presentation.

Saturday there will be a pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m., and a fun run starting at the Ulm school at 9:30 a.m.

For further information see the complete article at the Great Falls Tribune
Ulm Buffalo Days celebration is today and Saturday

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Lolo Trail

This article has been relocated to http://lewis-clark-trail.us/History/the-lolo-trail.php.

The Old Celilo Falls

This article has been relocated to http://lewis-clark-trail.us/History/celilo-falls.php.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Buzzard Day at Makoshika State Park

Makoshika State Park is located in the rugged badlands through which the Yellowstone River passes in southeastern Montana. The word Makoshika is from the Lakota language, and means "land of bad spirits" or "badlands". Makoshika is the largest state park in Montana, covering over 11,400 acres.

On Saturday, June 13th, Makoshika State Park will holds its 20th Annual Buzzard Day Celebration. The tradition began in commemoration of the Turkey Vulture’s return to Makoshika State Park, and over the years the event has evolved and grown. Guests are offered free entertainment as well as educational and recreational opportunities.

Original Announcement
Makoshika State Park Buzzard Day

To find more things to do in southern Montana
The Lewis and Clark Trail Today: Following the Yellowstone River

Historical Sites in North Dakota

"Retirement is Grand" posted a new entry from their Lewis and Clark Trail road trip, called New Town, North Dakota.

Sites on the itinerary were:

Fort Mandan Visitor Center, a replica of the stockade where the Expedition spent the winter of 1804-1805, located in Washburn, ND.

Knife River Indian Villages, a reconstructed Hidatsa Indian village located in Stanton, ND

Fort Union Trading Post, an important fur trading post that was in use between 1828 and 1867, located in Williston, ND

Some personal narrative relating the story of each site is given, and a few good photos from each visit (and the drive along the way) are included.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bitterroot BioBlitz at Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge

Located in the scenic and historic Bitterroot Valley of western Montana, surrounded by the Bitterroot Range and Sapphire Range, the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge offers spectacular opportunities to view regional landscape and wildlife. The Refuge's primary missions are to manage habitat for migratory birds and for endangered and threatened species.

Part festival, part educational event, and part scientific endeavor, the Bitterroot BioBlitz will bring together scientists from across the region in a race against the clock to see how many species they can count in a 24-hour biological survey of the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. The public is invited to observe their activities, and to participate in other activities presented by the refuge and a host of invited organizations.

Dates: June 26 and 27, 2009

For further information: Bitterroot Bio BLitz - Home

Stabilization project in Bannack Ghost Town

Located in southwestern Montana, the town of Bannack was founded in 1862, when it became the site of Montana's first major gold discovery. It served as the capital of Montana Territory until 1864, when the capital was moved to Virginia City. The strike set off a gold rush that swelled Bannack's population to over 3,000 by 1863, but the population slowly dwindled as the ore was depleted, with the last residents leaving in the 1970s. Bannack is known as the best preserved of all Montana ghost towns, with over 50 buildings lining Main Street, and their historic log and frame structures recall Montana's formative years.

The town had a "sheriff" by the name of Henry Plummer, who was in fact a gang leader. His gang was responsible for nearly a hundred deaths during robberies in the Virginia City and Bannack gold fields and along trails leading westward. Plummer and about twenty members of his gang were tried and hanged in early 1864 by vigilantes from Bannack and Virginia City.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has received funding to continue drainage and stabilization work on historic buildings within the ghost town. Montana winters are harsh, as is the summer sun, and rudimentary building structures don’t last long without preservation.

Last year, the park received $500,000 in legislative funding, and this year a $190,000 grant from Save America’s Treasures be used to stabilize additional structures.

Here's a video that was produced during last year's restoration efforts.

Source: Dredging up GHOSTS

On Google Maps
Bannack State Park

The Snake River and the Overland Shortcut

This article has been relocated to http://lewis-clark-trail.us/History/snake-river-overland-shortcut.php.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Nez Perce

This article has been relocated to http://lewis-clark-trail.us/History/nez-perce.php.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Missouri National Recreational River

This article has been relocated to http://lewis-clark-trail.us/History/missouri-national-recreational-river.php.

Honey Creek Conservation Area in Northwest Missouri

On July 8, 1804, the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped on an island where the Nodaway River joins the Missouri River from the north (look at the upper-left corner on this map). Clark noted in his journal that Nodaway Island was the largest that he had seen so far, and the Captains always preferred to make camp on islands for the security that they provide.

The next overland expedition from St. Louis to the mouth of the Columbia River was the Astor Expedition of 1810-1812, and they made winter camp at Nodaway Island, in accordance with Lewis and Clark's recommendation.

The ever-shifting Missouri River has not left us a trace of this island, but you can gain an appreciation for what this region has to offer by visiting the Honey Creek Conservation Area, located a few miles northwest of St. Joseph, MO. This 1,448-acre nature preserve contains a diverse assortment of habitats, including forest and woodland, cropland and grassland. Good fishing and camping opportunities are provided along 1/2 mile of Nodaway River frontage on the southwest corner of the area, and multi-use trails are open to bicycling, horses and horseback riding.

Located in the same vicinity is the Worthwine Island Conservation Area, also managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Home Page
Andrew County, MO

On Google Maps
Honey Creek Conservation Area

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Museums and Interpretive Centers

While developing my website, The Lewis and Clark Road Trip Planner, I selected a number of museums and interpretive centers for inclusion on the maps. The selection criteria was to select any place whose central theme was the settling and development of the American Frontier, as it moved westward.

Following is a list by state of the museums and interpretive centers included in my website, each one linking to the page dedicated to the referenced establishment.


Jesse James FarmKearney
Airline History Museum at Kansas CityKansas City
Steamboat Arabia MuseumKansas City
Pony Express National MuseumSaint Joseph
Jesse James HomeSaint Joseph
Patee HouseSaint Joseph
Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature CenterSt. Charles
Wyandotte County Historical Society and MuseumBonner Springs
Frontier Army MuseumFort Leavenworth
Carroll MansionLeavenworth
Evah C. Cray Historical Home MuseumAtchison
Muchnic Art GalleryAtchison
Corps of Discovery Welcome CenterCrofton
Sioux City Lewis & Clark Interpretive CenterSioux City
Harrison County Historical Village & Welcome CenterMissouri Valley
General Dodge HouseCouncil Bluffs
Squirrel Cage JailCouncil Bluffs
South Dakota
Dakota Territorial MuseumYankton
Klein MuseumMobridge
Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural CenterChamberlain
North Dakota
North Dakota Lewis & Clark Interpretive CenterWashburn
Fort Mandan Visitor CenterWashburn
North Dakota Heritage CenterBismarck
MonDak Heritage Center
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center
Great Falls
Lolo Pass Visitor Center
Peter Yegen Jr. Yellowstone County Museum
Western Heritage Center
Ravalli County Museum
Beaverhead County Museum
Elk Country Visitor Center
Clearwater Historical MuseumOrofino
Spalding Visitor Center, Nez Perce National Historical ParkSpalding
Appaloosa MuseumMoscow
Fort Dalles Museum and the Anderson HomesteadThe Dalles
Columbia Gorge Discovery CenterThe Dalles
Flavel House MuseumAstoria
Heritage MuseumAstoria
Columbia River Maritime MuseumAstoria
Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile MuseumHood River
Fort Walla Walla MuseumWalla Walla
Franklin County Historical Society and MuseumPasco
Maryhill Museum of ArtGoldendale

"A Salute to Songbirds" in Sioux City, Iowa

The primary attraction at Stone State Park in Sioux City, Iowa is the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center. Surrounded by over 1,000 acres of woodlands and loess hills prairies, the nature center is a great setting for outdoor learning. There are a variety of interpretive displays, including a "walk-under" prairie, a 400-gallon aquarium of native fish, and several miles of trails are available for hiking.

On May 1 – July 16 the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center will host a special traveling exhibit called "A Salute to Songbirds". There will be interactive exhibits explaining songbird migration patterns, why birds sing and how they learn, dangers that they face in the wild, and much more.

For more information, see Woodbury County Conservation Welcome, and here's the flyer in Adobe Reader format A Salute to Songbirds.

On Google Maps
Stone State Park

The Keelboat at Lewis and Clark State Park in Iowa

A keelboat and two pirogues were used for the voyage down the Ohio River, down the Mississippi River to the confluence with the Missouri River, and then up the Missouri to the Mandan Villages in present-day North Dakota. The pirogues were flat-bottom paddle boats, while the much larger keelboat could be could be propelled by four methods: rowing, sailing, pushing and pulling. Such vessels were used in the early 1800s to transport cargo over inland waterways.

A full-sized replica of the keelboat used by the Corps of Discovery is featured at Lewis and Clark State Park, located near near Onawa, Iowa, and you are allowed to baord it and climb around.

A prime attraction at Lewis and Clark State Park is the 250 acres of Blue Lake, an "oxbow lake" formed from waters cut off from the main current of the Missouri River. There's a fine beach for sunbathing and swimming, and two boat ramps are available for access to the lake, with no restrictions placed on motor size. There are 112 campsites along the lakeshore, 100 with standard electrical hookups and 12 with full hook-up.

Home Page
21914 Park Loop
Onawa, IA 51040

On Google Maps
Lewis and Clark State Park

Find more things to do and places to stay in Iowa and Nebraska
The Lewis and Clark Trail Today: Reaching the Historical Platte River

A canoe trip on the Upper Missouri River

The Toronto edition of The Star published an article today recounting a guided canoe trip through the Wild and Scenic portion of the Upper Missouri River in north-central Montana. This stretch of the Missouri has remained largely untouched since the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through, and as such affords an excellent opportunity to attain the same sense of awe that those explorers experienced. A prime attraction on this journey are the White Cliffs of the Missouri. You can find photos of the White Cliffs, with relevant Lewis and Clark history, over here: Lewis & Clark Expedition—The White Cliffs of the Missouri

Original article: Upper Missouri River pathway to adventure

Guide service mentioned in the article: Missouri River Canoe Company

Lake Manawa State Park in Iowa

Lake Manawa State Park is a popular water sport facility on the Missouri River shoreline, right outside of Council Bluffs, Iowa. The park's 1,529 acres encompass the beautiful 772-acre Lake Manawa. The lake was formed during a flood in 1881 when a portion of the Missouri River was cut off from the rest of the stream. The resulting "oxbow lake" is now called Lake Manawa, and it has become a major outdoor recreation center for thousands of visitors.

Boat motors of any size may be operated, and boat ramps are located on three sides of the lake. Good catches of bluegills, crappies and catfish may be expected throughout the year, as are good sized bass and walleye.

Home Page
1100 South Shore Drive
Council Bluffs, IA 51501

On Google Maps
Lake Manawa State Park

National Trails Day in the Bitterroot National Forest

In honor of National Trails Day, a group of about 25 volunteers will devote much of their weekend to improving the Rock Creek Trail in the Bitterroot National Forest. The BNF is a 1.6 million acre forest in southwest Montana and Idaho, located in the Bitterroot and the Sapphire mountains.

Source: National Trails Day Project on Bitterroot National Forest | 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

Waubonsie State Park in Iowa

Waubonsie State Park is located in the Loess Hills, a landform found in only two places in the world: Along the Missouri River in Iowa and Missouri, and in Shaanxi, China. The Loess Hills are the product of sand, silt and clay sediments which were carried by winds and deposited when these winds encountered steep hill slopes. This type of soil is known colloquially as "sugar clay" because it can be extremely hard when dry, but loses all cohesion when wet. The depth of this drift layer is often greater than ninety feet.

Waubonsie State Park contains seven miles of foot trails and eight miles of equestrian trails winding along windswept ridges down into gorges and valleys. The Sunset Ridge Interpretive Trail provides the visitor with a chance to learn about the park's plants and trees, as well as enjoy some spectacular views. The park holds 40 campsites, 24 of which have electrical hookups. The equestrian campground contains 32 campsites.

IA DNR: State Parks,Waubonsie State Park
2585 Waubonsie Park Road
Hamburg, IA 51640

On Google Maps
Waubonsie State Park

The Replica of Fort Clatsop near Astoria, Oregon

This article has been relocated to http://lewis-clark-trail.us/History/fort-clatsop.php.

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge serves as a stopover for ducks and geese during their migrations between Arctic nesting grounds and Gulf Coast wintering areas. The territory of the refuge was originally west of the Missouri River, which bulged around it eastward, but channelization cut a straight line (north-south) through the middle of the refuge, leaving half of it on the Iowa side.

Bald eagles are often seen when waterfowl are present, and good viewing opportunities are available from the visitor center. An assortment of warblers, shorebirds, gulls, and other species also can be observed on the refuge during fall and spring migrations. In the summer, white-tailed deer are often seen in the morning and evening hours. Wild turkeys often gather in large groups along the roads and in the fields.

The Steamboat Bertrand, a sternwheeler that sunk in 1865 while bound for Montana Territory, was discovered on the refuge in 1968 and unearthed the following year. Visitors may view the site of this discovery, and the DeSoto Visitor Center exhibits 200,000 artifacts recovered from the hull. Steamboats were used in that era to carry supplies to fur trading posts, frontier settlements, and mining towns. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, more than 400 steamboats sank or were stranded between St. Louis, Missouri and Ft. Benton, Montana, victims of the turbulent, snag-strewn "Big Muddy".

Home Page
1434 316th Lane
Missouri Valley, IA 51555

On Google Maps
DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Featured Stop: Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge is a 7,350-acre refuge located in northwestern Missouri, within the historic Missouri River floodplain. The refuge was established in 1935 as a resting, feeding, and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife that populate a vast wetland basin containing large marshes. The northern section of the refuge includes a portion of the Loess Hills, a unique geologic formation caused by wind deposited soil. This region holds some of the last remnants of native prairie.

The Squaw Creek refuge is located thirty miles north of St. Joseph, MO, a drive of only a few miles from Big Lake State Park, one of northwest Missouri's most popular outdoor recreation areas.

Home Page
P.O. Box 158
Mound City, Missouri 64470

On Google Maps
Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Fort Columbia (WA) Interpretive Center Opening

Fort Columbia State Park is a day-use park with 6,400 feet of freshwater shoreline on the Washington State side of the mouth of the Columbia River. The park is a site of primarily historical interest, commemorating a military site that constituted the harbor defense of the Columbia River from 1896 to 1947. In addition, the park offers five miles of hiking trail through mature forest.

Beginning June 12, Fort Columbia Interpretive Center Museum will be open seven days a week, continuing through Labor Day. The interpretive center offers to visitors the museum itself, hiking, wildlife viewing, picnicking and exploring historic areas of the park. Special events are scheduled for the months of July and August.

Original article in the Chinook Observer: Park Happenings: Fort Columbia opens with a bang!

Mountain Bluebird Trails Convention in Great Falls, MT

Birders will gather at the Great Falls (Montana) Holiday Inn on June 12-14 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Mountain Bluebird Trails and to visit area bluebird nesting trails.

A bluebird trail is a series of nesting boxes established in bluebird country. Bluebirds are cavity dwellers, and bird species introduced by European settlers have taken over the much of the nesting opportunities from bluebirds. Bluebird nesting trails are made in order to create artificial cavities for them to nest in.

Among the scheduled field trips, Great Falls birder and photographer Liz Larcom will lead a birding trip to Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Early arrivals can attend a digital photography seminar Friday morning at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, located right next to Giant Springs State Park.

Complete article from the Great Falls Tribune : Bluebird days are upon us happiness

Tryon Creek State Natural Area in Portland, OR

Tryon Creek State Natural Area is a 645-acre park set in forested Tryon Creek Canyon. You might be surprised to learn that the canyon is located in the southwest part of the city of Portland, Oregon!

Tryon Creek park contains hiking, cycling and equestrian trails, footbridges and a steelhead trout run. You can pick up a trail map outside the nature center, which features activities for children and displays that interpret the park's flora, fauna, and human history.

Home Page
11321 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, OR
(800) 551-6949

On Google Maps
Tryon Creek State Natural Area

Featured Stop: Patee House Museum in St. Joseph, MO

The Patee House in St. Joseph, Missouri, served as the Pony Express headquarters from 1860 to 1861, was occupied by the Union Army during the Civil War, and is where Jesse James was killed by a fellow gang member.

Built by John Patee as a luxury hotel in 1858, the Patee House Museum now features two full floors of exhibits. Featured are artifacts from Jesse James' life and death, and from Frank James and the Ford brothers. Climb aboard an 1860 train and let your kids ride the vintage "Wild Thing" carousel. See the Grand Ballroom where Pony Express riders danced with local girls, and where war trials were held by the Union Army during the Civil War.

Home Page
1202 Penn Street
St. Joseph, MO 64503
(816) 232-8206

On Google Maps
Patee House Museum
Jesse James Home

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A visit to Abraham Lincoln State Park near Mandan, ND

Cook Travelogue has posted an excellent review of a visit to Ft. Abraham Lincoln State Park. This is a blog post that is almost a self-contained history lesson (with photos), explaining the background and significance of the Custer House and the Mandan earthlodges (both reconstructed).

Also mentioned is the North Dakota Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, where the Lewis and Clark Expedition spent the winter of 1804-1805, in a small stockade they constructed and called "Fort Mandan".

You can see their blog entry here: North Dakota.

A Drive Along the Columbia River Gorge

"Bert's Bus" just posted an excellent series of photos taken while touring the Columbia River Gorge, you can see them on this blog post. Photos show the Vista House, the Latourel Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Multnomah Falls, a huge (as usual) sturgeon, and the vicinity of Mount St. Helens.

To find points of interest throughout the Columbia River Gorge vicinity, you can take a look at The Lewis and Clark Trail Today: The Columbia River Gorge, and click through to the Google Map that it links to.

From Three Forks to New Orleans in a Kayak

24-year-old Joe Forrester has set off on a kayak journey which will take him down the entire length of the Missouri River to its confluence with the Mississippi River at St. Louis, and from there he will continue down to the mouth of the Mississippi at New Orleans. The purpose of the 3,900 mile voyage is to raise $20,000 for the National Parkinson’s Foundation. Forrester's grandfather was diagnosed with the illness in 2005.

The journey started on June 2, when Forrester left Missouri Headwaters State Park, located at the headwaters of the Missouri River near Three Forks, Montana. At the time of this writing he's reached the town of Holker, a few miles south of Canyon Ferry Lake in western Montana. You can follow Joe's progress on Google Maps on his blog, Paddling for Parkinson's.

Complete article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Paddling for Parkinson’s

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sacajawea Bluegrass Festival in WA

The Sacajawea Bluegrass Festival and Dutch Oven Rendezvous will be held on June 12-13-14 at Sacajawea State Park, located near the Tri-Cities just off Highway 12 east of Pasco, Washington State. Scheduled bands include Ned Crisp and Bottomline, Green Mountain Bluegrass Band, Runaway Train, Loose Digits, Dewgrass and Cabbage Hill.

For further information visit: Welcome to Sacajawea Bluegrass Festival and Dutch Oven Rendezvous 2009

Additions to my online maps

I just added a couple of state parks in Washington State to my website, with markers on embedded Google Maps and a brief description for each point of interest. The new additions are:

Steptoe Butte State Park, in the south-eastern part of the state,


Lewis and Clark State Park, close to the mouth of the Columbia River.

Respect the mighty Missouri River

The Jamestown Sun (Jamestown, North Dakota) reports that there will be stepped-up law enforcement patrolling of the Missouri River this year in the vicinity of Bismarck, ND. This is due - in part - to lack of concern by some who are local to the region, and in part by congestion and other public safety concerns caused by increased interest and river traffic. Problems include discarding of trash, unsafe watercraft operation and excessive alcohol consumption.

The target area for remediation will be from the Double Ditch State Recreation Area down to the Ft. Abraham Lincoln State Park.

Complete Article
Respect the mighty Missouri River

National Bison Range Wildlife Refuge

"Bee House Hives" posted a blog entry today containing some wonderful photos from the National Bison Range Wildlife Refuge in west-central Montana, accompanied by some historical background explaining why the refuge was created.

Click on the photos to view them at full resolution.

“First Friday” at Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge

The Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge, headquartered in the town of Sumner in north-central Missouri, has announced a schedule of events for its “First Friday”, to be held on Friday, June 5 from 5PM through 9PM. The schedule includes activities such as campfire music, nature walks and horse shoe pitching, with drinks and refreshments being served.

You can view the complete schedule of events (requires the Adobe Reader) here: JuneFlyer .

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Pony Express National Museum

On April 3, 1860, a lone rider left the Pikes Peak Stables in St. Joseph, Missouri. Carrying saddlebags filled with mail, riders traveled 2000 miles to Sacramento, California, racing against nature’s elements and rugged terrain. A portion of the neglected Pikes Peak Stables was saved from total extinction in the 1950s, becoming the Pony Express Museum. The museum underwent a further renovation in 1993 which restored the remaining portion, thereby bringing the stables back to their original size.

At the Pony Express National Museum you can experience state-of-the-art exhibits which convey the need, creation, operation and termination of the historical Pony Express.

Home Page
914 Penn Street
Saint Joseph, MO 64503

On a Google Map
Pony Express National Museum

Weston Bend State Park in Weston Bend, MO

Located on the Missouri River a couple of miles north of Kansas City, the town of Weston credits its early success to tobacco growing and trade. Five tobacco barns remain in Weston Bend State Park to interpret the important role this industry once played here.

A scenic overlook provides visitors with a grand view of the Missouri River and Fort Leavenworth. A hiking trail wanders through the woods and along the bluff's edge, providing magnificent views of the river. Hikers and bicyclists enjoy a three-mile paved loop trail through a hilly wooded area.

Home Page
16600 Hwy. 45 N
Weston Bend, MO 64098

On Google Maps
Weston Bend State Park

The Frontier Army Museum at Fort Leavenworth

The Frontier Army Museum at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, exhibits artifacts from Frontier Army soldiers who served west of the Mississippi River from 1804 through 1917. The collection at the museum began in 1939, when the wagon shop closed and the horse-drawn vehicles were relocated to what was initially called the "Old Rolling Wheels Museum". The Museum was officially recognized as an Army Museum in 1960, and its collection of nineteenth century military artifacts is considered to be one of the finest in the country.

Home Page
Reynolds Ave, Bldg 80
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027
(800) 844-4114

On Google Maps
Frontier Army Museum

Lewis & Clark Festival in Onawa, Iowa

On June 12, 13 and 14 the city of Onawa, Iowa will hold its annual Lewis & Clark Festival at the Lewis and Clark State Park, located a couple of miles west of that city.

Features include a keelboat made to the specifications of the one used by the Corps of Discovery, a muzzleloader shoot, musical performances and historical reenactments.

Original announcement
Lewis & Clark Festival

Mapping exhibit to open in Bismarck, ND

An new exhibit called "Finding North Dakota: 250 Years of Mapping" will be featured at the Camp Hancock State Historic Site in Bismarck, North Dakota. The exhibit opens this Wednesday and will continue through August 16. The exhibit reviews the history of the exploration of North Dakota, by means of displaying a progression of maps.

Full article in the Bismarck Tribune
Mapping exhibit to open in Bismarck

Fort Leavenworth

Fort Leavenworth, established by Col. Henry Leavenworth in 1827, is the oldest active Army post west of the Mississippi River. Colonel Leavenworth established the post on the west bank of the Missouri River, instead of on the east bank as he had been directed to, because he preferred the formidable terrain on the western side of the river. Fort Leavenworth is considered to be one of the most significant historic military installations in the nation, and a 213-acre section was established as a National Historic Landmark District in 1974.

While visiting the fort you can stop in at the Frontier Army Museum, which displays historical artifacts telling the story of the Frontier Army from 1804 through 1916, and Fort Leavenworth from 1827 to the present. You can also pay tributes to our nation's heroes by visiting the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery.

Home Page
Grant Ave
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027
(800) 844-4114

On Google Maps
Fort Leavenworth

Marina at Fort Stevenson State Park returns to life

Thanks to rising water in Lake Sakakawea, the marina at Fort Stevenson State Park is back in business, following a lapse of eight long years.

In addition to the cabin cruisers and large sailboats now using the marina, fishermen have begun to return as well, drawn by the reopening of the concession store and bait shop located near the boat ramp.

The full article in the Minot Daily News
Marina returns to life