Road Scholar 4002

Follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark as you cross seven states and overnight in 15 cities on a fascinating journey of discovery. Beginning in St. Louis, Mo., go west as an onboard historian helps you bring the story to life traveling the waters, navigating the mountains and trekking the land of the last difficult miles along the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean.

* Historic sites, artifacts, lectures and living-history presentations bring this epic story to life.
* Examine a full-size replica of the party’s keelboat and study the relationships between the explorers and Native Americans.
* Cross the Bitteroot Mountains and see the camp where the expedition built five canoes.

DAY 1 Arrive St. Charles, MO
(D) Fly to St. Louis, the nearest airport, and take "Country Cab" to St. Charles. County Cab/Yellow Cab (Taxi), 314-993-8294. $25. Note: The dedicated airport cabs are a bit more expensive than County Cab. Call them at 314-993-8294 or 314-991-5300. Please have your airline and flight number ready. If calling once you arrive, you can call from the baggage area. Look for a County Cab/Yellow Cab house phone and dial #24 to call the dispatcher directly, at no charge to you.

Arrivals and Program registration, followed by welcome and orientation session. Dinner is at the hotel. Free time to explore the local surroundings or relax. Hotel: Country Inn & Suites

Day 2 St. Charles / St. Louis
(BLD) Breakfast is - Bacon, sausage, ham, eggs, cold and hot cereal, waffles, pastries, yogurt, fresh fruit, coffee, tea and juice. Travel to St. Louis. View some of the rarest artifacts of the Lewis and Clark journey at the Museum of Westward Expansion. Ascend to the top of the nation's tallest monument, the Gateway Arch, representing the Gateway to the West.

Lunch is at the Winery of the Little Hills in the heart of St. Charles historic district. Then visit the Lewis and Clark Boathouse and Nature Center. This educational facility features exhibits relating to the Lewis and Clark expedition as well as the Missouri River ecosystem. Then, continue your explorations of St. Charles.

Dinner is on the St. Charles Community College Campus. In this evening's presentation, "Setting the Stage: The Louisiana Purchase," learn about America's purchase of the vast French-controlled lands that would soon be explored by Lewis and Clark.

Day 3 St. Charles - Independence, MO
(BLD) Arrive at Arrow Rock State Historic Site Visitor Center to explore its exhibits of area history, including early Osage and Missouri tribal settlements, French and Spanish exploration, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Corps of Discovery. Then, venture to Lewis and Clark Overlook for a view of the Missouri River and the salt licks noted by the expedition.

Enjoy a box lunch at a scenic picnic area near the Lewis and Clark Overlook with presentation on "Lewis & Clark in the Arrow Rock Area." Explore the Truman Presidential Museum & Library, home to the archives of Harry S. Truman, thirty-third president of the United States. Then, venture to Ft. Osage Visitor Center and Museum to peruse its Lewis and Clark exhibits and view a film on the historic expedition.

Dinner is at the hotel. Tonight's lecture is "Trappers and the Fur Trade." Learn all about the doughty men who forged trails into the wilderness to harvest its bounty of furs, the trading outposts that were established by them, and the impact they had on regional development. Hotel: Higher Ground Hotel

Day 4 Independence to Council Bluffs, IA
(BLD) Travel on to Nebraska City and the Missouri River Interpretive Center, where you'll learn about the flora and fauna encountered by the expedition. Then continue your journey to Council Bluffs, so named because it was the site of meetings and councils that Lewis and Clark held with area Native American tribes. We have a lunch stop en route.

On the way to Council Bluffs, explore the fort and museum at Ft. Atkinson - the first U.S. military post west of the Missouri River, established in 1819 after William Clark recommended the site as an excellent location for a fort. At the Western Historic Trails Center in Council Bluffs, learn about the Lewis and Clark Trail and enjoy educational exhibits, maps, films, and sculpture.

Dinner is at local restaurant. Enjoy a free evening to relax or explore Council Bluffs. Hotel: Comfort Suites

Day 5 Council Bluffs to Yankton, SD
(BLD) Explore Lewis and Clark State Park, a 20-acre site situated on an oxbow lake that was once a bend in the Missouri River. Examine a full size replica of the party's keelboat-barge, "Best Friend."

Enjoy lunch at the Longline Family Recreational Center with presentation by local expert. At the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and Sgt. Floyd Welcome Center, learn more about the leg of the expedition that traversed this region. Continue along the Lewis and Clark Trail toward Yankton, stopping at Spirit Mound. Local tribes believed that tiny demons or spirits, armed with arrows, inhabited this prairie hill. Lewis and Clark set off on foot to investigate this story on Aug. 25, 1804, hiking for four hours in sweltering heat. They didn't find demons, but they did discover a fantastic view and a herd of 800 bison.

Dine in the banquet room at Kelly Inn. We have free time this evening. Hotel: Best Western Kelly Inn- Yankton, SD

Day 6, Yankton to Pierre, SD
(BLD) Travel to Fort Randall, a military outpost located on the south side of the Missouri River. Arrive at St. Joseph's School - first opened as a government boarding school in 1880 and now run by a Catholic order serving children and youths from area Sioux reservations - in time for lunch and a look at an authentic teepee that was the typical abode of Plains tribes.

Enjoy lunch at St. Joseph's School. In Pierre, South Dakota's state capital, take guided tours of the Cultural Heritage Center and the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center to learn more about Native peoples and area history. The Cultural Heritage Center features artifacts from the state's past, from Sioux clothing and utensils to the tools of ranchers and miners. The Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center houses artifacts and exhibits on Sioux life, culture, and history.

Dinner on your own to enjoy a dinner in a local restaurant of your choice, or take a picnic dinner down to the banks of the Missouri. Relax or explore Pierre. Your centrally-located hotel is just two blocks from the state capitol complex, and three blocks from the banks of the Missouri River. Hotel: Kings Inn

Day 7 Pierre to Bismark, ND
(BLD) Travel from Pierre to Bismarck, capital of North Dakota, with stops at historic landmarks and sites along the way including a Sacagawea Monument and Sitting Bull's "grave" site.

We have Buffet Lunch somewhere. Venture to Mandan - land of rolling hills and bluffs - to explore Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, site of the reconstructed home of General George Armstrong Custer and reconstructed Mandan Indian earth lodges similar to those that housed up to 1000 people just prior to Lewis and Clark's travels through the area. Then take a riverboat cruise on the Missouri River and learn about area history and lore along the way.

We have a Catered buffet at the Comfort Inn, then a Free evening to relax. Hotel: Comfort Inn Bismarck (BLD)

Day 8 Bismark to Medora, ND
(BLD) Discover North Dakota's rich history at the North Dakota Heritage Center. Then, go to the North Dakota Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center for an overview of the time the Corps of Discovery spent at Fort Mandan during the winter of 1804-1805. Here Lewis and Clark met Toussaint Charbonneau and his pregnant wife, Sacagawea. Charbonneau sought to join the corps as an interpreter. During this winter Lewis joined in a buffalo hunt with the Mandans and Sacagawea gave birth. Exhibits include Native American artifacts, a buffalo robe and a cradle board that visitors may try on, and an authentic wood canoe carved from the trunk of a large cottonwood tree.

We have a Sack lunch at Fort Mandan, followed by exploration of the fort. Explore the lives of the Northern Plains Indians on the Upper Missouri at the Knife River Indian Village National Historic Site. Step into a reconstructed earth lodge; view the artistry of everyday and ceremonial clothing, bags, and implements; and learn about traditional Hidatsa tribal life. Then walk through the Sakakawea site, where earth lodge depressions hint of vibrant village life.

We have a Barbecue dinner at a local restaurant. Hotel: Rough Riders Hotel

Day 9 Medora - Billings, MT
(BLD) Journey from Medora to Billings, stopping at historic landmarks and sites along the Lewis and Clark Trail. We then have a picnic lunch. Pompeys Pillar, about 25 miles east of Billings, Montana, is one of the most famous sandstone buttes in America. It was named by Clark after Sacagawea's son who he nicknamed Pomp and is one of two known physical evidence sites of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Clark carved his signature on the face of the butte on July 25, 1806. Learn more about this fascinating landmark during a presentation and explore Pompeys Pillar National Monument to see canoe replicas and enjoy the view of the Yellowstone River.

Dinner is at the Hotel. Tonight, hear the fascinating account of Clark's return journey down the Yellowstone River. Hotel: Best Western Clocktower Inn

Day 10 Billings to Helena, MT
(BLD) Arrive at Missouri Headwaters State Park, which encompasses the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin Rivers and includes the Three Forks of the Missouri National Historic Landmark. Explore the park and learn from history interpreters how the Corps of Discovery anticipated these important headwaters as they traveled up the Missouri River. They stopped at the site on July 28, 1805 and named the three forks coming together at this location after Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Albert Gallatin.

After a Box lunch, Continue on to Helena, with historic interpretation along the route. Dinner is in Helena. Gates of the Mountain - the spectacular landscape seen by Lewis and Clark as they boated along the Missouri River (and tomorrow's destination) - is the subject of this evening's presentation. Learn about their trip through this area of towering limestone cliffs with a deep narrow channel where rock walls appeared to block their passage only to open up as they drew near. Hotel: Jorgenson's Motel

Day 11 Helena to Great Falls, MT / State Capitol / Historical Society / Gates of Mountains Boat Excursion
(BLD) Venture to the Montana State Capitol Complex, housing public art inventoried and documented by the Montana Historical Society. Then take a guided tour of the Montana Historical Society Museum - known as Montana's Museum - which collects, preserves, and interprets fine art, historical, archaeological, and ethnological artifacts that pertain to Montana and its adjoining geographic region. Then, embark on a boat ride on the Missouri River to view the huge rock bluffs that loom over the river's banks. In July of 1805, when the Corps of Discovery arrived on this stretch of river, they were stunned by the sight of these stone giants. In his journal, Meriwether Lewis wrote: I shall call this place: 'Gates of the Mountains.'" The canyon is home to Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goats, ospreys, eagles, otters and deer.

We have a Sack lunch then continue on to Great Falls, with historic interpretation along the way including a stop at First People's Buffalo Jump. Dinner is at a local restaurant. Free time to relax, walk along the Missouri River or go to Wal-Mart for those who need it - transportation provided. Hotel: Townhouse Inn - two nights

Day 12 Great Falls / C.M. Russell Museum
(BLD) Free time to explore Great Falls before going to the C.M. Russell Museum--a place where the old West is still alive! His artwork is part entertainment, part history lesson. Lunch is at the C.M. Russell Museum. Enjoy a fascinating presentation on the life of C.M. Russell - cowboy, outdoorsman, writer, philosopher, environmentalist and conservationist, artist, and passionate advocate for the Plains Indians. Then, tour the museum, which houses Russell's collection of memorabilia, artifacts, and art work. A local instructor takes you on a guided tour of the infamous Portage Route, where the Corps experienced a grueling, month-long trial to determine the best route around the falls--a serious underestimation on their part. Dinner is at the hotel.

Day 13 Great Falls to Missoula, MT / Giant Springs State Park / Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center
(BLD) Travel to Giant Springs State Park where Clark discovered this huge "fountain or spring" during the portage around Great Falls. Walk or ride the bus to the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center. Displays interpret the portage around the Great Falls and other aspects of the expedition. There is an emphasis on their relationships with the Indian tribes of the Northern Plains.

Lunch is at the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Park Headquarters. Travel to Missoula with a stop at Rodger's Pass to mark the crossing of the Continental Divide. Dinner is at the hotel. Tonight's presentation will discuss Lewis and Clark as Naturalists. There were many purposes for the expedition, which President Thomas Jefferson handed down to Lewis in a set of charges. Among them was the recording and collecting of plant and animal specimens. Hotel: Ruby's Inn

Day 14 Missoula to Lewiston, ID / Traveler's Rest State Park / Lolo Summit / Nez Perce National Historical Park
(BLD) Arrive at Traveler's Rest State Park where the expedition camped September 9-11, 1805 and June 30-July 3, 1806. Here on the return journey the Corps of Discovery separated into two parties as to allow one group to explore the Yellowstone country. Archaeologists found evidence of the latrine and central fire of the Corps in 2002. This is the second of the two sites with physical confirmation of the group's visit.

Lunch is at the Lochsa Lodge. Traveling to Lewiston you'll visit Canoe Camp where the expedition camped and built five canoes for their journey down the Clearwater, Snake and Columbia Rivers. It was here that the expedition finally reached navigable waters after hardships in the Bitterroot Mountains. Learn about the ways of the Nez Perce at the Nez Perce National Historical Park Visitor Center and view a sample canoe.

Dinner is at the hotel. Learn about the Nez Perce people, history and culture from a Nez Perce Tribal Council Member. Hotel: Red Lion Inn

Day 15 Lewiston to Hood River, OR
(BLD) Leaving the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake Rivers journey toward The Dalles traveling through the southwest portion of Washington. Instruction provided onboard the bus. Crossing into Oregon view Hat Rock named by Clark on October 19th, 1805.

We have a Picnic lunch at the confluence of the Columbia and Snake rivers where one of artist Maya Lin's confluence project designs near Pasco, Washington, explores the connections of cultures to one other, and to the landscape. Your sense of the place as a meeting point of native cultures, languages, flora and fauna, will deepen as you walk the site.

Continue on to The Dalles were you'll visit the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, the official interpretive center for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Then we will travel to Hood River for our overnight stay. Dinner is at the hotel, then a Free evening for a walk along down to the beach or along the trail by the hotel. Hotel: Best Western Hood River Inn

Day 16 Hood River to Astoria, OR / Multnomah Falls / Cape Disappointment
(BLD) Follow the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean. Visit Multnomah Falls which plummets 620 feet and is a major landmark on the Columbia River. Lunch: Sack lunch at Skamokawa Vista Park. Here the expedition team was close to the end of its journey. Although the Corps was looking at the Columbia River Estuary, Clark wrote "Ocian in view! Oh! The joy."

After lunch, a step-on guide will join the group and take you on a learning journey through various landmarks in the area including Long Beach, WA, the farthest point north on the coast reach by the expedition. Dinner is at the Hotel.

Tonight's presentation, "Fulfillment of the Dream," takes you through the final legs of the expedition and its conclusion. Hotel: Holiday Inn Express (Astoria, OR)

Day 17 Astoria - Portland, OR / Fort Clatsop
(BLD) Visit Fort Clatsop National Memorial, site of the expedition's winter quarters from December 7, 1805 to March 23, 1806. The fort site was a safe haven from the stormy shores of the Columbia River Estuary. Return to Astoria to see the Astoria Column which stands on Astoria's highest hill. From the top of this 125-foot spire you'll have impressive view of the Columbia River Estuary.

Lunch is in Astoria. Travel to Portland. Dinner is at the hotel. Farewell, closing words and reflections on the journey. Hotel: Clarion Hotel- Portland International Airport

Day 18 Portland / Departure
(B) Breakfast at the hotel, with departures after. Farewell!