Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo
Clark described the route: 'Thro' thickets in which we were obliged to Cut a road, over rockey hill Sides where our horse were in perpetual danger of Slipping to Ther certain distruction & up & Down Steep hills...with the greatest dificuelty risqué & c. We made 7 1/2 miles.'" (Stephen Ambrose, "Lewis and Clark: Voyage of Discovery")
Celebrated author, the late Stephen Ambrose, began an extraordinary family tradition in 1976. Stephen, his wife and five children began to take summer vacations to places along the route that Lewis and Clark traveled in the early 1800s. Over the years, they selected their favorite spots, two of the three in Idaho: Lemhi Pass and the Idaho portion of Lolo Trail. In Lewis and Clark: Voyage of Discovery, Ambrose recounts Meriwether Lewis's first meeting with the Shoshone Tribe.
This encounter meant life or death for the mission and
its members. As we know, the tribes welcomed the men and their long-lost
Shoshone relative, Sacajawea. Offering food, shelter, horses and a guide,
both the Shoshones and later, the Nez Perce, helped the
In 2003, Idaho began commemorating its major role in the Lewis and Clark expedition. In January of that year, Idahoans traveled to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home in Virginia, as representatives at the national bicentennial inaugural event. The Idaho Governor's Lewis & Clark Trail Committee has worked tirelessly over the years to foster greater understanding and appreciation of the accomplishments of these early explorers, the hospitality and cultures of the tribes who aided them and what it means for us today. Cities and towns along the route have sponsored events and educational exploration opportunities for Idahoans and visitors who are interested in experiencing this momentous journey. New interpretive centers have been constructed in Salmon, Lolo Pass, Weippe and Lewiston.
Along the Trail, new interpretive signage and public art
guide tourists. Lands traversed by Lewis and Clark have been purchased
for permanent preservation. There has never been a better time to visit
the Lewis and Clark Trail.
This summer might be the perfect time to do something like the Ambroses did – make this learning experience one for the whole family. For information on upcoming events, please see my website: http://crapo.senate.gov.