Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 21 Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bismarck, North Dakota to Red Wing, Minnesota
Miles Traveled Today: 572.2
Total Miles: 6564.4

It was another day of logging A LOT of miles. We decided to head for Fargo because a storm was rolling in. We stayed ahead of it, reached the Harley dealership, and replaced the gear linkage. Quick, five minute job. The tire can wait until we reach home.

Then it was putting in the time on the road with mid 90s temperature and more humidity than we had known for the past couple of weeks.

The Corps of Discovery, when they realized they were nearing civilization, really pushed to get home. They wanted to see their families and friends. Their journals note how they would push to an extreme limit to make as many miles as posible those last few days. We are feeling the same way. We made a big push, and now it is only a short, couple hundred mile leg to the finish line.

Feelings are paradoxical in nature. Glad to be nearing home. Sad that this journey is near completion. We can only imagine what Lewis, Clark, and the rest of the Corps must have been thinking. All they had discovered, endured, accomplished. What lay ahead for them? How can anything top this?

One must wonder about Lewis in particular. He had been sent by President Jefferson to find a Northwest Passage and found it to be non-existent. In some respects he felt he had failed. However, the job that he and the rest did was simply incredible. It is sad to think that Lewis felt he had failed, and already being depressed, took his own life a short time later. He was the only one not to consider himself a hero.

Clark went on to marry his fiancee, Judith, for whom he named the Judith River. They had a son, Meriwether Lewis Clark, along with other children, and today, eight generations later, there is a long line of descendants living in our country. What a great legacy!

Our last day will bring us home, and then we will continue on with our lives as well. An excitement about the future. A sadness that a wonderful experience is over.

We will make one more journal entry that will wrap up our trip, reflecting on what we did, observed, and thought.

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