Think back for a few minutes to elementary school social studies class. Got it?

Did you learn about explorers?

The Spanish fleets entering the Caribbean. French ships traveling the St. Lawrence. Fishermen from Portugal in the North Atlantic. English mapping the east coast of North America.

Daniel Boone leading settlers into Kentucky. Lewis and Clark following great rivers to the Pacific Ocean.

Neil Armstrong and other astronauts setting foot on the moon. (They didn’t teach this one when I was in school — but a little later it was under “current events”.)

Reading about explorers always interested me. Visiting some of the wonders they discovered is memorable. Do I want the hardships? No thanks to the danger, near-starvation, or unexpected blizzards.

Missouri, and several other Western states, are Lewis & Clark country. After winter camp in Illinois, the expedition crossed the Mississippi River and followed the Missouri River. On a current map you’d say they crossed Missouri from east to west, took a right hand turn to the north, and continued to their next winter camp in North Dakota. It was a little more complicated. Aside from scattered trading posts in the early portion of the voyage, this was unsettled land, populated by semi-nomadic Native Americans.

Regardless of your opinion of their actions — they explored, mapped, collected plant and animal specimens, and laid a foundation for future actions — good and bad.

While photographing Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites in Morning Tryst, our heroine, Serena Carter enjoyed many vistas similar to those experienced by Lewis & Clark.

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