This last week marked the 216th anniversary of the beginning of the full Lewis and Clark expedition. On May 14, 1804, Clark and the Corps joined Lewis in St. Charles, Missouri, and headed upstream on the Missouri River to try and find a water passage to the Pacific Ocean. This is one journey you won’t want to miss. If you go take along this list so maybe you will stay out of trouble.
Top Ten Things Not to Do on the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1804.
10 On the expedition, do not insist that the expedition started in Pittsburgh in November of 1803. If you do, at best, the men will ignore you. At worst, since most came with Clark in 1803, you might make some enemies. (You see, Lorne, Meriwether Lewis and a few of the crew picked up a keelboat in Pittsburgh in 1803, but the full complement of 45 souls including Lewis, Clark, 27 unmarried soldiers, a French-Indian interpreter, a contracted boat crew and a slave owned by Clark named York.)
9 On the expedition, do not refuse Tiny, the WWF champ, when he wants to trade his handmade moccasins for your LL Bean boots. If you do, at best, you better use the excuse that you and Tiny are not the same size. At worst, you and Tiny are the same size, and your refusal is being interpreted as pure rejection. (Tiny missed his last dependency group session where he was to be given advice on how to handle rejection. He is now left up to his own devices. Yeah, Leroi that pinwheel over the head just before the mat slam is part of it. Try not to hold your breath. It doesn’t hurt as much when you land if you don’t.)
8 On the expedition, do not try to help with directions. If you do, at best, you will be ignored. At worst, Lewis and Clark will take your comments as a lack of confidence in their leadership. (Now you’ve done it, Lorence. You have made a backseat driving move that might get you left behind. If it happens, be sure and ask for a musket. The bears are pretty wild around here.)
7 On the expedition, do not sit in the peace pipe ceremony and then declare you don’t smoke. If you do, at best, everyone will think you are joking. At worst, you will break the spell and the peace process. (You may wonder why everyone is looking at you, Loki. I think you can interpret the looks as a dead man walking.)
6 On the expedition, do not ask Sacagawea out on a date. If you do, at best, she’ll just say no. At worst, she will tell her husband, French-Canadian trapper Toussaint Charbonneau. ( I hope you have your running shoes on, Lazarus. If there is one person you don’t want to mess with is a trapper. The fact that Toussaint is French-Canadian and does not take guys hitting on his wife lightly, I would start running now and don’t stop until you hit St. Louis, which is about 290 miles East.)
5 On the expedition, do not accept an invitation from Meriwether Lewis to go hunting. If you do, at best, the event will be uneventful. At worst, there is a hunting accident. (Since Lewis was shot in the butt during one of these trips, Lucky. Hopefully, you stayed in front of him. If not, here take this band-aid.)
4 On the expedition, do not offer to do the cooking for a night. If you do, at best, the group will politely decline. At worst, they will be enthusiastic about seeing what you can do. (The only thing there is to eat is the dog, Lennox. I hope your Beef Bourgogne recipe is adaptable or this may be the end of the trip for you.)
3 On the expedition, do not offer to watch out for all the specimens collected. If you do, at best you will get a polite no. At worst, Lewis and Clark will take you up on your offer. ( I hope you knew, Lex that there are 120 animal specimens and 200 botanical samples. Good luck with toting all of that stuff. Also, some of those animal specimens are getting real gamey.)
2 On the expedition, do not complain about sore feet. If you do, at best, no one will listen. At worst, those who hear your complaint will think you’re a softy. (Everyone has traveled the same 8,000 miles, Lev. Your claims have fallen of deaf ears.
1 On the expedition, do not expect the same rewards as Lewis and Clark. If you do, at best, you’ll be disappointed. At worst, you overvalued your importance to the mission. (Since both Lewis and Clark received double pay and 1600 acres of farmland, Len. Perhaps they will share it with you. Of course, maybe someday pigs will fly as well. )