On the River with Lewis and Clark

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Overview

On their remarkable journey across the North American continent, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's "Corps of Discovery" traveled almost 10,000 miles, about 9,000 of them on rivers—the Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri, Jefferson, Beaverhead, Clearwater, Snake, Columbia, Yellowstone—or their associated forks, creeks, and tributaries.

With an expert's eye, Verne Huser tells us what it was like to mount and carry out an expedition that was "basically a river trip." From the construction of the boats in 1803 to the negotiation of the last miles home three years later, the explorers were tied inextricably to the river systems that carried them west into uncharted territory and back again. From the Ohio River to the Columbia, they rowed, paddled, pulled, poled, sailed, and portaged their way into history—mapping, collecting, and recording a country's first glimpse of its western wealth.

Himself a river man, Huser has canoed, rafted, or cruised much of the expedition's route. He brings to the famous story his knowledge of the "ways of wind and water," giving readers a rare, first-hand look at the benefits and hazards of river travel as they might have been experienced by the thirty-three explorers—some boatmen, some not—on the river with Lewis and Clark.

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Editorial Reviews

Roderick Nash
"Verne Huser is a legendary western river man. Sandbars and sweepers, winds and rapids, thole pins and rudders, poling and portaging become real in Huser’s skilled hands. Using his own river experience to interpret that of Lewis and Clark, he creates a compelling account of going with (or against!) the flow. This book is certain to be an important part of Lewis and Clark literature."—Roderick Nash, Professor Emeritus, University of California–Santa Barbara, and author, Wilderness of the American Mind and The Big Drops: Ten Legendary Rapids of the American West
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585443444
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Series: Environmental History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,438,864
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Verne Huser has been a river guide for more than forty years and is the author of seven books on rivers and river recreation, including Rivers of Texas, published by Texas A&M University Press in 2000. A retired English teacher, Huser has also worked as an archivist, a national park ranger and naturalist, and an environmental mediator. He is a member of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Ch. 1 The Ways of Wind and Water 3
Ch. 2 The Travelers 14
Ch. 3 The Benefits and Hazards of River Travel 28
Ch. 4 The Crafts 50
Ch. 5 The Rivers They Traveled 75
Ch. 6 Traveling Upstream and Down 109
Ch. 7 River Incidents 134
Ch. 8 Off the River 148
Conclusion: The Impact of the Lewis and Clark Expedition 167
Appendix 187
Notes 189
Bibliography 195
Index 199
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