Several years ago I read Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose. It’s an engrossing account of Lewis and Clark’s expedition to the Pacific and back. I don’t know when I’ve been so captivated by an historical account. I felt like I was part of the trip, discovering each new site for the first time. Today’s highlight was going to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Washburn, ND and the nearby reproduction of Fort Mandan. With winter coming on, the 50 man contingent in the Corps of Discovery built Fort Mandan to hunker down and wait for the ice to melt on the Missouri River. The original fort did not survive, but this reproduction is considered quite close to the original.
All this is just to explain the drawings from today. I did a very quick sketch of the simple fort. There are doors leading to individual rooms all the way around the inside. Each room was decorated in an authentic manner. Going from room to room, our excellent guide explained the way they lived during that exceptionally cold winter.
Because I wanted to spend some time there, and it’s still very hot, I asked the attendant if I could bring my dog along. Bless their hearts, they said yes! Tucker was allowed into the interpretive center and then invited to come along as we went from room to room in the fort. He was amazingly good. The people in our group were truly impressed. As we arrive at each new discussion spot, he sat down next to me and seemed to listen.
In the interpretive center there was a replica of a camp site complete with a life size reproduction of Meriwether Lewis’s Newfoundland dog, Seaman. Tucker saw it across the room and started to growl. He cautiously moved closer wondering how to treat this animal. Finally he touched it with his nose and decided it was harmless.
I’ll finish with a note that I anticipate being without internet in several locations over the next week. I’ll still be drawing every day and will post when I can. Thanks for reading!