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  Recommendations of Lewis and Clark Information Sources
We Suggest:  
Here are some great Lewis and Clark websites:
Discovering Lewis and Clark
Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation
  The Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation

The Character of Meriwether Lewis-Explorer in the Wilderness by Clay S. Jenkinson
This is a recent publication that is easily the most thought-provoking book that I have read on the expedition. Jenkinson's insights about Lewis's personality, and his synthesis of works from other authors about Lewis during and after the expedition; about what led to his death (suicide vs. murder) makes for a very compelling read for history buffs and Lewis ands Clark fans.  I fully recommend this book! 

  Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose
This is the book that, along with trips to western Montana, ignited my fancy for Lewis and Clark.  It goes into great detail about the politics and fine points of the expedition (Dr. Steve Ambrose was an historian, not a physician, so the medical aspects are not this book strongpoint). His passion and enthusiasm for the Corps of Discovery was highly responsible for the resurgence of interest in Lewis and Clark since this book was published in the mid 1990s. His writing reflects his love of this story.  Any serious Lewis and Clark fan must read this book.

Lewis and Clark Among the Indians by James Ronda
This was a real eye-opener for me. Dr. Ronda covers the Native American tribes during the expedition and the politics of power played by various tribes along the route. The society of the native tribes was anything but simple, and the conflict with white American culture was inevitable. This is a great Lewis and Clark book.

The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition: Abridged Edition: An American Epic of Discovery- Gary E. Moulton, Editor
This abridged version is available if you don't want the entire 13 volumes. Take this along and read what the Captains saw when you visit the trail sites. If you have a soul for history, you will never be the same!

Along the Trail with Lewis and Clark by Barbara Fifer
Great detailed and local maps will show you how to get to any part of the entire trail that you might care to explore!  If you are going to explore the trail, get this book.
  Important Sites along the Montana Trail
If reading books and looking at photos are not enough for you then visit the trail and see parts of it for yourself. This travel itinerary could be done in a 7-10 day period. You would not have to camp if you choose not to, as many sites are close to towns where you can eat and sleep in comfort. Many of the sites you'll see are virtually unchanged from what the Captains saw 200 years ago. You'll get hooked for sure!

Of course there are many other L & C Trail sites in the other states along the L & C Trail, but I am most familiar with the sites in Montana. So here are my favorites:
Great Falls, Montana - The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is a must see. This is a good place to begin your trip in Montana and get an overall mental picture of the Expedition. There is a great movie theatre and multiple exhibits in this center, opened in 1998. You can drive to see several of the Great Falls of the Missouri River in the area, including the largest falls at Ryan Dam. You can drive up by White Bear Island and imagine the Grizz chasing you, just like they did the men of the expedition! You can see the area where the Grizz chased Lewis into the Missouri River in central Great Falls. Go to the gorgeous Giant Springs and see the most beautiful blue-green spring water in the world!  The Great Falls area is a very historic area for Expedition buffs!  Great Falls is a big city - There are lots of restaurants and things to see!  The drive from Great Falls to Helena, 90 miles to the south on Interstate 15, inspired me so much, I wrote about it in my book!  Rock formations and views of the Missouri River are to die for!  Get off the Interstate at Hardy and take the Canyon Access road that runs alongside of the Missouri River.  It's about 5 miles of great scenery. The bridge you cross was used in a scene of The Untouchables.
If you want a real L & C adventure, consider going on the 43 mile canoe trip down the Missouri River, through the White Cliffs area, from Virgelle or Coal Banks landing, to the Judith River Landing. The river is wide and mostly moves along slowly, at about 4 knots. You can rent a canoe in Fort Benton and arrange for transportation to and from the river.  It's an easy 2 ½ day trip. You can camp at L & C campsites. It's often very hot during July and August. There are guided trips available. These people put up your camp, cook your food and tell you about the sites. I know people in their 80's who have made a trip like this.
Gates of the Mountains-20 miles north of Helena, Montana, just off Interstate 15. You cannot miss this because it's too difficult to drive by and not notice the off ramp, and it's a great and spectacular two hour boat ride into history. Lewis named this area in July 1805. You can get off the boat at Meriwether Campground and go for several different hikes in the area. (One hike is into the historic Mann Gulch, scene of a wildfire in 1949 that killed 13 Montana Smokejumpers.  It's a tough hike and can be very hot in the summer!) The Foundation runs boat tours multiple times daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day. There is a gift store and a snack bar. Nearby Helena is the capitol of Montana with good food and plenty of hotels. The Montana Historical Museum is great!  Across the street from the museum is the Capitol that is worth a self-guided tour.
Beaverhead Rock- Just north of Dillon, Montana. About 3 hours south of Helena. Take the riverside road that runs alongside the Jefferson River. You can drive by, up close and personal and inspect the hill that Sacagawea recognized as being in the vicinity of her native Shoshone tribe's territory during their outbound trip in 1805.
Lemhi Pass- drive south on I-15 from Dillon and go up the dirt roads by Clark Canyon Reservoir, that is covering up Lewis & Clark's Camp Fortunate. Ask the locals and get a map. The drive to Lemhi is not far and well worth the little bit of effort you'll put out.  If you want, take the ride down the other side of the pass into Idaho and then north again into Montana and the Bitterroot Valley.  The majestic Bitterroot Mountains on the west will inspire you and make you say along with Sgt. Patrick Gass of the Expedition, The most terrible mountains I ever beheld!  Near Sula, Montana, is where Lewis and Clark met the friendly Salish (Flathead) Indians. Continue up the valley to Traveler's Rest.
Traveler's Rest- Lolo, Montana.  See the probable campsite of Lewis and Clark in both September 1805 and again in July 1806.  Drive up the road about 25 miles to Lolo Hot Springs.  There some hotels and restaurants at the hot springs.  A few more miles up the road and stop at the very nice National Park Service visitora's center on the Montana-Idaho border.  Continue into Idaho and perhaps up the dirt road and see some of the Lolo Trail for yourself. You can arrange for a horseback ride across much of the Lolo.
Montana Highway 200- Drive this highway from south of Missoula over to Great Falls. You'll drive through small towns like Ovando and Lincoln. This spectacular drive rambles through some beautiful country with views of the mighty Rockies to the north and the Bob Marshall and Scapegoat Wilderness areas. You'll descend the eastern slope of the Rockies and on a clear day you can see for miles along the northern front range. Some days the views are really phenomenal! This is the shortcut that Lewis took from Traveler's Rest to the Great Falls in July 1806. This valley has numerous crossings of clear mountain streams and coniferous forests. One of my favorite drives in the world!
The Yellowstone River Valley can by seen traveling eastward along I-90, just east of Bozeman, at Livingston. This freeway provides panoramas of the surrounding countryside with the Beartooth/Absaroka mountains to the south and the mighty Yellowstone that Clark and his group took on the homeward bound trip in July-August, 1806. Stop just east of Billings, at Pompey's Pillar and see William Clark's etched name on the mountain done in July 1806. There is a visitor's center at this location and a nice picnic ground alongside the Yellowstone River.
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Or Perish in the Attempt:
Medicine and Hardship of the
Lewis and Clark Expedition

Oregon Public Broadcasting
Produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting and Lewis and Clark College, Unfinished Journey, The Lewis and Clark Expedition is a 13 part series, narrated by Peter Coyote.  This landmark series was carried nationally on over 80 NPR stations and covered a diverse number of topics relating to the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  Dr. Peck was a featured participant in two of the episodes.  These episodes are featured here in their entirety for your pleasure, courtesy of Oregon Public Broadcasting, Portland Oregon.
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Dr. David Peck
  Clay Jenkinson, the new editor and director of Discovering Lewis & Clark®, is the author of the most recent featured addition to the site"
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