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Wednesday, June 16, 2004 - Washburn, North Dakota
After arriving in Washburn we went out to Fort Mandan where Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1804-05. First we went to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center which was very well done. We can now skip parts of many of the interpretive centers because we have been to so many and some things we know from memory. But this one covered more of the local details of the relationships between the corps and the Indian tribes, and so was very worthwhile.
We drove on the north side of Lake Sakakawea (experiencing low water levels) and stopped at Reunion Bay where, on the Missouri, three splinter groups of the Corp of Discovery rejoined on their way back from the west coast in 1806. They had split up in Montana to explore the Marias and Yellowstone Rivers.
We also stopped at a really interesting little historical marker near Williston (where we are staying tonight). It marks a lewis and Clark campsite and has been started by a surveyor who found the spot when camping with boy scouts. With the help of Lewis' celestial observations (which fixed the coordinates) he established the point at which the corps observed Cut Bluff on the south side of the river. We also saw a longhorn steer in a field.