Thursday, May 26, 2005
Crossing the Divide: the Lewis & Clark trail
This is Lemhi Pass on the Idaho/Montana border, looking across to the
Montana side. This was the first place the Lewis & Clark Expedition
crossed the Continental Divide. In their efforts to find a passage to
the Pacific, the Lewis & Clark Expedition traversed this pass and met
the Shoshone, who provided horses and a guide.
When they discovered the Salmon River was not navigable, the
travelers then retraced their steps over Lemhi and traveled up the
Bitterroot Valley to Lolo, Montana. The excruciating trip over Lolo
Pass is the stuff of legend, but Lemhi is not as well known.
The headwaters of the mighty Missouri are here, spouting from the
earth as a tiny spring. The Big Sky surrounds and enfolds you
completely at this spot; the wind rattles the sagebrush. Except for a
primitive road, the land looks much as it did in 1805.