The Pacific was the destination assigned by President Jefferson and The Corps succeeded.
So many months, and days, and miles, and troubles, and struggles and yet it is sad that it is over. That pretty well describes the feelings of Captains Lewis and Clark; and I must say it also describes my feelings. This afternoon, I am sad that it is over.
I can honestly say that I have “planned” or at least dreamt about this journey since I was a young boy. Of course I didn’t know everything about their journey and I still don’t, even after this trip, but I knew enough about it that it created a deep curiosity and a yearning in me. I wanted to see at least some of the places they described and to contemplate their strengths and their drive. Now I have done just that. Numerous times, over the last 28 days, I have stood at the river bank, read a selection from their journals, looked upstream and pictured them rounding the bend headed west.
I didn’t get to see any live grizzly bears and I didn’t get to the point that I had to eat anything undesirable, but I did see buffalos, an elk, a few bald eagles, a lot of ring-necked pheasants, and even a few prairie dogs. I didn’t have to “camp” in my truck even though I was prepared to do it if necessary. I did struggle a few days in the snow and several days in the rain, but I also had some beautiful sunshine that kept my spirits up.
I ventured off the Lewis and Clark journey a few times to see some sights worth seeing. I missed some locations that were significant to Lewis and Clark, but I accomplished most of what I set out to do.
My biggest motivator was knowing that elementary school children would be sharing the adventure with me. I was motivated to complete the daily entries even after a long day on the road because I knew the students would expect a report that day. I constantly reminded myself that my first interest in Lewis and Clark was created when I was in elementary school, so I had to make it interesting and educational. Thanks to all the students throughout the world that have travelled with me.
I really need to acknowledge and thank the guy behind the scene on this website EVERY night of the trip, no matter how late it required; my son Adam. He was extremely patient with me and was willing to do whatever was necessary to produce this web site and to make it as good as possible. He is clearly a professional, but he is also the guy that pushed me to do this journey and he led me in the right directions on sharing the experience this way.
Of course, the fact that I have been gone from home for 28 days automatically relates to my wife and my partner, Judy. She has been totally supportive of this adventure for a long time. She is probably glad that it is finally over and I can check it off my list. She has encouraged me to do this adventure and to enjoy it and to fulfill one of my childhood dreams. She is such a sweety. Thanks, babe, I will see you soon.
Lastly, I think this is the part I really forgot to consider. How does this story and this adventure end? I don’t know if I just quit writing or what. I do know that I have committed to do a couple programs/presentations when I return, but that’s about it. You all will still be able to visit the website and even submit comments.
I have a radio interview scheduled for Tuesday morning with WGEM Talk Radio at 8:10am on FM105.1. After that, I will be headed towards Seattle to spend a few days with Judy and my nieces and a nephew and their families. After that, Judy and I will saddle up my truck and take a leisurely drive back to Colchester, IL.
Thanks to all that have been following me and have been so encouraging.
- Final odometer reading at Ocean Beach, Washington is 31,199 miles.
- Meals for today were $19.00
- Lodging for tonight is $82.00
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