This and That

I’ve been reading Lewis and Clark: Partners in Discovery, by John Bakeless. Some of it is delightful reading. I have to chuckle at some of the quotes. For example, when Clark comments on the abundance of timber in Oregon; he said they made “the straightest and most butifullest logs.” Both Clark and Lewis were not the best at spelling and grammar. Yet I have to admire their courage and tenacity. When they arrived at the west coast they decided to rest through the winter before they headed back; and in just a matter of three or four months they built a total of eight good sized cabins. And they built them sturdy in order to resist any possible Indian attacks. The men, plus Sacagawea, were highly motivated to do everything they had to do to survive.

Painting. I’m back at painting. It’s good for me and is keeping my blood sugar level down—as I have diabetes.

Green. Everything is greener—wonderful! I was thinking about maybe picking up all the trash around this apartment building left over from the winter. A big mess.

More on Lewis and Clark

What an incredible journey they had! I will continue on from the last blog I wrote on this

So many times they nearly lost their lives—by Indians, grizzly bears, falling off cliffs (this happened to Lewis twice), illness, etc.

Most of the time they had plenty to eat, because of the expert hunters they had with them, who shot deer and buffalo. But some of the time, when they were in the mountains, they had little. They ate dogs and their horses. Lewis got to like dog meat, but Clark did not. They also, being always on the river, caught fish.

Both Lewis and Clark were good at healing people with natural means. When the squaw Sacagawea was sick, Lewis used barks, laudanum and sulfur water from a spring, and within a day her fever vanished. Other times they used choke cherry juice to heal. When they were among the Nez Perce and Shoshone Indians, they became so popular—many sick Indians lined up to be treated. The explorers didn’t really think too much of their power, but later when so many Indians praised them they knew they were doing some good. But truthfully, I think it was more of a mental thing—the Indians believed they had healing power, so their belief is what made the difference.  Clark loved to do tricks for the Indians (with gun powder). I think he loved the praise. Many of the Indians called him “Red Head Chief” because he had red hair and they looked up to him.

It is so sad that 80 years later American troops were given the orders to wipe out these same Indians to make room for western white settlers. Yes, the Nez Perce Indians disappeared off the face of the earth.

When Lewis and Clark and their group arrived at the Pacific they built five small log cabins to live in and store their supplies. It only took them a couple of months to do it! They stayed there on the west coast during the winter and then left to return home in the spring. The return trip was easier because they had mapped it out. But for a good bit of the journey they split up so they could explore new ground. Oh, they were adventurous!

When they got back, everyone was amazed to see them. They had given them up for dead. But all were safe except one who had died early in the journey from sickness. Well, they piled gifts of land and money on Lewis and Clark and all the explorers. And they made Lewis the governor of Louisiana. But he hated the job—and wasn’t much good at it. He wished he was back exploring more land. It wasn’t long before Lewis died. Some thought it was suicide, but many thought he was murdered. So tragic.

Clark also became a governor, and he was a good one. He lived a long and prosperous life, having married twice and had seven children. Clark ended up freeing his slave York (who went with him on the journey). But York didn’t like his freedom and wished he was back with Clark. Sad that that was how it was with many freed slaves who were born into slavery. They just didn’t know how to adjust to it.

Sacajawea, unlike other stories that she died along the expedition, this book tells us that she lived longer than anyone else. She had a baby named “Pomp” and she gave him to Clark to be educated. That baby in fact became educated at a good school. His real name was Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. His father, Toussaint Charbonneau, was a French-Canadian fur trapper who joined the Lewis and Clark Expedition as an interpreter with Sacagawea his squaw wife. Well, Pompy was educated at St. Louis Academy, then went to Europe and learned German, Spanish and French, then he became a trapper like his father. It has been written that he grew into a rugged, adventurous man, leaving his mark in the taming of the west.

Update: Lewis and Clark Reading

I have been reading this wonderful book on Lewis and Clark by John Bakeless. The first few chapters were a little boring—with a lot of background stuff. But once I got into the reading of the expedition it was quite good. I am thrilled with all their adventures. Every day they are faced with a new challenge. But they were prepared for most of it. They kind of knew what they would face with the Indians, the Missouri river, and the wild animals. So, they brought along many things to trade with the Indians; and they recruited a few expert hunters. They were always well fed with fresh meat—buffalo and deer, and other small animals.

I was so impressed with Lewis, with his knowledge of the wild—how he knew of all the natural berries and herbs to use for eating and health. Several times he used wild herbs and berries (choke cherries) to restore health to those who got sick.

I am about half-way through the book now. I just finished reading about how they encountered grizzly bears when they were in the area of present Montana. They were especially ferocious, and big—some up to 1,000 pounds. They commented that since the grizzlies had never experienced the loud and deadly rifle shots, they did not fear them. And their hides were so tuff that it took 5 or 6 shots to kill them.

I was amazed in my reading of the bravery of the men, how they continued on even after being chased by huge wounded bears for miles. And it was amazing, miraculous that no one was killed by the bears. In fact, in the entire expedition there was only one death; they were well prepared and very good survivors.

When I say “they,” there were more of them than I originally thought. It wasn’t just the two men. There were about 30 or 40 of them—most were soldiers in the army. And there were also a couple Indian squaws, including the famous Sacagawea who was the best interpreter, and also very helpful with many things.

Well, that’s all I will write today. I’m gonna do some more reading of this book and drink more coffee at my favorite hangout. Good day to you!