A 200 year Anniversary Celebration reenactment of Lewis & Clark’s journey to survey the new lands acquired by President Jefferson, is known today as the “Discovery Expedition of Saint Charles, Missouri”.
We have always been fortunate to live here on the Rivers edge, seeing every kind of sailing vessel, Tow Boat, Ship, Canoe, and raft plying this River course. Many visitors are amazed at what they see come up & down our shores. In the Fall of 2003, Bud Colucci, owner & builder of ‘Colucci Log Cabins on the Ohio River’ was doing landscaping at our ‘Heron’s Nest’ when he spotted a Kayaker coming down River. Normally a common occurrence, and paddling close to shore, but this fellow was coming strong, Boogying right down the middle of the River in a 16’ ocean Kayak. I had to hear his story. I ran down to the public boat ramp at the beginning of our private road, & hailed the man to shore. So begins our Friendship with the ‘Discovery Expedition’.
Coming up from Florida, Dick is reenacting the person of ‘John Coulter’, Lewis & Clark’s advance scout sent ahead of the main expedition. Beginning his journey on the Monongahela River (22 miles) in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, almost 900 miles upriver where the Ohio River forms, Dick will scout over the next 3 years to the Pacific ocean in an effort to duplicate, along with over 200 brave & stout-hearted men & women volunteers the original expedition. Each member was required to portray a member of the original expedition.
Dick is a 62-year-old fireman. Along with the younger members, the age of many volunteers is of senior or ‘advanced middle age’. That fact alone makes it all the more remarkable, and highlights the passion & trials this entire group of reenactors faced & overcome. It came to pass that a month later, in October of 2003, we were able to provide our log cabins to the entire ‘Discovery Expedition of Saint Charles Missouri’ volunteers that were along on this first of four travel legs, August 31 to December 12, 2003.
I can’t tell you how exciting it was to see the full expedition come into view from around our horseshoe bend. The historically accurate Keelboat, accompanied by their pirogue canoes were authentic right down to the cannons. As Lewis Meriwether led his band of Travelers onto our shore, his blacksmith came with his metal stock & forge, and fashioned a spike in for each Log Home we provided as barter. After a week of terrible rain, laundry was done & cell phones were charged. That evening, Betty & Ray Baker of ‘Betty Rays Landing’ restaurant here in Magnet Indiana provided the entire crew a Very Fine Feast of Home-made fried chicken with all the fixin’s, free of charge.
The ‘‘Discovery Expedition of Saint Charles Missouri’’ stayed with us again at our cabins in Magnet Indiana in 2007, and most recently on October 6th, 2016. Sadly, every visit, some of the original crew have made their last voyage. We remember happily each & every one of these brave men and women, and we hope that this slideshow will allow their memory & accomplishments to live on. Dick called me three years later on September 23rd, 2006, and said: “Bud, we can see the Pacific Ocean”.