Comparing Notes With Lewis And Clark

A present-day adventurer canoes the Upper Missouri to find that time and fortune have erased signs of its later history, restoring the wilderness the Corps of Discovery penetrated nearly 200 years ago

History unspools like film rolling slowly backward in the Missouri Breaks, a 149-mile corridor of stark cliffs and tawny bluffs along the Upper Missouri River in central Montana. On the eve of the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s bicentennial, this is the last undeveloped stretch of the 2,700-mile waterway that carried the explorers west to fulfill President Jefferson’s charge of finding the Missouri’s source and to track a water route to the Pacific.

Read more »

The Short, Dramatic Life Of The Steamboat Yellow Stone

She lived only six years, but it was a history-packed career

Old rivermen used to talk of the first time the steamboat Yellow Stone reached the fur-trading posts on the upper Missouri. Belching smoke, roaring like a cannon, and spurting steam into the air, she penetrated farther up the river than a boat under its own power had ever gone before. Her owner, John Jacob Astor, never saw her, although from his New York office he sent fleets of ships on trading missions from Liverpool to Canton.Read more »