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Courses, Talks and Exhibits - Lewis and Clark Series

This page describes USA Aloft's Lewis and Clark course content.  See our courses page for details on costs and reservation procedures. Unless otherwise noted, courses are available as school programs or for a general audience. 

The USA Aloft Spring 2009 School Program Flyer is available for download as a PDF

Press resource pages exist for USA Aloft's Lewis and Clark Project  These pages contain selected press announcements and images for use in publications.  Follow the instructions there to gain access to higher resolution versions of the images for publication use.

Lewis and Clark Courses

Discovering Americaís Natural History, the Story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition - Talk

Discovering America’s Natural History, the Story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition - Exhibit

Lewis and Clark Surveying Techniques

Foods of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Discovering Americaís Natural History, the Story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition - Talk

Since 2001, photographer David Saxe has crossed the country multiple times documenting the Lewis and Clark Trail both from the air and from the ground. Driving more than 11,000 miles and flying for over 100 hours he collected nearly 60,000 photographs from which this presentation is drawn. For this talk, photographer David Saxe will present pictures and discuss his own adventures recording the trail. Birds, other wildlife, flowers and plants, interior shots of reconstructed winter quarters, a real Indian canoe, ground and aerial shots along the river - See these and more. Find out what got David interested in this compelling story of American history. What foods did the expedition eat? What is Davidís Lewis and Clark menu? Where should you start to travel the Trail yourself? Come answer these questions, meet the photographer, and learn more about this great American story!  This course features:

  • The history of the expedition
  • Maps of the route taken
  • Landscape pictures from the air and ground
  • Reconstructed forts and Indian dwellings including interior shots
  • Time lapse movie of the route from the air
  • Music from the Lewis and Clark era
  • Foods eaten by the expedition
  • Boats used by the expedition
  • Flora and fauna along the route
  • Study suggestions, reading lists, questions

The onsite lecture employs an LCD projector, several large maps and handouts showing the trail as it crosses the country. A typical lecture lasts 1:30 with some question/answer time. Group size is flexible and depends on the amount of interaction you would like to have. For younger ages, smaller groups may be better to allow for more interaction. We can provide content-based questions, reading lists and further study suggestions to enhance the learning activity. Period music is available on CD.  USA Aloft has an optional exhibit that may be used to enhance this lecture. 

Other Resources

For costs, please refer to our course summary page.
Flyer for a version of this talk: [PDF]
Bibliography for Lewis and Clark Research.
Lewis and Clark period music CDs.

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Discovering America’s Natural History, the Story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition - Exhibit

USA Aloft has an exhibit of over 80 framed pieces covering the material in the lecture above.  Each framed piece is described in a self guiding brochure that accompanies the exhibit.  The standard piece is in a 16 x 20 frame with a few larger pieces for maps.  Our What's New page contains some photographs of past exhibits. Hanging 80 pieces requires one or two days depending on your space. Generally, the full exhibit requires about 120 linear feet of wall space.   We are very interested in exhibit space that is publicly visible with large numbers of visitors. Depending on the visibility of your space, pricing may be flexible. Contact USA Aloft for details.

Other Resources

For costs, please refer to our course summary page.
Bibliography for Lewis and Clark Research.
Lewis and Clark period music CDs.

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Lewis and Clark Surveying Techniques

In 1804, Lewis and Clark began exploring the Missouri and Columbia Rivers, traversing some of the most rugged and beautiful terrain in North America.  As they traveled through unknown territory, the expedition surveyed their route, creating the first maps of the Missouri and Columbia River systems.  Their survey data was dutifully recorded and with modern day reconstructions, such as that from Martin Plamondon, we can appreciate how remarkably accurate their work was.  Lay down their plotted course, corrected for declination, over top a modern map and you get an excellent match.  How did they do it? We will study the techniques used by Lewis and Clark to survey their western route using replicas of period instruments.  This course demonstrates practical application of geometry and trigonometry to measure and record land surfaces.  Four day-long meetings will teach the techniques and use them to "survey" a field or other outdoor feature.  With that practical experience we will attempt, like Lewis and Clark, to map an unknown section of a river course.  Come prepared for rigorous outdoor activity that could get muddy. Although targeted at teens, this course is open to all. Group size may be limited.

Other Resources

We will use The Practical Surveyor as a reference for this course. 

Foods of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

USA Aloft does not have a restaurant license.  We are not allowed to prepare foods for you or your function. It is your responsibility to insure that you comply with all laws and regulations to offer these foods at your function.

Having said that, this fun idea optionally adds to your groupís Lewis and Clark experience with expedition foods. Combined with an exhibit or evening lecture, a Lewis and Clark meal makes an excellent fundraiser. We provide menus, recipes and food preparation instruction. Your volunteers actually prepare the food for your function. David Saxe has studied the foods used by the expedition and Native Americans.  From this research he has created a menu and recipes using modern ingredients to approximate the culinary delights of the expedition members. Estimates put the daily meat consumption at 7 to 9 pounds of meat per day per man.  They worked hard and needed the calories to carry the expedition forward.  Elk, buffalo and venison were staples, but fish, fowl, beaver and other less appetizing items supplemented the diet. Corn, beans, squash, as well as sunflower seeds, stems and tubers were widely employed by indigenous populations. The expedition also carried large amounts of food, including flour, salt pork, spices and even "portable soup", an early version of condensed soup.  The menu relies on items available today to prepare a variety of bread, meats and vegetables. Some time before your function, we meet to discuss the menu. Once a menu is decided, we can help you shop by telling you where to obtain food items. We'll provide the recipes and explain how we prepare the foods for our own use. Your volunteers must do the work. We like to have the volunteers get together to learn in a "trial run" before preparing for a larger event.  That can make for a fun afternoon followed by an interesting dinner.  Cost varies with the amount of time required and is billed at $60/hr plus mileage to and from your site at $0.90/mile.  Depending on the menu, allow 4 - 6 hours.  Please contact USA Aloft to discuss this program.

Other Resources

This sample menu cost about $170 and fed a dozen people with a lot of leftovers, probably enough for 20 people.
Where can we get wapato, yampah, camas, or cous? (The last is NOT cous-cous.) How about salsify?

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