Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 1 Sunday, June 26, 2011

Friendship, Wisconsin to Camp Dubois, aka Camp Wood, in Hartford, Illinois
Miles Traveled Today: 459.7
Total Miles: 459.7

The Corps of Discovery II left this morning at 6:00 a.m. There was an air of excitement as we departed. Excitement because we were about to follow in the path of two of America's greatest heroes, who had put their lives on the line to explore our country. Lewis and Clark have inspired adventurers for 200 years to push themselves to the limits of human endurance and perseverance.

Unfortunately, there was a real sadness as well. Yesterday, our town of Adams-Friendship laid to rest another true American hero, Private First Class Ryan Larson. Ryan was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan on June 15, 2011. He served our country to insure the freedom we enjoy, and he sacrificed his life so that Americans might be able to undertake a journey such as ours with the knowledge that we live in a country where we can enjoy such blessings. We have decided as a group to honor him by dedicating this trip to his memory. Rest in peace, Ryan.

The trip today was not very awe-inspiring. The weather was great, with mostly cloudy skies and pleasant temperatures that reached into the 80s as we neared Camp Dubois. Since the entire trip down was expressway through the flat lands of Illinois, most motorcycling enthusiasts would be bored to tears. We were.

Finally, we reached our camp around 1:30, dropped our gear, and headed to Camp Dubois. There we found a museum with a replica fort. Inside the museum was a 55 foot replica keel boat that was cut down the center lengthwise to enable visitors to see how everthing was stored on the boat.

The fort itself is not in the actual location from 200 years ago. We discovered that the channels of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers have moved 4 miles since then, so the actual site is now probably underwater.

The event we enjoyed most was climbing to the top of the 150 foot Confluence Tower. From the top we could see where the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers flow together. This is considered the point of departure for the original Corps of Discovery. Our campsite tonight lies 3 miles south, so this turns out to be our departure point for new roads never before traveled.

Both Lewis and Clark and our group have one thing in common. They were impatient to head out on their exploration. So are we. Tomorrow should bring plenty of fun and adventure.

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