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Saturday, November 05, 2005

 

The American West and the Lewis & Clark Expedition

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"PILLAR ROCK, Wash. -- Ocian in view! O! the joy." William Clark, who scribbled these words in his field journal on Nov. 7, 1805, was not a man to get carried away with exclamation points. He was a woodsman, a waterman and a sober-minded maker of maps." As I read Blaine Hardin's great article "Lewis & Clark Mapped it - And then the Nation Remade the West" in the Washington Post, I thought of my own feeling of wonderment when I arrived in San Francisco about 35 years ago. It was not the west that members of Lewis & Clark expedition saw but my travels through the western states created a feeling of love and respect for the land which has not diminished over the years. The vibrancy, the natural splendors--from rugged high desert to lush valleys--make the west incomparable and I am fortunate to be a part of it.
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"Go West, young man, and grow up with the country."

Thus wrote John B. Soule in the Terre Haute Express in 1851 although the quotation is attributed by some to Horace Greeley.
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