The Olson's Retirement RV Adventures travel blog

Entrance to the Interpertive Center.

The story of Fort Mandan.

The Missouri at the fort.


Replica of the fort.

Hard to believe 44 men spent the winter here.

Their defense against thousands of Indians around them.

Their rooms.

Bedroom for 12 men. It has a 3' high loft for sleeping.

Typical of their storage room.

The river right in front of the fort.

A tribute to Seaman, their Newfoundland dog.

We visited one more Lewis and Clark interpretive center. The same story we have heard many times. This one seemed brief and didn't have a lot of the detail. It may seem that way to us since we have followed the story from the Pacific ocean to this point.

Our main interest was to see the Fort Mandan where they spent the winter. Lewis and Clark had no idea how harsh the winter could be since they had never been this far north. They set up camp here with the Mandan and Hidatsa Indians. The villages contained a huge population which made hunting and finding food a task. The Indians had spent the summer growing crops and preparing for the winter. The Mandan told the expedition that they would help feed them. If they had food they would share, if they starved - all would starve. Of course there was bartering and trading involved. This is also where they met and recruited Sacagawea and her husband.

It is very hard to imagine 40+ men in the quarters they shared. We are told that the men did spend a lot of time with the Indian women. Lewis and Clark spent the time updating maps and journals and planning the rest of the trip. At this point when spring came they sent their Keel boat back with 16 men and the the information of the upper Missouri river and it inhabitants. They then resumed the journey to the Pacific.

This should be our last stop regarding Lewis and Clark. We will head to Minnesota from here and meet up with family in Bemidji, MN next weekend. August will mostly be spend with family and Larry's 50th class reunion.

You may still hear a little about Lewis and Clark on our way home. We are thinking of going through South Dakota on the way back.

No set plans on the return trip at this point.

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