Noel Oliver's tales of the Lewis and Clark trails
Tue, 04 Jun 2013 14:09:28 GMT —
It took Lewis and Clark two years to complete their journey from Missouri to Washington state back in 1804.
It's a trip that even today inspires many people to follow in their footsteps. Colchester native Noel Oliver accomplished that journey a few weeks ago.
"I've been dreaming about it and thinking about it since I was a young boy and it was everything I ever expected and more," Oliver said.
Oliver began the Lewis and Clark journey on April 1, on the banks where the Mississippi and Missouri rivers meet, just north of St. Louis. His goal, to accomplish the 15 state adventure in a month's time.
"Capt. Clark actually mapped that on the way out with some pretty primitive techniques compared to what we have today. As it turns out, he was accurate within 40 miles of a journey of more than 4,000 miles. So, he really knew how to do the cartography," Oliver said.
In all, Oliver traveled about 5,000 miles before settling in a spot just south of Seattle. Unlike the journey the duo made on foot, Oliver coasted through his adventure behind the wheel of his car.
"There were a lot of times when I'd have to drive 50 miles out of the way to get across the river to see the spot that they were at,' Oliver said.
He calls it a trip of a lifetime, seeing sights only read about in the history books.
"Some of it's unmapped and uncharted and some of it's pretty risky," Oliver said.
He not only mapped his trail for his memories, but he also shared them with hundreds of students around the world, blogging and live chatting about his experiences directly into the classroom. His adventures were heard by students from as far away as the Netherlands.
"All of them had wanted to know if I had actually run into a grizzly bear somewhere along the route. And I had to disappoint them," Oliver said.
The trip itself was far from disappointing for Oliver. It was an amazing rush of adrenaline still fresh in his mind.
"There were a lot of times when I'd stand on the riverbank on this trip, at a spot where they actually camped and I could feel their presence and feel their encouragement to continue on with this like they did," Oliver said.
He finished the trip in just 29 days.
You can read Oliver's blogs and view photos and videos on his Website, created specifically for this trip here.