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Tom Elpel with Belladonna Beaver the dugout canoe.

St. Louis or Bust!
Missouri River Corps of Rediscovery
From Three Forks, Montana to St. Louis, Missouri
Five months / 2,341 miles: June - November 2019

      This year we are retracing the Missouri River portion of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail from Three Forks, Montana to St. Louis, Missouri, approximately 2,341 river miles.

      My goal is to lead a Corps of Rediscovery whose mission isn't merely to race to the end, but rather to paddle the Missouri River as a conduit for exploring the land and meeting its inhabitants. Together, we'll explore the geographical landscape and geology, along with the indigenous and newly integrated flora, fauna, and human habitations.

      The Expedition follows a Lewis and Clark theme, not for the purpose of celebrating the journey of Manifest Destiny, but rather as a lens for discovering the landscape through the eyes of captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

Peace and Friendship logo for the 2019 Corps of Rediscovery Expedition.       Lewis and Clark ascended the river mapping its watercourse, naming rivers and mountains, documenting the flora and fauna, living off the land, and making connections with indigenous peoples. In our journey of rediscovery, we will descend the river, botanizing, foraging, hunting, and fishing along the way. We will share skills and knowledge with each other to effectively create a six-month wilderness skills immersion experience, and we may share our skills with people in communities along the way.

      I will be paddling Belladonna Beaver, the dugout canoe I carved with Churchill Clark, the great-great-great-great grandson of Captain Clark. Along the way, we will be fundraising on behalf of the Jefferson River Canoe Trail to raise seed money for the purchase of a new public campsite.

Jefferson River Canoe Trail Logo.
Please pledge your support now!

Learn more about the Expedtion
Expedition Overview
Meet the Expedition Members
Recommended Reading

Follow us on Facebook!

(We'll ping our nightly campsite locations.)

Videos about the dugout canoe, Belladonna Beaver

Missouri River Watershed.
Image Source:

Brush up on Lewis and Clark History
Recommended books about the Corps of Discovery

      Looking for life-changing resources? Check out these books by Thomas J. Elpel:

Green Prosperity: Quit Your Job, Live Your Dreams.
Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit
to Reality
Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
in Nature
Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
Mountain West
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
in a Day
Shanleya's Quest: A Botany Adventure for Kids

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