Lewis and Clark
When traveling through the Oregon-Idaho-Montana corridor I believe it is imperative one reads at least part of the Lewis and Clark journals. This expedition — brainchild of Thomas Jefferson and executed by the two dapper captains — is one of the great American Tales. Mr. Bielicki, my high school history teacher, told our class the stories of the wilderness and Sacajawea with such enthusiasm as if he were there himself, and I was always curious to see this part of the country for myself.
Finding the right book isn’t easy as there are many abbreviated and interpreted versions of the journals. I ended up getting the Bernard DeVoto edited version written in the fifties. This edition does not include the entire journals, but close enough to feel as if you are along for the expedition on a day by day account. Devoto garnered some respect as evidenced by a patch of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Area bearing his name. L&C’s chronicles are impressive, hilarious, and quite accessible even in the original writing. With some regularity there are encounters with Native Americans, Grizzly Bears, and other interesting features. They really didn’t have many dull moments. The men, in particular Clark were misspellers of fantastical proportions finding seemingly endless ways to spell thing like “Seouex”, Sacajawea or “brackfast” etc. etc. and proving you don’t have to know how to spell to write a great work. Pick up a copy for yourself when you travel their path.