Sunday, May 25, 2014

Lewis & Clark Adventure: Pow wow at Council Bluffs, Omaha, Sioux City.

Where are we anyway? Since the Missouri River separates several states from several other states (like Iowa and Nebraska) and since we travelled over the bridges so often we have to keep reminding ourselves where we are.

 We spent a few days in Council Bluffs, Iowa but, visited Omaha, Nebraska. We are camped in South Sioux City (which is in Nebraska) but many of the sites we have seen are in Sioux City (in Iowa). To makes matters worse, there is a North Sioux City, South Dakota.

Meriwether Lewis's dog, Seaman in a pirogue. Seaman was the only non-human on the adventure.
At the Missouri River Basin Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Nebraska City (yes, in Nebraska) 

View of the Missouri From the Interpretive Center

A short walk from the Center are some mock-up earthen mound houses used by the native people of the region.

Inside these homes had lots of room for large families.

In Omaha, Nebraska, The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Headquarters, is the main administrative center for the National Park Service to care for all of its' holdings and joint activities along the entire Lewis and Clark Trail. It's a nice place to visit if you need information about the trail, maps, guides, etc. The is a small display of L&C artifacts in the lobby. Outside, there are some nice statues commemorating the working people of America.


This reminded me of some of the art I saw on a trip to The Soviet Union, back during the cold war. Most of the art there was "social realism," that is it glorified the Russian people and government

We found the Western Historic Trails Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa to be somewhat disappointing. It seemed like a nice display but the lighting was very poor making it hard to read the information or to see the details of the displays.

We are spending a week in the Sioux City area. We needed some time to catch our breath, to post some blogs, to do laundry, etc. We also loved the campground in South Sioux City, Nebraska. I will
be doing a special blog on the campground itself.

Well, you turn a corner and look what you run into, Nebraska's most recent set of quintuplets. They were born in July 2013 at 28 weeks of gestation (out of 40). They weighed 10 lbs altogether. Mom sure seems happy and relaxed.

Here's four of them, all that would fit in the largest stroller. Read more about them here.

The Sioux City, Iowa Public Museum was a treat. First of all it is free. There is a standing exhibition of the local history, including Lewis & Clark, of course. But there is also a 10 min movie about the development of Sioux City. Once we stole all the land from the native people, around 1853, the area was set for "civilization". Really, the display pays tribute to all of the people who have played a role in Sioux City's history.

The original corn palace was built as a tourist attraction. Every year a new one was constructed.

Talk about being kicked around. The Winnebago Tribe was kicked out of their home 3 times.
There is a Ho-Chunk Plaza, street, and other references in the area.

The people of Sioux City are justly proud of their actions in the aftermath of United Flight 232's crash at the airport. Of 296 people aboard, 185 survived. The Iowa National Guard was on duty at the airport by chance. People came from all over the area to help care for, feed, and shelter the survivors.

Sgt. Charles Floyd Memorial, Sioux City, Iowa.
Sgt. Charles Floyd became very ill when the Corps reached the Sioux City area. Capt. Lewis, who had studied medicine for 2 weeks a year before leaving, diagnosed him "bilious colic". Modern investigators feel that he had a ruptured appendix. He was the only member of the entire crew to die on the journey.

Sgt. Floyd was buried on a bluff above the Missouri River, about 200 yards from this memorial. The Missouri is visible in this picture. That part of the river bank had already eroded when the Corp came back 2 years later. They reburied him but erosion disrupted his grave. Only fragments of his bones are buried here.

The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is Sioux City, Iowa, is one of the best we have seen. It focuses on the events that happened to the Expedition in this area. There are dozens of large original oils like this one, depicting the burial of Sgt. Floyd. The Corps, a unit of the U.S. Army wore full dress uniforms on a regular basis.

This painting shows the capture of Pvt. Moses Reed who deserted.

The Court Martial of Pvt Moses Reed. He was found guilty of desertion and sentenced to run the gauntlet. He was dishonorably discharged. He spent the winter in quarters, under hard labor, and was sent back with the keel boat in the spring. 10 other men went back, bringing notes, maps, and specimens to Jefferson.

Attached to the Interpretive Center is a museum of South Dakota heritage. There were two fantastic photographic exhibits on display. The "Children of St. Augustine Indian Mission, by Don Doll, a Jesuit.

All of the children are photographed in full regalia and with some comment by the child. Most wanted to  be doctors, teachers, or some other profession.

The other exhibit was of Black & Whites of rural Nebraska schools.

I will not chew gum. I will not chew gum.

We ate at a fantastic diner in South Sioux City. We each ordered one pancake butthey were so large, neither of us could finish, I tried out a new hair style while there.

A Black & White of my own. At Hooker Falls in Dupont State Forest, near Brevard, NC

Ciao, Frank


  1. Thanks for sharing little bits of your adventure ; we really feel like we are along for the ride. Al really enjoyed the exhibits; Patty would give anything to get hands on those babies....

  2. The babies are so cute, aren't they.