Monday, June 28, 2010

Lewis and Clark

I got the chance to go to Great Falls, Montana last week with the other U.S. History teachers in my district as part of the Teaching American History grant.  I had a fantastic time!  It was fun to be with other teachers, who have the same dorky things that they are interested in, and find our more about the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  Here are highlights of the week:We rafted the Missouri River.  It was amazing to know that Lewis and Clark went against the current on their way to the Pacific Ocean!

It was a great ride.  On our first ride, we stopped for lunch at the side of the river, which was beautiful.  One of the great things in the place was a three-sided outhouse, that had "Lewis and Clark Urinal" engraved on the back.
We saw the Great Falls of Great Falls, Montana
We went on a tour of the portages, and also the place where Lewis and Clark had to make a decision about which river to use.  I tell you what--they were tough!  That portaging was a TON of work!

We also went to Fort Benton, and had an awesome guide.  He was dressed up like a mountain man, and told us about how the mountain men were friends with the Indians, because they sold the Indians goods.  Very cool.
We saw the bison from the Smithsonian museum in Washington D.C.
Another rafting trip:
We saw the Buffalo Jump at Buffalo Jump State Park.  OK, crazy story!  So the tribes of Indians would appoint a teenage boy to lead the buffalo off the cliff!  There was a BIG chance that he would die in the process!  Wow!  We also played some great Indian games there.
And we went to the Lewis and Clark Expedition Festival.  We thought it was going to be WAY bigger than it was, but it was still cool.  We saw people telling us about stuff like the weapons used by Lewis and Clark, old canoes, and Native American dances.
OK, now the funny part of the story.  In Great Falls, there is a bar called the Sip 'n Dip.  It is located at a hotel, and they have girls dress up as mermaids and swim in the pool.  They also have an 85-year-old lady, named Piano Pat, who comes to play the organ.  It is funny.
Anyway, a very cool trip.  I learned a lot and had a lot of fun.  But, like always, it is good to be home!

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