Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Road Trip Photos

We are back into the swing of things at home and at work after our vacation road trip to Colorado. Driving from Minnesota through South Dakota and Nebraska is not the most exciting drive in the world, but we made the best of it!

We stopped at the Chamberlain, South Dakota Visitor and Information Center, which also commemorates the Lewis and Clark expedition. There’s a great view of the Missouri River from here.

This new sculpture named ‘Dignity’ is a 50’ tall stainless steel statue of an indigenous woman receiving a star quilt - a prized gift of the Northern Plains Indians.

The quilt has lights on it at night - visible from the highway.  Would’ve been fun to see it all lit up!

Once we reached Colorado, we did some horseback riding and hiking - and most of all, just thoroughly enjoyed the views!  What a beautiful area - I really do love the mountains. The temperatures were unseasonably warm in the upper 70’s and 80, and there were LOTS of people there doing the same thing we were, which we did not expect mid-September.

We stayed in Estes Park, Colorado - a tourist town near Rocky Mountain National Park.  We could walk to all of the shops and restaurants, so it was very convenient.  Our goal was to have mountain views and do some hiking - what a beautiful place!

Such an interesting place, rich with wildlife and history.  Not to mention those mountain views - pictures just don’t do it justice!


  1. So glad you had a great time! The photos look spectacular on my computer. It must be difficult to get back to your work routine after that exciting trip!

    Re Lewis and Clark: Many do not know that the large boat (keelboat/barge) and smaller boats, essential to the initial part of the journey (from St. Louis up to Ft. Mandan - S.Dakota) were made here in Pittsburgh to Lewis's specifications. Lewis (with about 11 other men from the Pittsburgh area to accompany him) took command of the new 'barge' and left Pittsburgh on Aug. 31, 1803 and headed down the Ohio River. They picked up Clark from his home in Kentucky and continued on to St. Louis where they waited until Spring of 1804 for the official beginning of the expedition. In St. Louis they recruited the Army volunteers and riverboat men (Corps of Discovery - about 35 men) who would make the entire journey to the Pacific Ocean, which included - after wintering in Ft. Mandan - the arduous trek over the mountains to eventually reach the Columbia River and finally the Pacific Ocean in Nov. 1805.
    Of course, the land in the Northwest was occupied by several native tribes, without whose assistance and generosity they wouldn't have survived. Can't forget to mention Sacagawea, her French husband and their baby, added at Ft. Mandan, who helped to guide them and prove to the natives along the way that the mission was a peaceful one. Of course, the repurcussions of the Expedition are still analyzed today.

    That Indian statue is most impressive!

    1. Thank you! This history and expedition is most interesting!

    2. This obviously is an extremely brief 'sketch' of the incredibly ambitious and amazing 3-year expedition, and I must correct the location of Mandan, which is in North Dakota, about 280 miles north of your stop in Chamberlain SD.

      I became immersed in Lewis and Clark history when re-enactors came to Pittsburgh in 2003 as part of an unbelievable 3-year real-time reenactment to commemorate the Bicentennial of the Expedition, following the original journals day by day. (The re-enactment is a story in itself, and had all kinds of challenges - and drama!) It was a huge shock to most Pittsburghers (including myself) to learn for the first time that we had anything at all to do with the Lewis & Clark Expedition, particularly the important construction of the keelboat! History books prior to 2000 tended to completely ignore Lewis's preparations for the journey on the Eastern side of the country, and usually begin with St. Louis in 1804. Even books on Pittsburgh history don't mention Lewis's name, even though he was here many times during his Army service and knew the Ohio River area very well.

      Thanks to the then 'new' internet in 2003 (I had to go to the library computers, as I didn't have access at home until 2006), I was able to follow the reenactment all the way to the Pacific Ocean and back to St. Louis in 2006, via news reports, the re-enactor's journal entries, and even some videos And, of course, I learned about the actual Expedition, which was a real eye-opener. I devoured the excellent book 'Undaunted Courage' by Stephen Ambrose, who keeps the reader totally spellbound every step of the way! I kept shaking my head at the fascinating history of this country that most of us never think about.

      I also have to mention one more 'passenger' - the big, lovable Newfoundland dog, named Seaman, that was Lewis's companion for the entire journey. He was also purchased in Pittsburgh by Lewis!
      It's almost like a Disney movie that no one would believe. Indeed, no movie or documentary can completely do it justice!

  2. Fascinating to see and read about all of this!


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