National Geographic : 1953 Jun
750 Library of Congress Horses Stumble and a Brave Rides Circus Style in a Breakneck Buffalo Chase Lewis and Clark saw "immence hirds" of the animals that provided food, clothing, shelter, and fuel for Plains Indians. Near Great Falls, Lewis wrote, "I sincerely beleif that there were not less than 10 thousand buffaloe within a circle of 2 miles." At Fort Mandan he joined red men "Killing the Buffalow on Horseback with arrows which they done with great dexterity .... " This conception of the hunt was drawn by George Catlin, Pennsylvania artist and ethnologist, who lived among the Indians in the 1830's. ings with whites from ocean vessels, they knew the value of their goods. Also, they were incorrigible thieves. The crowning in sult came when Clark passed the peace pipe around one group in council and it never came back to him. On November 2, 1805, the journals noted the tide rose about nine inches. The journey which Meriwether Lewis began beside the Potomac estuary at the "President's House" in Washington, D. C., now had taken him from Atlantic to Pacific tidewaters. He was the first American to cross the continent. Hardships Before Joy But the end was not yet. The great Colum bia estuary, reaching inland toward present day Portland, Oregon, presented its explorers with the bafflements of big water and bad weather. Hardships compounded for them before they attained the Pacific proper, where the bad news broke upon them that fortune had sent no ship to carry them easily home. They would have to return overland. Near present-day Astoria, Oregon, they found a sheltered spot and built Fort Clatsop for their winter quarters (page 746). From there they later walked overland to the site of today's resort-Seaside, Oregon-and made salt from sea water. Through rain and wind the intrepid men pushed on. One wretched November day the fog cleared. The Columbia straightened and widened into a great bay. William Clark expressed the elation of the entire group: "Ocian in view! O! the joy." For us, the skies not only cleared as we came to the Pacific. The sun burst out and bathed the spectacular Oregon coast in golden light (page 746). "From sea to shining sea," we had traced the footprints of the men who made the phrase possible.