A Weekly Offering of This n That

Rainy Day is my alter ego. She is the little angel that sits on one shoulder and whispers in my ear to forgo that 6" piece of triple chocolate fudge with the four scoops of ice cream on it; she is also the little devil who sits on my other shoulder and convinces me that I can eat just one bite of each and be satisfied, and then laughs with such great abandon when in fact, I eat the whole thing, she falls off my shoulder. Mostly, Rainy Day helps me see the humor in living and, mostly, she encourages me down the right path. Not necessarily the straight and narrow one (how fun is that?) but the path that offers the most adventure and fun.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Up the Big (Grand) River

It's Tuesday. I apologize for not posting yesterday, but due to circumstances beyond my control....

As I write this, it's 52 degrees outside. I believe it's safe to say that Spring has Sprung! At least in my corner of the world;-)

A slight variance from talking about Madame Dorion today—to bragging about my radio play "The Cure" which can be found on http://www.radioheyday.com.  Does your spouse have an addiction that is disrupting your life? Spend 22 minutes and see how Winifred, with a little help from Inky, is able to cure her husband of his addiction. And now, back to our regularly scheduled programing.

18 July 1811. On this day, the Astorians numbered 62 people, including Madame Dorion and her two sons. They had a total of 82 horses which were allotted out as one horse for every two men so every one could ride part of the time. Did Marie have her own horse, or did she have to share? I could find no record. The hunters (one of whom was Pierre Dorion) each had their own horse, and there were 40 pack horses. They began their journey overland, following the Big or as it's now called, Grand River to the west. The journey was a little slower than anticipated as Mr. Crooks, one of the partners, was ill, and rode on a travois.
The mouth of the Grand River where it meets the Missouri. Both rivers are artificially large due to the dam downriver on the Missouri

By the 24th July, they camped along the banks of the river for several days, as too many of the men were sick to travel. Note, this is short grass prairie, not the tall grass prairie often depicted in the old west movies.

Most of these trees have been planted by the farmers along the river.
The only trees grew along the river, and even there they were not overly plentiful. The prairie was gentle hills, and short grass. Once the expedition was again on the move four men, including Pierre, went hunting, and got lost as there were no trees or other distinguishing features to guide them. Fortunately, they found the trail of the expedition and all ended well.

They were out on the prairie for almost a month, following the river to it's headwaters, at which time they turned south and west.

For those of us from the Pacific Northwest, this river isn't all that 'grand' but it certainly seemed so to the locals.
One of the truly sad things about this trip is that Hunt did not want Marie and the children along on the trip. In his only extant, and translated from the original French to English journal, he referred to her four times—as an Indian woman or as Dorion's woman, never by name. Unlike Sacagawea, with whom Lewis and Clark were enamored, and so we know a great deal about her, Hunt was not enamored with Marie, and yet we know that she more than earned her keep, so to speak. She made moccasins for the men, added much to the cook pot, and by virtue of being with them, let unknown Indians know they were friendly people and not out to start a fight.

After the Grand River, are the Slim Buttes, I'll save those photos for next week.

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