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The Trail of Discovery
Volume 6, "The Fall of the Missouri"
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Volume 6, "The Fall of the Missouri"

State(s): Central Montana
From: Loma (Marias River) to Great Falls
Roads: Hwy 87
Journal Sections: May 14 - July 19, 1805 & July 1806


Content Highlights:

· White Cliffs
· Canoe accident, again
· White pirogue, evil genie, Charbonneau & Cruzatte
· Seaman saves camp from buffalo stampede
· Seaman stories
· Marias River
· 9 days - decision about which was the "real" Missouri
· Great Falls portage
· 32 days, hard work, misperceptions, Lewis falls on cliffs, again
· Iron boat fiasco
· Ft. Benton - monument
· L&C interp ctr in Great Falls
· Blackfoot fight, Lewis Eastbound
· Giant Springs park, Gates of the Mountain

Volume 6 contains several critical junctures for the Corps. The exploration of the Marias River, to determine the "real" Missouri River and the portage at Great Falls were defining weeks. At the Marias, a wrong choice would have changed the course of history, as the Corps would have lost time and might not have made it to the ocean. The Great Falls portage was a snapshot capturing the strength of mind and body (and resourcefulness) required of the explorers in the company throughout the expedition. Also in this volume we'll address the Corps' only violent encounter with the tribes it met - Lewis' disastrous run-in with the Blackfeet during the return journey. We'll look at why and how the incident occurred. A number of geological wonders will be examined, including the White Cliffs and the Gates of the Mountain. We'll also take a look at Lewis' failed iron boat. Journal readings will cover the close calls of Lewis' second fall while climbing cliffs, the overturning of the white pirogue and Seaman's part in saving the camp from a buffalo stampede, as well as other stories about Lewis' remarkable dog. We'll also direct travelers to the many fine interpretive sights on this leg of the journey.

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