On the Trail of Lewis and Clark
Boyds Mills Press, 2004
ISBN 978-1590782682
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  On the Trail of Lewis and CLark: a Journey Up the Missouri River
written by Peter Lourie

In 1804, Lewis and Clark and a band of adventurers called the Corps of Discovery embarked on one of the great expeditions in history. President Thomas Jefferson had purchased from France an 800,000-square-mile region called the Louisiana Territory, which doubled the size of the United States. To find out what wonders this land might hold, Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the new territory. Much of their journey was spent on the Missouri River.

Two hundred years later, Peter Lourie, along with three friends, follows Lewis and Clark's path up the Missouri River to see what the Corps of Discovery might have seen. Their journey takes them from Omaha, Nebraska, where they launch their boat during one of the worst floods in a century, to Three Forks, Montana, where they meet the headwaters of the Missouri River. In between, there are dramatic sights: the Missouri Plateau, where Lewis saw thousands of buffalo; the gravesite of Sitting Bull, the great Hunkpapa chief; the breathtaking White Cliffs of Montana, and much more. Through a lively text and beautiful photographs, Peter Lourie invites us to travel up the Missouri River and imagine what Lewis and Clark might have seen as they ventured into this new world.

Behind the Book


“Lourie and three friends set out in a riverboat, and further upstream a canoe, to follow Lewis and Clark's route on the Missouri River from near Omaha, NE, to its headwaters in Montana. …  There is an interesting recounting of meeting a former tribal chairman at the Fort Peck Reservation, which brings to life the contemporary, if not historical, relationship of the Assiniboin with the river. An episode with a hapless Bureau of Land Management river guide, who runs out of gas and lacks a spare fuse when the boat's electrical system blows, results in a long night's trek cross country for the modern-day explorers. … The attractive layout incorporates clear, full-color photos of sites, artifacts, and the modern-day travelers and some black-and-white reproductions.” (School Library Journal)

“The latest book describes a journey from Omaha, Nebraska, to Three Forks, Montana. Along the way, Lourie relates his trip to the experiences of Lewis and Clark, whose journal entries he sometimes quotes. Many crisp, color photographs and a few period pictures illustrate the clearly written text.” (Booklist)

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