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Lewis and Clark Ride photo of the day

A view of the Missouri River as I am arriving at Pierre, S.D.. This view is looking south from the Highway 14 bridge at La Framboise Island, which earned the name “Bad Humor” when Lewis and Clark passed through the region in 1804, due to a couple close calls with the Teton Sioux. (Google Street View image)

Click here for previous posts on my Lewis and Clark virtual ride across America.

Posted in Fitness

Lewis and Clark Ride photo of the day

A shot of the South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre. After one of their horses was stolen by Teton Sioux, the Corps of Discovery set up camp across the Missouri River (near modern-day Fort Pierre) and held council with the Indians. They stayed from Sept. 24-28, 1804 and were quite happy to shove off and leave the “troublesome” warriors behind. (Google Street View image)

Click here for previous posts on my Lewis and Clark virtual ride across America.

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Lewis and Clark Ride photo of the day

Some beautiful hills on Highway 1806 as I close in on Fort Pierre, S.D. (Google Street View image)

Today’s 20-mile ride featured seven miles of hills and was the most climbing I have done to date. This beautiful stretch of road (Highway 1806) parallels the Missouri River on the west bank, and tomorrow I will ride through the state capital and on to Highway 1804. Yes, Hwys. 1804 and 1806 are named to commemorate the years of Lewis and Clark’s expedition. Click here for previous posts on my Lewis and Clark virtual ride across America.

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Lewis and Clark Ride photo of the day

1,000 miles down! At this point (40 miles shy of Pierre, S.D.), I have burned almost 38,000 calories and although I have climbed 19,000 feet of hills, the Missouri River is about 1,000 feet higher here than my starting point where it empties into the Mississippi River north of St. Louis. Click here for previous posts on my Lewis and Clark virtual ride across America.
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Lewis and Clark Ride photo of the day

A view of the Missouri River from the Lower Brule Indian Reservation in central South Dakota. Native Americans in this area are from the same tribe (Lakota — or “Teton Sioux” as Lewis and Clark referred to them) that engaged in an armed standoff with the Corps of Discovery in September 1804. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and the outnumbered Americans were able to continue on to the Pacific. (Google Street View Image) For my other Lewis and Clark virtual ride posts, click here.


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Lewis and Clark Ride photo of the day

At this point, I am roughly 950 miles into my journey. North of Iona, South Dakota along S.D. Hwy. 47. This region was Teton Sioux territory in Lewis and Clark’s Day. (Google Street View Image) For my other Lewis and Clark virtual ride posts, click here.
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Lewis and Clark (virtual) Ride: Bushwackers, dysentery, and hemp bales

[This is part seven in a series of articles documenting my virtual bike ride across America, following the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition. For previous posts, click here.]

Tracing Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s route to the Pacific from over 200 years ago, I strap back into the pedals of my PROFORM Tour de France bike and pick up the trail in modern-day Saline county, just west of where the Chariton River empties into the Missouri River. My virtual route, which follows the river as closely as roads allow, meanders through the western portion of Missouri’s “Little Dixie” region. This part of the “Show-Me State” got its name from the plantation owners that migrated here from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia in the 19th Century, bringing their slaves with them, and establishing hemp, tobacco, and cotton farms.

Typically, the Google Street View images displayed by my bike look great. But certain stretches of Missouri backroads aren’t the greatest, such as this (heavily retouched) screen capture over the Missouri River, near Miami, Mo. Imagery along this stretch of Missouri Route 41 dates back to 2009, while the old steel truss bridge pictured above (built in 1939) was still standing. Today, a new concrete girder bridge stands in its place.

The explorers had been traveling upriver for a month at this point, and Capt. Clark writes that the men were “much aflicted [sic] with boils and several have the Decissentary [dysentery].”

If you played Oregon Trail as a kid, some of your poor characters probably died of dysentery.

Continue reading “Lewis and Clark (virtual) Ride: Bushwackers, dysentery, and hemp bales”

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Lewis and Clark (virtual) Ride: Boonslick Country to Missouri’s Grand Divide

[This is part six in a series of articles documenting my virtual bike ride across America, following the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition. For previous posts, click here.]

In this post, I pick up the trail west of Jefferson City, Mo. and continue along the Missouri River until reaching the Chariton River.

Along the way is the town of Boonville, Mo., which was the site of a tiny battle that had a huge impact on the Civil War.

On May 10, 1861, just days after the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter (S.C.), several hundred Missouri militiamen were drilling at Camp Jackson, just outside the city limits of St. Louis. A pro-confederate force had recently overrun the federal arsenal at Liberty, Mo., and Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon suspected the force amassed at Camp Jackson was going to seize his large arsenal in St. Louis and he ordered his federal troops to capture the Missouri Volunteer Militia members.

As the Union troops marched their prisoners through town, they were harassed and pelted with rocks and other objects by a secessionist mob. Lyon’s men eventually opened fire on the crowd, killing 28 civilians and wounding dozens more. Missouri’s pro-confederate governor Claiborne Jackson and Missouri State Guard commander Maj. Gen. Sterling Price (a former brigadier general of volunteers and veteran of the Mexican-American War who opposed secession until the Camp Jackson incident) met with Lyon and told him that his federal troops were not to travel beyond St. Louis. Lyon responded by saying their demand “meant war” and declared his men would have free passage throughout the state. He allowed Jackson and Price safe passage out of St. Louis and the pair fled west to Jefferson City. However, Lyon and his force of U.S. Army regulars and Missouri militia were hot on their tail.

Looking east from the Boonslick Bridge, just north of Boonsville, Mo. (Google Street View image)

Continue reading “Lewis and Clark (virtual) Ride: Boonslick Country to Missouri’s Grand Divide”