Monday night the 28th left me in glenDIVE, Montana (having traveled from 

Pierre, South Dakota that day) about to poke into EG's dropping gas mileage. 

PART 20 also left Lewis and Clark leaving the current-day Pierre area heading 

out away from the Teton Sioux.

    Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery continued to follow the 

Missouri River. It was fall and the weather was turning cooler to go along 

with the wind. It wouldn't be long before the group would have to find a 

place to spend the winter.

    About the current area of Mobridge, South Dakota, the C.O.D. came upon 

the next Indian group, the Arikara, or what was left of them. There were 

three large villages. A little more than 20 years before there had been over 

30. That was before smallpox wiped out about 75% of the population.

    The Arikara proved good hosts; although, they, too, didn't buy into all 

the speeches. Why should they believe the new comers and their promise of 

economic help? Even though they didn't really like the Teton Sioux, at least 

they were the enemy they knew and they did have a trade relationship already 

in place. By October 12th the group was on the move north, again, and passed 

through the current Bismarck, North Dakota, area about October 21st. Near 

Washburn (north of Bismarck) they met the Mandans in another fortunate 

circumstance. Wintering with these cooperative Indians helped the Corps of 

Discovery survive a bitter cold winter. Temperatures well below zero made for 

a difficult time, but cooperative hunting helped both groups. The Corps took 

six weeks building a winter fort that wasn't done until Christmas Day. The 

cold weather sometimes kept workers to maximum one-hour shifts before they 

had to be relieved. All wasn't bleak, however. More than one party was shared 

between the two groups and there is recorded history that some teepee sharing 

helped keep some of the nights warm.

    There are many stories that came out of the winter of 1804-05, but one 

I'd be remiss in leaving out would be that of Sacagawea's. The more common 

spelling and the way I learned it in school in the days of distorted, 

milk-toast history, Sacajawea, is probably incorrect and stems from an early 

"interpretation" of the various journals. Say, Sa-cog-a-we'-a, and you'll be 


    However the name is pronounced, Sacagawea was not originally to be part 

of the group. Her husband (as he is politely called), Toussaint Charbonneau, 

was hired as an interpreter for the next part of the trip. Sacagawea 

(probably only 16 or 17 years old and 6 months pregnant) came along as part 

of the deal. She was a Shoshone Indian that had been captured by the Hidatsa 

when she was about 12. Eventually, she was sold to Charbonneau and become one 

of his two wives. (Nothing ever gets mentioned about the other and she wasn't 

part of the adventure.) One could make a case that Sacagawea was the second 

slave to become part of the Corps of Discovery. (York, a Negro slave of 

Clark's, was also part of the C.O.D. and participated as a full-fledged 

member through the entire adventure. Right up, that is, until it came time 

for all the rewards. Everyone else that made it back to St. Louis received 

large land grants and some manner of fame. All York asked for was his 

freedom. Clark denied it.)

    By April 7, 1805, the Corps of Discovery was ready to move on. In the 

spring they had packed up much of what they had gathered (specimens as well 

as journals) into the keelboat, the Discovery. It was ready to head back down 

the river. They had also built six canoes that would accompany the two 

pirogues from this point. And with them they took maps made from information 

gleamed from their winter talks with the Mandans. It was from this point on 

that they were entering country totally unfamiliar to Europeans. The next 

major point for them was to be the "great falls" somewhere down the line. If 

they reached them, they were on the right track.

    Meanwhile, back in present day Montana.

One more for the collection - only Nebraska is

To avoid having to empty the boot and drag out the heavy toolbox I popped 

the bonnet open to see if something was obvious. It was. The float bowl 

showed signs of having overflowed. The past couple of days I'd been running 

into more and more fuel "spiked" with Ethanol and wonder if that has had 

anything to do with it. Regardless, I hoped it was just a sticking needle and 

looked around for a Special Tuning Tool. I found one in the parking lot: 

C-AJJ-Rock. Using the same technique one would use on a sticking electric 

fuel pump, I gently tapped the float bowl, cleaned it off and checked it by 

running EG for a while. It seemed to do the trick, but I made a note to 

monitor it the next day. I also wondered whether the replacement lead 

substitute I'd been forced to use while looking for Red Line might have 


    Crossing my fingers that the problem was solved, I headed off to work on 

trip notes and plan for the next day. I was looking forward to the Great 

Falls area and moving farther along the path of the Corps of Discovery.

    The morning of August 29th saw me making my escape from glenDIVE after 

filling the fuel tank and heading, I thought, along 200 towards Great Falls. 

(Most people head out on 94 towards Yellowstone National Park.) OK. I was 

only confused for a mile or two, but eventually got on track for the long 

drive across much of Montana. Montana's a big place. How big, you ask?

    Montana, the 15th State on this trip is by far the biggest. At 147,138 

square miles (rank 4th in the US) it is almost 80% bigger than the next 

biggest, Kansas. With a population of only 880,000 that equates to a density 

of 6 people per square mile. And you thought North Dakota was a lonely place!

    Montana's not only big but it has many types of scenery and climate. 

(Washington has more, but since I live there I don't want to bring it up and 

seem like I'm bragging.) The eastern part of the State continues much of what 

I'd seen in parts of South and North Dakota; i.e., open, rolling plains - 

only more of them. In the west one runs into the magnificent Rocky Mountains. 

The highest peak in Montana, at 12,799 feet (Granite Peak), is about twice 

the height of the biggest east of the Mississippi. (The State's name comes 

from the Spanish word for mountains.)

    Gold, cooper and other minerals have contributed to many fortunes in this 

State. Gold was discovered in 1862, and, tying into a previous article, our 

earlier gold discoverer, an arrogant, misguided General, got his due at 

Little Big Horn in 1876. Unfortunately, Custer took a lot of good men down 

with him.

    Here's your bit of Montana trivia. The first US woman "congressperson" 

was elected from Montana. Jeannette Rankin was also the only representative 

to vote against both World Wars. Make of that what you will.

    EG and I enjoyed the long drive through the changing countryside to Great 

Falls. (By the way Great Falls isn't. Most of the majesty of the area has 

been tamed by dams.) There we took time out to visit the excellent Lewis and 

Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center. It is located on a bluff 

above the Missouri River. Between the river view and the excellent Center one 

could spend most of a day. I easily managed a couple of hours; including, 

taking in a lecture on petrographs and pictographs, and a film on the C.O.D. 

by Ken Burns. There were many good Centers along the route, but this one was 

by far the best. If you find yourself in the area (I'm not sure why you 

would, but if you do) be sure and spend some time.

Look for this place if you get a chance.

    Like Lewis and Clark, I turned south to follow the Missouri River heading 

for the State capital of Helena. As I traveled south the valley areas I 

traveled through started looking more and more like I was in Los Angeles 

rather than Montana. I'd noticed the smoke on the horizon for much of the 

day, but now it was very bad. The forest and plains fires were leaving their 

mark on the area even far from the actual fires. By the time I rolled into 

Helena the air was thick and it was going to take some good winds or a day or 

two of rain to clear - once the fires were brought under control. The only 

good thing was that the weather was a bit cooler, relatively, and it made for 

a more pleasant drive.

    EG and I booked in to one more motel in a long line of motels. The 

odometer read 6,738 miles. The day had seen 498 miles go by under EG's little 

10" wheels, and 4,856 had passed since leaving Miami. Gas mileage was still 

down a bit and there was still some leaking. The Special Tuning tool I'd 

picked up in the parking lot in Glendive was in the door pocket. I used it 

again, hoping that the changed fuel (no more Ethanol) and the increased use 

of Red Line would cure the problem.

    Tomorrow was to be a big day. In the morning I would reach the headwaters 

of the Missouri River after following it for over 2,000 miles.