I have had the proverbial week from hell. Tons ‘o work….away from home… no PatriotPartner or PatriotPooches keeping me company.
But I’m looking forward to a very exciting journey this weekend. Ever since a trip to Montana and Wyoming a couple years ago, I have become a part-time, very amateur student of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. (Great background resource here: Discovering Lewis & Clark)
And this weekend, I’m going to be blogging from the Annual Meeting of the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, to which I contribute.
Right after the trip, I became consumed in one of my all-time favorite books: Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose.
Here is one of my favorite passages from the book (from the Journals of Lewis & Clark):
from April 7, 1805 — Our vessels consisted of six small canoes, and two large perogues. This little fleet altho not quite so rispectable as those of Columbus or Capt. Cook were still viewed by us with as much pleasure as those deservedly famed adventurers ever beheld theirs; and I dare say with quite as much anxiety for their safety and preservation. we were now about to penetrate a country at least two thousand miles in width, on which the foot of civillized man had never trodden; the good or evil it had in store for us was for experiment yet to determine, and these little vessells contained every article by which we were to expect to subsist or defend ourselves. however as this the state of mind in which we are, generally gives the colouring to events, when the immagination is suffered to wander into futurity, the picture which now presented itself to me was a most pleasing one. entertaing as I do, the most confident hope of succeading in a voyage which had formed a darling project of mine for the last ten years, I could but esteem this moment of my departure as among the most happy of my life. The party are in excellent health and sperits, zealously attatched to the enterprise, and anxious to proceed; not a whisper of murmur or discontent to be heard among them, but all act in unison, and with the most perfect harmony.
It strikes me that Capt. Lewis’ sentiments in that journal passage are so very…. American.
I’ll see you in Portland on Friday! (Still in Philadelphia area until then).