I n t r o d u c t i o n
On March 14, 1804 a party of men known as the Corps of Discovery
and led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set off from
Camp DuBois, Illinois which is situated just under 70 miles
from St. Louis's infamous Gateway Arch. Their 28 month journey
encompassing nearly 8000 miles round trip would take them
on a sweeping adventure across uncharted land, through mountains
and up and down rivers no white man had ever seen. Along the
way they would travel by foot, on horseback and by boat and
experience adventure beyond their wildest imagination.
Two hundred years after this great journey of discovery, 21st
century travelers can follow in the footsteps of Lewis &
Clark by retracing portions of their historic route via boat,
canoe, car or foot. In the next four years, upwards of 30
million people are expected to retrace some part of the journey
according to state and federal officials. For parts of the
trail that have been lost to development of the American West,
a journey of the imagination is required. That said, there's
still much to be seen and experienced.
Since 1999, I've traveled over 8600 miles across 9 states
to capture the photographs that appear on this web site as
well as hundreds more. All photographs, incidentally, are
available for purchase.
My goal when I began this project was to reveal the accessibility
and raw beauty that this historic trail holds. I've attempted
to photograph beyond the scenic landscapes and include the
human element as well: native Americans, reenactments and
commemorative festivals and nature lovers exploring this historic
Not since the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence,
officials say, have so many American been moved to connect
to a part of their past.
The Lewis and Clark expedition still has the power to inspire
the imagination just as it did 200 years ago because it is
a heroic tale, epic in scale and full of extraordinary characters
pivotal to our evolution as a powerful nation.
Future generations will want to explore this terrain and view
the land, water and nature that the Corps of Discovery first
John Muir, the great environmentalist once said "the
most distinctive, and perhaps the most impressive characteristic
of American scenery is its wildness." With these photographs,
I hope I've succeeded in finding a part of that wildness.