Radio Along the Lewis & Clark Trail

Golding & Verbanac

This topic will chronicle a radio documentary series in progress.

Barrett Golding and Josef Verbanac are bicycling the Lewis & Clark Trail to make pieces for the series “Hearing Voices” for broadcast on Savvy Traveler.

Barrett and Jo were early developers of the Transom site and have offered to post from their journey: the technical challenges, the editorial choices, the roads taken and not. Feel free to prod them with questions. Perhaps they’ll even answer.

(This discussion is also linked to a Lewis & Clark site, so we may get some non-radio questions too, but Barrett has promised to keep us on topic as much as possible from a bicycle seat.)

So begins The Great Pains and Accuracy Tour* with the question: What have we done with the woods, waterways, prairies and towns these last couple hundred years?

*”Your observations are to be taken with great pains and accuracy, to be entered distinctly and intelligibly, for others as well as yourself”

–Jefferson’s Instructions to Lewis, 20 June 1803


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  • beedge



    the first show runs on Savvy Traveler this weekend,
    possibly on a public radio station near you (check Station listings).

    the show (w/o host) is posted:
    speaker icon Preface & Preparation (6:00) [ MP3 (5.6M) | Real (56K)]

    the show is an intro to the Trail, the preparations for the trip:
    by Jo and i, and by Lewis and Clark.
    (really the show was a way for SavTrav & i and to get to know each other
    before we committed to the longer upcoming shows.)

    i’ve always thought the glory of the L&C expedition was
    not that that they were first (Indians had walked those trails for millennia),
    or that it was a young nation reaching out, or any other
    political, economic, scientific, diplomatic or military reason.
    for me, all L&C did was take a long, hard walk in the woods.

    i’m quite fond of the <a href=”” target=”new” title=”definition”>Big Blue Room myself.
    my favorite mode of transport for these kind of distances (1000+mi) is bike.
    SavTrav liked to idea, especially in light of upcoming L&C bicentennial (2003-6).
    so, this friday june1 2001, we’re off for St Louis w/ bikes and mics
    to follow the Missouri River upstream.

    "My eyes are open; I am alert to sign." –Charles Bowden

  • Andy Knight



    You’ll have to drop by for lunch. There’s a nice all Sinatra restaurant that can help you gear up for the wonderful Ms. Vowell’s guest month and give you something to hum once you hit the trail. Or if you come early, you can find a Slinger and a load of Pepcid.

    Of course there’s always the Worlds Biggest Lawn Ornament to stare at (with it’s National Expansion Museum underneath, it may be a
    i required

  • beedge



    > Sinatra restaurant

    andy, eeem me the address of this phenom:
    sound like a good opportunity for some Martini research.

  • beedge



    L&C’s men pulled the boats up the Missouri from shore, using toe-lines:

    May 31, 1805 Meriwether Lewis
    The obstructions of rocky points and riffles still continue as yesterday; at those places the men are compelled to be in the water even to their armpits, and the water is yet very cold, and so frequent are those point[s] that they are one fourth of their time in the water, added to this the banks and bluffs along which they are obliged to pass are so slippery and the mud so tenacious that they are unable to wear their mockersons, and in that situation draging the heavy burthen of a canoe and walking acasionally for several hundred yards over the sharp fragments of rocks which tumble from the clifts and garnish the borders of the river; in short their labour is incredibly painfull and great, yet those faithfull fellows bear it without a murmur

    our Labour will be less Incredibly Painfull and Great.
    we plan on averaging 60miles/day on road bikes,
    which, most days, will not be hard.

    i’ve noticed from past bike trips, tho, that i get most of my recording done
    on days when we travel 0 miles, ya know, the off days.
    so we’re planning on taking 2 days a week off,
    and spending at least one of those in a motel.
    i’m also optimizing both gear and gear storage
    for quick set-up; more on that in a future post.

  • Jon Nehring


    Borne without a murmur

    I’m sure it was. I’m sure it was…

    Good luck and don’t forget to bring the syringes. After 10-11 hours in the saddle, who knows what can happen to your groin. We’ll be awaiting news out here near Ft. Clapsop.

    P.S. I got a bike mirror the other day and love it. I highly recommend one.

  • jonathan menjivar


    speak a word, turn the page

    I’m hooked. I want more. And I think why I want more is cause I feel like I’m being spoken to in a new way. Barrett, maybe it’s a sign of how little of your body of work I’m familiar with (just the stuff at hearing voices and press record) but I don’t think I’ve ever heard you narrate a piece. So a couple questions.

    *Was it as simple as this piece demanding your narration…your and Josef’s vantage point on this crazy trip? I’d like to hear more about that decision.

    *The narration sounds so casual and informal but it’s still SO informative. I love the page turning and reading from Lewis and Clark’s own words. It feels like you’re sharing your interest in the L & C adventure for the first time but I have a feeling you’re reading words you’ve already written. How do you achieve that freshness? Are you just a good actor?

    That’s all for now. Have a fun trip.

  • Andy Knight



    I scanned the Jefferson National Expansion grounds from the battlements during my moments of zen yesterday, but I failed to see 2 guys with an unusually large microphone. I hope you guys were able to find a decent martini. If you haven’t left town yet, make sure you find the Venice Cafe and CBGB’s (both are bars)… L&C would be proud 😉

  • Brodie Cates


    Perhaps a Rendezvous

    Josef y Barrett–I’m carring to Bozo for a midsummer visit. Hitting the hiway mid-June. I’ve noted your travel agenda and will look for you along the river in Nebraska. Heard the Savvy report today. Barret…I’m always coincidentally tuning in your radio concoctions. Like Monday mornings in MT.

    Joe…how’re you? Happy trails.


  • Barrett Hits Da Road


    St Charles Mo – Cathryn Linneman Library

    a couple days in a rental car and we’re here in MO. shed the metal at the airport return lot, slapped our bags on our bikes and headed into airport-traffic-hell. w/ 3 maps, 1 compass and jo’s orienteering we found the only bridge that allows bikes across the big muddy. now in St Charles awaiting tomorrow’s first full day of pedal power.

    st charles is rich in history and museums and no doubt inundated with local lore. Lewis and Clark Trail history buffs probably fills its quaint brick streets.

    but we’ll never know, because we’re outta here early headin west, ready for the trail. let’s hope the spirit of solid journalism catches up with us by the next quaint brick town.

    sorry andy, could not face the beast of a big city, so we fled the opposite direction of st lou.

    brodie, jon: hey. btw, to understand jon’s "syringe" ref above listen to the show.

    realized that every state we’ll pass thru is named after a native tribe: missouri, nebraska, kansas, iowa, n/s dakota and i think every one of those eponymous tribes no longer exist. i’ll have to check that out tho. if true would make a fine piece of script. which reminds me of what david quammen told me about precision vs. accuracy in writing.
    but, alas, that too must await a later post.

    jonathan: i don’t write my script on paper, just in my head. i edit more as i read/record it. then more as i listen back, i change the script more and re-read. then when thru, in production, i usually cut out more unneeded phrases, like you would an intervieewee. it’s kinda weird to edit your own voice, but seems like i always need it.

    did the page-turning while reading. gave the read a bit of rhythm. glad it came out casual. cuz i can sometime slip into Announcer Mode
    and it all sux, and communicates nada.

    see ya down the trail…

  • Jon Nehring


    Caught the show last night on The Savvy Traveler

    Although I’d listened to the downloadable version already, it was fun to hear it again via tradcast.

    The Iowa Tribe is now mostly in Oklahoma, with another remnant in Kansas/Nebraska. The Kansa (or Kaw) are also in Oklahoma, as are the Otoe-Missouria. The Dakota may not be as prevalent on the Northern Plains as they used to be but they do have a presence on the web at – don’t stop there on your trip! Also, the Omaha are in Nebraska.

  • Barrett In da Water


    Columbia MO – Ellis Library, U of MO

    on our third full day out, we start riding the Katy Trail right next to the Missouri River; then right in the Missouri River. it’s flooding up and sometimes over the trail. we pedal thru the water, past almost-submerged mailboxes, with catfish rising a few feet to our left, and turkey buzzards fishing ten feet above. when the water gets over our bike wheels, we walk — very Lewis and Clark: pushing all our gear upstream in the river.

    I record two guys bow&arrow-fishing in the middle a flooded beanfield. the current is flowing right onto the land, and the fish follow. they say when the water recedes most of the fish will get out — they’d done it before in the floods of ’93 and ’95.

    I ask one of them why the fish swam into the beanfield. he asks if we saw all the earthworms on the trail. yes, we had — I’d guess we saw at least a million (really); we probably each ran over a thousand (couldn’t help but, they were everywhere; saw snakes and a turtle too). he says those worms are trying to get keep from drowning — most won’t — and the fish are feasting on this buffet of fat worms covering the floodbanks.

    I had recorded a beautiful symphony of frogs and insects a few miles back. I ask the guy what was making all that racket (figured having him say it might make a nice segue in or out of the frog sounds). he says those were tree frogs, also feasting on insects exposed by the flood. it’s all a big food chain, he says, as he looked for more garr and carp to shoot, for use on his trout line to catch catfish. one big food chain.

    when things get weird, like say a Missouri River flood, we recordists have a feast as well. there’s so much tape-potential right now: guys with thick drawls catching bucket-loads of nite-crawlers, frog symphonies, people remembering the flood of ’93, and waiting for the river to crest (today or tomorrow).

    when we reach Jefferson City, a fence blocks the trail in both directions. a sign describs the way we’d just come: "trail closed; do not continue. you may become stranded with no escape route."

    so we divert up north to Columbia, the University town, and get a room. as we unpack, we unleash all kinds of Missouri River critters from our dip in the stream — there’s things crawling and flying all around the room. we’re our own traveling ecosystem.

    taking avantage of acedemia (U of MO) to catch up on contacts, and maybe quickly arrange a professorial interview or two. waiting for an email right now from a guy working on a opera based on the expedition.

    bg out

  • Jay Allison



    Great post! If you didn’t already have Transom T-shirts, we’d send you some.

  • Brodie Cates


    Keep the powder & DATs dry

    As you wade that midwest flood plain, you’re soaking up a few drops that have rolled/tumbled all the way from Three Forks. Are you riding a riverside trail system (when passable) the entire distance?

    I knew you’d find the music of the journey pretty quickly…the frog symphony’s akin to the star melodies you’ve already documented. One big food chain = one great whistling, om-ing, drawling Kosmos. Report that to Mr. Jefferson.

    Keep da tape rolling…and an eye to da water moccasins. Brodie

  • Andy Knight



    The Katy Trail Runs along the Missouri River between Boonville and St. Chuck (it continues without the benifit of a river between Clinton and Boonville). I’m guessing that despite the flooding, it will be the easiest part of the journey since it is "America’s longest Rails-to-Trails project" and has a big ol’ bounty of trailside biking shops and bars and lodging opportunities. I guess we’ll find out once Barrett gets further along. (Order the Missouri Trout)

  • Barrett in a Bottle


    Rocheport MO – Joe’s House (guy we met at bar)

    Rules for Field Recordists:
    1) Use only equipment you’re completely familiar with.
    2) Test and new equipment thoroughly before your trip.

    These are the rules I should have followed. if i had, I wouldn’t be in the fix I am.

    in a fit of wanting something light but killer sounding, stereo w/ rock-solid mono compatibility (btw, excuse any typing errors, we’re well into a bottle of marker’s mark), and the peculiar circumstance of having room on my credit card, i ordered a shure vp-88 stereo mic (m-s) and sharp mz90 md recorder a few days before i left. my only experience w/ them was recording a bonfire i lit a couple nights before departure.
    everything seemed to work fine.

    consumer minidisc recorders, i have found, have many quirks, several of which have led to my losing 3 of my best interviews.

    1) that pause button is damn easy to trigger. check those damn little time readouts often to make sure it’s not in pause.

    2) i started hearing this hiss, which i just assumed was piece-o-crap md amps. turns out i’d left shure battery on, and power was almost gone: the mic was hissing.

    3) I switched batteries in mid-intervu before making sure toc had writ for what i’d just recorded. when i started tape again, it registered Track 01, which I knew was wrong since i’d already recorded many tracks. stopped tape immediately, but couldn’t get to what I’d recorded before. I still have data on tape now but can’t read it, just that new Track1. there was a discussion on AIRlist about this, but I cant remember if data (recording) is retreivable. i hope to god it is, cause intervu was wonderful. jeff T, you reading this? tell me there’s a chance of retrieving data from recorded md’s w/o proper toc’s.

    still, having a blast, and a hard time making it out of missouri. as andy said, the katy trail is tres kewl. and we had to hang in Rocheport today for their wild LewisClark rendevous: period get-up, re-enacters, replica boats. got way to much great tape. gotta go…

  • kelly wiseman


    where’s the big dog?

    one of the more incongruous aspects of L&C was that big ole dog they had along.

    didn’t they?

    i’m not dreaming this, am i?

    so, i know it might be more of a hassle than it’s worth, but i think you guys would be well served if you dognapped a pooch, if only for a little while, and allowed it to tag along.

    i mean, it’s been flooding and all, so the dogs are already kind of jumpy, and who knows what has happened to the dogfood distribution chain, so you might be doing it a favor by offering the opportunity to lick some IHOP plates early in the a.m.

    consider it, anyway. and in the meantime, please, more messages "well into a bottle of maker’s mark". reading your semi-sloshed writing is truly a highlight…

  • Sarah Vowell



    I think we get some idea of the kind of time you’re having when you were too drunk to spell Maker’s Mark correctly. Though Barrett is in good hands w/Jo, who once kindly scooped me up off the Scoop Bar’s bathroom floor after a night of tequila.

  • Barrett Golding


    Troy KA Library; waitin out a thunderstorm

    kelly: dog was a newfoundland. name of "scannon"; tho lately those reading journals see instead the dog’s name writ as "seaman." much controversy ensues among L&C buffs.

    sarah: welcome to transom. i’ll miss most of your special guesting, but i know you’ll do a bang-up job. why don’t you tell us about your dad’s efforts to build a Lewis&Clark air rifle. you know all about it, doncha? if not, call home more often.

    and jon, thanks for all that wonderful 1st Nation research. if time permits, write us a short blurb about the part of Grasslands that talks about the former and current meat-holding capacity of the prairie, cuz we’re about to entire that ecosys.

  • josef verbanac



    …underestimate the importance of a corkscrew @ historical/cultural events…

    (my swiss army knife was so called upon during a talk about the kansa indians and their camps in central kansas at the santa fe depot last night in atchison — amelia aerheart’s birthplace.)

  • Jon Nehring


    Meat holding and corkscrews

    Isn’t this a family site? Well, if the expedition had been French, plenty of corkscrews would’ve been brought along.

    Interesting that you mention the carrying capacity of the Great Plains. Several organizations have advocated returning the Great Plains to their original state. This has, of course, been extremely controversial.

    The number of counties fitting the definition of frontier status climbed even higher in the 2000 census and is well over the number 100 years ago. Both the NY Times and WSJ have reported that the per capita income in some Nebraska counties is less than $5000/year. It seems like these places will continue to empty out. BTW, the WSJ article was mostly about a bigshot outsider moving in to do some hobby ranching. He got shot. has some good information on bison but carrying capacity will certainly vary with the amount of rainfall an area receives, quality of forage, etc. From what I’ve read, bison certainly make do with less water and the native grasses of the plains. Cattle, other than longhorns, were bred for the kind of climate found in southern England.

    The Contrary Farmer by Gene Logsdon is my primary source of information. It’s an eye-opening read, especially when flying from the East Coast to Bozeman. I was able to look directly upon the areas he was referring to in the book. In fact, Josef picked me up at Gallatin Field just as I was finishing the last chapter about Ted Turner’s bison ranching operations.

  • Jon Nehring


    Meat holding and corkscrews

    Isn’t this a family site? Well, if the expedition had been French, plenty of corkscrews would’ve been brought along.

    Interesting that you mention the carrying capacity of the Great Plains. Several organizations have advocated returning the Great Plains to their original state. This has, of course, been extremely controversial.

    The number of counties fitting the definition of frontier status climbed even higher in the 2000 census and is well over the number 100 years ago. Both the NY Times and WSJ have reported that the per capita income in some Nebraska counties is less than $5000/year. It seems like these places will continue to empty out. BTW, the WSJ article was mostly about a bigshot outsider moving in to do some hobby ranching. He got shot. has some good information on bison but carrying capacity will certainly vary with the amount of rainfall an area receives, quality of forage, etc. From what I’ve read, bison certainly make do with less water and the native grasses of the plains. Cattle, other than longhorns, were bred for the kind of climate found in southern England.

    The Contrary Farmer by Gene Logsdon is my primary source of information. It’s an eye-opening read, especially when flying from the East Coast to Bozeman. I was able to look directly upon the areas he was referring to in the book. In fact, Josef picked me up at Gallatin Field just as I was finishing the last chapter about Ted Turner’s bison ranching operations.

  • Barrett Golding


    Omaha NE, W Dale Clark Library

    George Drouillard, our hunter, and one man
    came in with two deer and a bear, also a young horse they had
    found in the prairie. This horse had been in the prairie a long
    time and is fat. I suppose he has been left by some war party
    against the Osage. The party is much afflicted with boils, and
    several have the dysentery.

    William Clark, June 17th, 1804

    again, jo’s and my lot is not as bad. had an evil confrontation
    with impassable Missouri River mud yesterday. 30minutes to push
    bikes 300ft; another thirty to clean bikes into ride-ability.
    chillin in Omaha for a coupla days with 600miles on the odometer
    (500 on the trail) and another 6-700 to go to our NoDak destination
    (Washburn- Fort Mandan).

    more Rules for Recording Expeditions

    Gear to Go

    3) Stow your basic recording gear in one sturdy, easily-grabbable
    pack. mine is in a Mountainsmith hip sack; along w/ camera, already
    recorded discs, and sundry valuables. allows quick removal for
    recording, or from danger. like when the missouri, once again,
    covered our path last sunday; i pulled the pack out of my panniers,
    strapped in on my waist — above high water — and kept pedaling.
    Miss the Boat

    4) Went down to the water to snap a pic (for the web) of
    the L&C re-enacters shoving off in their replica boat. i was
    late. so was George Drouillard, L&C’s hunter. there he and i
    were, standing on the shore, missing the boat. he in his full
    hunting gear w/ black powder rifle, and me thinking, "now here’s
    a picture, and maybe a intervu." he oblidged both. the guy, jeff
    barr, is a re-enacter, a historian and an anthropologist. he
    learns not only from books, but also from camping in the woods,
    w/ early 1800’s clothing, gear and rifle, hunting deer and such
    (eating garlic and vitamin b12 help keep bugs away, he says).
    a great intervu, which i never would have got if i hadn’t Missed
    the Boat. seems like the serindipitously obtained intervus always
    surpass those i schedule.
    Always ask for Sound

    5) knowing certain guns don’t like their works worked w/o
    a live charge, i asked him if his rifle could make some sound
    w/o causing any damage. he said "i could fire it for you." that
    worked for me. twice, cuz the first blast, of course, overdrove
    my meters. we broke several city ordinences, but i got some great
    sounds, and jo got a nice pic. always survey environment, see
    what sonics can be extracted, and Ask for Sound.

    6) Eric Dillner of the U of MO is directing an opera based
    on the L&C expedition. several parts have been written and recorded,
    but i thought it’d be nice to supplement the CD w/ something
    live. i asked if he’d sing a few bars. that’s when the intervu
    got good. after each couple lines, he’d expound passionately
    about what the captains and crew must have been feeling. it occured
    to me that artists use lotsa words, or music or paint, to convey
    feelings that, otherwise, might would go unspoken. he said, yeh,
    that’s what an Aria is: a 2-8minute monologue, a soliloquy, a
    sidebar on the depth of feeling. later, i realized that that’s
    what i do too: try to get people to reveal their Aria: what they
    think about their life, their world, or about whatever tenuous
    theme i’m using (Lewis&Clark, Missouri River) to tie these thoughts
    and feelings together. it’s like i tell people: i capture souls
    for a living.
    Call Home

    7) Bozeman had a freak snowstorm; made national news. (3ft
    at the local ski hill — they opened their lifts.) 12inches of
    wet snow knocked down our Box Elder trees in front. made my yard
    and road a mess. we lost lotsa lilacs. and looks like it’ll wreck
    my wife’s, victoria’s, beautiful garden, which is the envy of
    everyone with eyes or nose, and the epitome of a Montana summer.
    we don’t know yet because a foot of snow still sits on the ground.
    the peonies are definitely toast tho. pray for sturdiness and
    time to replant. and for those that know vic, send a note of
    consolation. Call Home when on the road. keep in contact with
    those that keep the homefires burning.

  • Jeff Towne


    new gear

    beege, you are absolutely right about thoroughly testing gear before hitting the road, I blew a few interesting but thankfully unimportant minidisc recordings when I first got it. More tragically, a good friend borrowed it for a trip to Easter island and did a long, in-depth interview in a cave entirely in pause. A bit too long of a trip back for a re-do.

    Anyway, don’t record anything else on that disc that dumped its TOC. The data is indeed there, and should be recoverable. Sadly, I don’t know any magic keystokes to do it on a portable. It can be done on some of the more sophisticated studio decks, so if you can find someone that has a box with a "restore TOC" function, you are set.

    I’ve taken to stopping the minidisc whenever possible, so it writes a TOC. Of course, then I have to go back and re-set the recording levels all over again… freaking consumer gear…

    And don’t feel bad, the first gunshot recording ALWAYS overmodulates. No matter what.

    And, are you recording stuff while on your bike? If so, how are you handling the vibration/wind issues?

    Oh, and Knob Creek really allows for better typing than Maker’s Mark. Up to a point.

    Keep your feet dry.

  • Rob Rosenthal


    recording on a bike


    How are you recording while riding your bike? If so, how.

    Also, good reading, assuming you have time and room for a book is Out West by Dayton Duncan written in the 80’s. He followed the L&C Trail via VW minibus. (He also wrote a book called Miles from Nowhere where he visited counties with less than two people per square mile. I think you’ll be passing through a couple of those.)

    I’ve driven over Lemhi pass, the source of the Missouri. One of the members of the L&C crew straddld the small stream (Beaver Creek?) that is a tributary of the Missouri. You should have your bike straddle the creek.

    Be sure to visit the woman who owns the market in Tendoy Idaho on the other side of the pass. Ask to take a look at her collection of pocket calendars and prayers for the road from the Sacred Heart Auto League. 🙂

    Wish I was with you.


  • josef verbanac



    previously, barrette wrote: "I capture souls for a living."

    how do you choose who’s gets "captured?"

    what are the criteria for finding that face in the crowd that’ll provide some good, or at least interesting, ox?

    I ask because I know firsthand that some of the prearranged gigs have been much less interesting than the more serendipitous ones — and I’ve also seen the interviews slowly shift in focus from relatively ordinary folks along the river to historians and I & I bicentennial organizers…

    how, as a recordist, do you retain control over the tape?

    or is such a notion my own soon-to-be-disabused naivette?

  • beedge


    The Dakota Kids

    pulled into Blair NE a coupla nights ago at 6:30p. we we’re gonna push on to Herman, except everyone kept telling us about severe thunderstorm warnings. it’s one thing heading into grey skies, and another into black w/ electric white streaks. camped in Blair city park. the next morn, a woman was talking about roofs ripped off buildings and landing on her camper, and downtown a mess. i asked what town. "Herman." it got tornado-ed.

    made 80+ miles yesterday, from Onawa NE to Vermillion SD; even got 3 good intervus along the way.

    will answer Jo’s above question re:
    > finding that face in the crowd
    when i’ve had some chance to think about it.

    SoDak is Jo’s home state. by his birthday (June 28) we hope to make it to the Standing Rock Rez and celebrate with his family.

    15 hours of recordings so far, and still 2 states to go. ‘spose that’s better than not having enuf tape. way more recording opportunities here on L&C’s Missouri than I expected. last night went to the Spirit Mound, a Soiux sacred site soon-to-be a State Park. then down to the Missouri to talk to a River Rat, who grew up here, and has boated the entire river several times. Will Least-Heat-Moon hired him as guide when writing River-Horse. the guy is also Prof Emeritus of Biz Law at U of SD (as the sage said: "go figure.")

    got some time before setting out from Vermillion, a University town, to enjoy decent coffee, women in summer-ware, and a speedy internet connection (what else does a person need?). so i’ll think i’ll relate the DQ "precision vs. accuracy" theory i mentioned above…

  • beedge


    The Great Precision vs. Accuracy Tour

    author David Quammen thinks about the diff between Precision vs. Accuracy when writing. you look at a field of deer. if you write: "there were about 10 deer," that’s accurate, but not precise. if you guess and say "there were 10 deer," that’s precise but not accurate. DQ is a science writer; he says he always goes for accuracy. I told him I don’t would gladly sacrifice accuracy, were a little precision to add to the flow to a phrase. I’ll often suffer the inaccuracy just to eliminate two sylables of narration ("about," "nearly," "close to" "more than," "almost," etc.).

    I worry more about getting a portrait’s composition right, finding the right frame, than getting an accurate picture. a slightly inaccurate precision.

    here’s an excerpt from a dream a woman once told me: "on the hillside were a field of cattle. there were many of them. many more than seven." now, wtf is up with the "many more than seven." a specific precision within an amorphous accuracy? that’s for the dream to know, and for her to find out.

    maybe i’ll eem DQ to see if he’ll get his Famous-Author-Ass down to Transom and comment on my inaccurate description of his imprecision.

  • Jay Allison


    Precision vs. Accuracy vs. Memory

    Of all the descriptive stats in the previous posting, the only one I’ll remember is "many more than seven."

    That must be worth something. About a dollar or even more.

  • Brodie Cates


    Refuge of a Latrine

    Sorry to miss you guys. I pulled through Omaha Monday and thought I’d dally somewhere north of there on the chance of seeing you. Spent that night in a campground west of Tekamah. Pulled in as the clouds darkened. I abandoned the precision and accuracy of the storm for an indirect experience of the blistering lightening and pummeling hailstones from the shitter. Later the campground hosts (from the town formerly know as Herman) pulled through talking of a funnel sighting nearby. I spent the evening in shallow, dream-intensive slumber (many more than 7)…and hightailed it to SD the next day. And–judging from your report–it’s just as well. Save some minidisk space for Fort Mandan.

    And stay grounded…BC

  • beedge



    it’s 7pm and still 107degrees in Pierre SD.
    got 1000+miles on bikes, and an unquenchable thirst.
    i’ll just post this DQ reply for now:

    From: "David Quammen"
    To: "Barrett Golding"
    Subject: Re: precision v. accuracy

    Thanks for your message. There's one important piece missing
    from my little argument as you describe it: the number of deer
    that are actually there. I'd put it this way: You look at a
    herd of ELEVEN deer. If you say, "There are about ten deer,"
    that's accurate but not precise. If you say, "There are twelve
    deer," that's precise but not accurate. You can't make the
    judgment that some statement's accurate or inaccurate (whether
    precise or not), unless you know what's actually there.
    Have fun, good pedaling. DQ
  • Doug Wales


    From the other side

    Hey Beedge and Joe,

    Thanks for the update. Hope you’ve had a strong headwind along the way … to get the full effect of moving upstream. Looking forward to hearing more. Had a fun week with Geran (my son) travelling along much of the L&C path on the other side of the divide: Lochsa – Clear Water – Columbia. My bet is the stretch from Lolo Pass to confluence of Selway is about as unchanged a stretch you’ll find (give or take a few billion trees). No doubt for the same reasons that it was one of the L&C party’s most perilous crossings. Hope your travels are much less foreboding but none less inspiring.

  • Charley Watson



    Beedge, Jo, The disembodied souls of Cpts. Lewis and Clark, Sacajawea,

    When you finish do you think you will go to D.C. and blow your brains out? What do you suppose was his (who the hell did this Lewis?) greatest regret? The romantic anthropological side of me wants to believe this was white guilt, but the truth probably lies in mercury poisoning, or the minutiae necessary to naturalize; I mean, have you ever tried to skin a chickadee?

    I have been on the road to St Louis twice, once the trip there and once the necessary return. Beware the roadside attraction. My favorite was the reptile gardens where I brandished something green and scaley and wagged it in my mother’s face. I still carry scars from that day.

    Have fun and watch out for sharp rocks, porcupines, and other roadside hazards.


  • beedge



    According to our informants, the town of Greenwood is abandoned. However, nobody told that to the Yankton Sioux — who were in the last day of a four-day Sundance fesitval.
    Journals of Josef Verbanac, June 22, 2001

    we’d done 60miles by 1pm. we were planning to lunch on the river in the abandoned town of Greenwood, and wait out a few hot afternoon hours.

    we heard the drums as we pulled in. i asked a guy if it was okay to watch. he said sure, just stay outside the cirle. as he turned i saw two freshly healed quarter-size circular wounds on his back, one on each shoulder blade. a woman walked by and said "Welcome to the Rez." families had surrounded the circle this last day. the dancers had fasted and danced and pierced themselves for four days. a guy with blood dripping down a pair of holes in his chest said: "Let’s roll. We’re outta here."

    their were more songs and ceremony. the woman who welcomed us invited Jo and I to their feast: fry bread, buffalo stew, and loadsa pot-luck. i wasn’t allowed to tape the Sundance. nor would anyone talk on tape about it. the chief said he’d talk about other things after the festival. but they kept calling up relatives to be honored, and singing, and giving things away, and having Indian namings, and honoring the chief’s recently departed uncle. by 6:30p they we’re still calling up relatives as we pedaled out. I never got any tape. that’s okay, tho. not everything needs to be recorded. I remember.

    I remember the guy with 4 pairs of wounds on his chest, 3 healed from past Sundances, one still open. I remember during the song for the dead uncle, the dancers looked up and pointed. in the sky, between the river and the circle, a beautiful cloud had formed, shaped like the chest of an eagle about to take flight. the chief said his uncle is saying he’s in happy hunting grounds. i remember standing in the food line next to 3 old grandmothers sitting and eating. beside them 2 girls, about ten, we’re asking their mother:
    Girl: Can we go swimming?
    Mom: No, not here.
    Granma: That’s the river.
    Mom: A lot of people have drown-dead in the river.
    Girl: The water is strong.
    Mom (smiling): You just go near it and it’ll suck you in.
    Girl (laughing): You sit on the bank and it’ll come get ya.

  • beedge


    Birthday Boys

    This day I completed my thirty-first year, and conceived that I had, in all human probability, now existed about half the period which I am to remain in this sublunary world. I reflected that I had as yet done but little, very little, indeed, to further the happiness of the human race, or to advance the information of the succeeding generation. I viewed with regret the many hours I have spent in indolence, and now sorely feel the want of that information which those hours would have given me had they been judiciously expended. But since they are past and cannot be recalled, I dash from me the gloomy thought, and resolve in future to redouble my exertions and at least endeavor to promote those two primary objects of human existence, by giving them the aid of that portion of talents which Nature and fortune have bestowed on me; or, in future, to live for mankind, as I have heretofore lived for myself.
    Meriwether Lewis August 18th 1805

    Lewis wrote the above after one year out, after finding his principal goal: the source of the Missouri, and after being well on his way through their main obstacle: the Rockies, not to mention his couple years serving as personal secretary to T.Jeff, one of the most profoundly influential political forces this world has known. aka, Meriwether, baby, ease up, ya know, chill; have an extra gill of whiskey, would ya.

    we made it to Standing Rock Rez. Jo is out mowing his folks’ lawn (what a good son). his birthday is tomorrow, which we’ll spend here amongst family. btw, jo grew up several hundred furlongs from the middle of nowhere. on a clear day, if you look real hard, you can almost see the Prairie Nights Casino in Fort Yates, which many Rez folk hope will add coin to the economy.

    we’re only a few days from our destination: Fort Mandan, near Washburn SD, where L&C wintered 1804-5, before continuing their trek west. in Bismark ND, we’ll be swinging by Sam Goody’s for some sorely needed mini-disc blanks. Upcoming post will include my, now in formation, md v. dat pros/cons.

    I spent the morn reading the posts in SarahV’s special guest topic – what a stellar discussion. wouldn’t be surprised if I felt compelled to add my $.02, so see ya over there.

  • Ben A.


    I can’t wait

    Hi Barrett (say hi to Joe for me),

    This is such an incredible trip you’re taking. I’m very jealous right now but I’m not worried because I will have my payback in August. Just you wait.

    I wanted to let you know that we’re running two of the messages you’ve left us on the show this weekend. Check our webpage: (click on "stations" on the left)
    and maybe you can pick it up where you’re going to be.

    I wonder while you’re traveling through all these reservations and retracing the route, what you feel *your* relationship is to the native populations (and I don’t just mean the indians). How does it compare to what L&C were feeling? (I’m thinking about this while listening to the part where you talk about the Nez Perce helping L&C and then later being thrown in the slam…)

    Good luck, thanks for posting about your adventures,

  • josef verbanac


    "native" relationship(s)…

    I’m not sure that I can write to what L & C were feeling (me being the less erudite about that particular historical aspect of our trip), but, having grown up here on the Standing Rock Reservation and being part Sioux myself, I’ve been trying to consider this very thing.

    To be honest, I’ve always felt a bit estranged from the natives, both Indians and Non-.

    While my father is an enrolled member of the tribe, works at the local Indian Health Service facility and with us living in tribal housing, I was sufficiently light-skinned to be considered white by the Indians.

    But for these very same reasons, my fellow white classmates often considered me too “Ind’n” to wholly accept as well.

    Obviously, my observations are colored…(Pardon the pun.)

    That notwithstanding, I would sum up our relationship to the natives, thusly:

    We are strangers here, just as L & C where during their expedition. Most folks treat us a bit cautiously, but curiously. And from what I’ve read of the journals, it seems as if the natives did the very same. Open hostility has been rare for us (namely, rednecks in red trucks), just as it had been with the Corps of Discovery. I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that a couple of people biking along the Missouri River is as rare an event now as theirs was then, but it does seem unusual to folks along the way, who mostly want to know what in hell we’re doing and why.

    I’ll stop with the similarities before I degenerate to platitudes and cliches…

    So many circumstances have radically changed in the intervening two hundred years – economics, industry, technology, language, religious and cultural practices, travel mechanisms, politics. There probably isn’t an element of human activity that has remained untouched in that time.

    There is one further similarity that I would like to point out, though.

    Population density – I don’t have concrete figures but much of what I’ve read before and during the trip would seem to indicate a general decrease in population in the Plains States. So much so, that Frederic Turner Jackson’s assertion that the Frontier be officially “closed” could seriously be questioned (caveats to historian Patricia N. Limerick, Richard Manning’s “Grassland” and Dayton Duncan’s “Out West”).

    The Plains are a sparsely inhabited place these days, much as they were then.


  • Jay Allison



    My, this is an interesting topic.

    We’d welcome illustrative audio clips or photos when you get them.


  • Jon Nehring


    Covering a lot of ground

    It’s interesting to read your impressions of how you – as relative strangers – are perceived on your trip. It makes me wonder how much the environment there affects the locals’ perception of strangers. It is so sparsely populated and infrequented as a tourist destination. You must stand out like a couple of sore thumbs – or is that sore bums?

  • larry massett


    cheerful travellers

    Like Lewis and Clark, Jo and Barrett seem to be remarkably even-tempered travellers. I once made a bike trip like this with Barrett (following the Lewis and Clark route over the bitteroot mountains) and notice that no matter how lost or thirsty or tired, the man kept his good humor. It was quite annoying. On one accasion, somewhere on a windy plain, we decided a good way to tape the sound of the wind would be to attach the mike and tape recorder to a long piece of rope and throw them over the top of a high telephone wire.
    This was a stupid idea, obviously; even if it had worked it wouldn’t have worked. But the rope broke as soon as we threw it, leaving the recording equipment high and dry atop the phone line. How to get the things down? Throwing rocks would not be good. Lassoing them turned out to be even trickier than it sounds. I recall we spent the rest of day gnawing at the problem with -on my part- mounting desperation. Barett was chipper and breezy the whole time. If I had killed him on the spot, as I meant to, he wouldn’t have gone on to produce this trip.

  • Andy Knight



    I had no idea that Barrett went to the Paul Tough School of Field Recording! So, how does the minidisc fair in the rock batting competition?

  • beedge


    Back in Bozone

    My knowledge of our Western Territory is equal or superior to that of any man in the country… The Information I have has been dearly purchased. The cost has been the endurance of extremes of heat and cold hunger and thirst frequent hazard of my life and on more than one occasion the massacre of nearly all the companions of my travels.
    Jedidiah Smith, 2nd March 1831 letter to the Secretary of War applying for a position in an “exploring party to the Rocky Mountains”

    hmmm. kinda makes our 60 miles uphill into headwinds sound like a piece-o-pie.

    we’re home. give me a few days to process pics and edit intervus and i’ll get something up here to see/hear.

  • beedge


    Phoning It In

    SavTrav 6/29/1 has a couple Phone Messages i left them from the trail. that same show features a gut-wrenching "Into a Fading Past" by (Transom Guest Emeritus) Tony Kahn. and it premieres the new SavTrav host: record-breaking long-distance swimmer-turned-journalist Diana Nyad.

  • Andy Knight


    Picky picky picky

    Actually, she premiered 6/22/01 where she started by calling New York to tell her friend the news and then headed off to the Paddle Tennis courts to talk with other displaced New Yorkers.

    A weird thing about both of those phone message files– they’re both cut short! You can hear how each message ended if you listen to the whole show. Another weird thing, the Tony Kahn piece has been on TAL’s Father’s Day ’99 sans Tony and Kahn. Before that it was in the film
    i Pop
    (mentioned in both the Kahn and TAL version) which was shown on
    i Frontline.
    It is still well worth the airtime.

  • Ben Barry


    Catch the 70’s

    Hi Barrett and Joe!
    Catch two 70yr old ladies? Never. My wife has the insane idea to bike from California to Maine, to raise awareness and money for the State and National Brain Injury Asoociaions. In September, part of our route will take us onto the Katy Trail as well. What kind of mileage can we expect to make per day in that area?
    Good luck on your journey. Great idea.

  • Nannette Drake Oldenbourg


    the heat!

    I keep hoping the 107 degrees at 7 p.m. is a typo. Tell me it was a typo, or you had air conditioned bikes or something. You didn’t actually cycle in that, did you? I’m surprised your equipment, let alone your brains, did not malfunction, even if it was dry heat.

  • beedge


    Catching Up On…

    …responses to people’s posts.

    > are you recording while riding your bike?
    rob: didn’t try to record on bike. thought that could best be done at home, w/ better equipment. times i have recorded on bikes i’ve gotten good results by holding mic behind my back while pedaling — using my body as windblock. another thing i noticed but haven’t tried, is: when there’s a strong tailwind, it can sometimes, at a certain speed range, create a pocket of no wind in front of you — the tailwind counteracts the wind you create going forward. it’s very calm w/in that pocket and you can clearly hear the sound of the bike; might make for excellent recording.

    > When you finish do you think you will go to D.C. and blow your brains out?
    charley: that’s priceless. he refers to Lewis being a suicide. why? I say he was a manic-depressive prone to self-loathing. he felt a failue for not satisfying either of Jefferson’s hopes: of finding a navigable passage thru the Rockies, and of completing a publication of the explorer’s journals. his subsequent mediocre performance as a territorial Governor confirmed his feeling of worthlessness.

    I, on the other hand, am so relentlessly cheerful; I seem not to notice my constantly expanding list of failures. which brings us to:

    > we decided a good way to tape the sound of the wind would be to attach the mike and tape recorder to a long piece of rope and throw them over the top of a high telephone wire
    larry: I forgot all about that. maybe that’s how I stay cheerful: by striking such obvious evidence of incompetence from my mind. wtf were we thinking?

    > It is so sparsely populated and infrequented as a tourist destination.
    jon: we’re in a Miles City cafe on our car-drive home. a young guy on his way out asks: "you guys on bikes?" we say "yeh, how’d ya know?" he says "you don’t look like you’re from here." he was also passing thru, kaying the Missouri, then down the Mississippi to the delta. and i suddenly got an impression of all these small towns being nothing more than way stations for we "outdoor enthusiasts" (a phrase neither too demeaning nor too congratulatory describing us bike/hike/canoe/climb/cave/kayak -ers.).

    > Katy Trail… What kind of mileage can we expect to make per day?
    ben barry: the surface is a crushed limestone and sand mixture, packed real well. it has a bit more friction than a well-paved road, but much less than a dirt road. expect to make about 10% less mph than on asphalt. 50-70miles in a 4-6hours-on-bike/day was normal and comfortable for us. the Katy Trail takes rain real well, but when wet it’ll will slow you a bit more.

    > 107 degrees at 7 p.m.
    nannette: yeh, that’s what it read. nice of it to cool down to 107, cuz earlier that afternoon it was really hot.

  • beedge


    River Out West Horse Heat Moon

    Book cover> Out West by Dayton Duncan written in the 80’s. He followed the L&C Trail via VW minibus.
    rob: I’ve read Duncan’s Out West, and Jo just finished it. a good book, but, to me, a bit predictable: ya know, he finds the struggling farmer, the downtrodden Indian, the local museum with the what-a-character curator, and all the other stereotypes one expects; punctuated by his Major Conclusion every few pages. I see why Ken Burns chose him as co-writer; he secretes the Burns Aesthetic of Superlative and Hero-worship.

    I’ve just started River-Horse: Across America by Boat, which I like much better. it’s a longer, riskier, more arduous journey. Will Least Heat-Moon’s weaves observation, event and history into lovely meandering paragraphs. his revelations are subtler, less-conclusive, often not even stated, but folded into something as simple as his thoughts about maps.

    Book cover

    I am a reader of maps, not usually nautical charts but road maps. I read them as others do holy writ, the same text again and again in quest of discoveries, and the books I’ve written each began with my gaze wandering over maps of American terrain. At home I have an old highway atlas, worn and rebound, the pages so soft from a thousand thumbings they whisper as I turn them. Every road I’ve ever driven I’ve marked in yellow, the pages densely highlighted, and I can now say I’ve visited every county in the contiguous states except for a handful in the Deep South, and those I’ll get to soon. Put your finger at random anyplace in this United States atlas, and I’ve either been there or within twenty-five miles of it, but for the deserts of Nevada where the gap can be about twice that. I didn’t set out to do this; it just happened over forty years of trying to memorize the face of America. When someone speaks of Pawtucket or Cross Creek or Marfa, I want an image from my travels to appear; when I read a dateline in a news story about Jackson Hole, I want the torn Teton horizon and a remembered scent of pinyon pine in me. "Have you seen the historic tavern at Scenery Hill?" the Pennsylvanian may say, and I want to ask, How goes the ghost, and are the yeast rolls still good? No words have directed my life more than those from venerable Thomas Fuller, that worthy historian of olde England: "Know most of thy native country before thou goest over the threshold thereof."
    River-Horse, &copy; 1999 William Least Heat-Moon (read a longer excerpt)

    I did like Duncan’s Road Rules; but compare Heat-Moon’s verbal vamping above to Duncan’s proclivity for proclamation below.

    Road Rule 1: Never stop to ask directions, unless you are completely defeated; never stop to look at a map, unless you have to stop for something else. [Looking at a map is not prohibited, but don’t stop to do it.]

    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; First Corollary: The more uncertain you are about where you’re headed, the faster you go to get there. …

    Road Rule 12: You can learn a lot from books, maps, and statistics but the road is a better (and sterner) teacher.

    &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; First Corollary: The lessons of the road are taught by practical, workshop methods, not by lectures. They’re more effective that way.

    Second Corollary: The main course of study in the classrooms of the road is not romantic fiction.
    Out West, © 1994 Dayton Duncan (read all the Road Rules)

  • beedge



    and the maps lead us to Jo’s question:
    > what are the criteria for finding that face in the crowd that’ll provide some good, or at least interesting, vox?
    Jo and I were off to the laundromat one early Chamberlin SD morn. we passed a guy on a bench writing numbers and lines on a bunch of cut-up 6inch-square maps. after we threw our clothes in the washer, I told Jo I’m going back to talk to that guy (had my recording gear w/ me, natch). it was a great intervu: he was canoeing across the country, down the Missouri, to the Mississippi, thru the Great Lakes and little rivers back to his Maine home. added benefit was that he was a from the Penobscot Nation, offering the potential for this line of script: "The first Indian I talked in South Dakota spoke with a thick Maine accent."

    Horse nibbles on our tent
    Horse nibbling on tent
    Sweetgrass River MT

    so how do you find that face in crowd? you stumble upon a promising situation, a guy alone on a bench thumbing thru small maps. i remember another bike trip, with LarryM. we’d just done our nightly illegal camping, in an Idaho rest stop, and were on our morning quest for coffee. Larry had left earlier. I was just pulling onto the road when I saw Larry sitting on the grass talking to a grizzled, drifter-lookin guy. Larry makes some motions indicating I should get the recorder out. turned out to be this wonderful intervu: this guy had broke down there in his van a few days ago. he had no money, but a job starting a few hundred miles away in a week. he wasn’t worried, tho, or in any hurry. he was happy hangin at this very nice rest stop on a secluded highway. Larry gave him a few bucks and we continued on to caffiene.

  • beedge


    Black Powder

    Jeff Barr: Re-Enactor Jeff Barr, Re-Enactor — in the role of L&C hunter Georges Droulliard — fires his black powder rifle for my recorder, on the greens of Rochport MO.
    speaker icon Fire in the Hole MP3 (0:09 / 140K)

  • beedge


    Seldom Heard

    Farrell and guitarFarrell Adkins was the Campround Host at Arrow Rock State Park MO. Check out the Incredibly Kewl little-known 2nd verse of:
    speaker icon Home on the Range MP3 (2:03 / 2M)

    ←re-touched pic

    As we radio folk get into web-dom, we sometimes have to do some quick/dirty visuals for our sites. With programs like Photoshop, even the graphically challanged, like myself, can do a decent job re-touching photos. The original photo had a tent and sleeping bag that were distracting. Using the Stamp and Smudge Tools, I replaced them with grass.

    detail of original pic:
    Un-retouched photo

  • Jon


    Interesting 2nd verse, but awfully short

    What kind of guitar was he using? 🙂

  • Nannette Drake Oldenbourg



    (Jon is more poetic than I.)

    I can only get the gun shot, not the song.

  • beedge


    sonido y luz

    speaker icon Frog Symphony MP3 (0:55 / 860K)

    as andy mentions the web vers of the SavTrav phone messages cut off. here they are in their full RealAudio glory:
    speaker iconRiver Risin’ (2:15)
    speaker icon A Military Expedition (2:37)

    and here’s the links to the shows as they ran on SavvyTraveler:
    Part1 Prep show
    Part2 Phone messages

    we’re working on building the site and the shows. for our own reference, we’ve posted a set of pics. (the link is only good for a month or so, cuz when the site goes up, these pages come down.)

    and Jon: the HomeOnRange guitarist played his Takamine, which he’d had a couple forevers. recorded in stereo (lo-range m-s) w/ Shure VP-88.

  • beedge


    wrong range url

    the above link to Home on the Range is wrong. here’s the right one:
    speaker icon Home on the Range MP3 (2:03 / 2M)

  • beedge


    L&C SavTrav shows

    since my last post, a couple L&C shows have run. they’re getting better, but still aren’t exceptional. the latest one (Part 4) is pretty damn good, tho. if anybody’s still reading this, tell me what you think.

  • beedge


    L&C SavTrav Show 3: Flood

    Clark goes modLewis goes modsoundfiles Pains & Accuracy 3
    (8:30) Part Three. Biking and mic-ing the modern Lewis and Clark Trail. Missouri floods, a frog symphony, a million worms, bowfishing a beanfield, and in little league: Lemke Trenching and Excavating plays Miller Funeral Homes. Premiered on PRI/MPR Savvy Traveler.

  • beedge


    L&C SavTrav Show 4: Rendevous

    Manitou cave drawingssoundfilesPains & Accuracy 4
    (11:10) Part Four. Biking and mic-ing the Missouri. Meriwether’s Aria, replicas upriver, surveyor-stalking cougars, black powder, cave drawings and lost Edens. Premiered on PRI/MPR Savvy Traveler.
    (Image above is William Clark’s drawing of cave pictographs)

  • Andy Knight



    I turned on Sav Trav about 30 minutes ago, just in time to catch the most important part. It throws me off that in the Sav Trav world Barrett is still in MO. I love this story and I wish Savvy would run a segment every week till it’s done. One gripe, I miss the old ladies race… what happened to this thread?

    For those who haven’t already, you can read a letter on the sav trav website from a relative (daughter?) of one of the old ladies. Do a search there under "Barrett Golding". (I’m far to lazy to link to it for you today.)

  • Brodie Cates


    Take me to the river

    Glad the series has made back to the airwaves. I heard the latest, program 4, Saturday and caught the third on the Savvy Travvy site. There is a progression in quality. The music–swampedelic frogs, operatic readings of the diary, pauses for emotion in dialog–create an appealing river for the information to ride on. Eric the fisherman presented a really visual hook that mutated from black to white, Cajun to Okie…smelling sweaty, boozy, fishy and wise. Barrett, keep on quilting. Did Jo do L&C’s makeovers?

  • eve worth



    When I was little, Missouri was chock full of frogs, every damp recess. On a recent visit, I couldn’t even find a pollywog. Same thing in California. Must mean something.

  • Nannette Drake Oldenbourg


    Fun, fun, fun…

    Barrett’s enthusiasm and excitement brings me in. Even when I have a feeling like ‘better him than me,’ for example, when a mite emerges from the skin, joining all the oozy critters jumping off our traveling heroes… Okay, maybe gooey critters aren’t so bad after all… Maybe I’ve been educated when I least expected it.. At least it’s safe to say that this far from summer floods…
    I wonder how often we’re allowed to be so enthusiastic as participant-observer (and how often we can hear it as a listener). Travel and just a few commentary voices can allow it… or am I missing something.

  • Nannette Drake Oldenbourg


    Try it to investigate the words?

    And I can’t let you go without revisiting your precision vs. accuracy discussion.

    Is there a similarity between predominant hand vs. non-predominant hand drawing? Years ago I tried to put the difference into words and thought my right hand imposed precision "The line was right here" whereas my left hand imposed something else (I had the words but they were censored back when by my other brain half I think) Accuracy? Probably not. But something like it. Detail.

    My right hand can churn out nearly identical smiley faces.
    My left hand makes a collection of unique individuals with personalities…

  • beedge


    L&C SavTrav Show 5: War

    Nez Perce at Fort Leavenworth
    soundfilesPains &amp; Accuracy 5

    (10:50) Part Five: No Home on the Range, Chief Joseph’s Race Track, Brothers Buddha and Brahma, and 2000 miles thru the Himalayas. PRI/MPR Savvy Traveler November 30, 2001.

  • Susan Jenkins


    A note of clarification for picky picky picky Andy Knight (#43)

    Re POP: Actually the TAL piece came first, in 1997 as part of the "Defying Sickness" program. It was slipped into Father’s Day from there. The Tony Kahn interview/piece was done separately, and aired both on The World and in slightly different form on Savvy Trav in 98-99. All this material came from the film, which also provided material for a Nightline special in 1997, and was edited to an hour for its Frontline broadcast in 1999.

    A small exercise in mileage, unlike the one detailed above. This is a great format for Sav Trav if they could just keep a scheduled appearance for the tape from the journey’s progress.

    sj (meyerowitz’s studio manager)

  • josef verbanac


    I can’t bloody well wait…

    I’m sick and tired –not of planning, not of logistics, not of staring at maps and lists, but of moving piles of gear around my house and feeling like I’m not any closer to departing.

    there’s something practically defeating about that: staring at mounds of stuff that will, in all likelihood, be repacked at least several times before that ‘system’ that barrett spends much time concentrating on emerges.

    had I my druthers, I would have left town a week ago and just camped out at the put in point, waiting for my companions and living out of my bags; it would have been so much less stressful.

    I have been in this strange twilit world of late… the lack of motion, the desire for it above and beyond everything else, the strategizing, and the foreknowledge of how vain that really is.

    of course, the snow here in the rockies doesn’t help.

    regardless, we depart tomorrow for the next leg of the voyage — three hundred-plus miles, not near or next to the river, but on it.

    systems, plans, presumptions, whatever.

    those are all eclipsed by the efforts.

  • Jay Allison



    As you may have discerned, Barrett and Jo are ready for the next leg, to be chronicled here.

    Among the preparations Jo refers to above are all the necessary funding, production, and broadcast schemes related to this project. Barrett intends to lay those out too, when there’s time.

    looking forward…

  • bryant lucas


    indiana connections

    were there any happenings in indiana that were involved with lewis and clark. i seem to think that therev may have been some indian contacts.were there any topographic maps or data from their journey concerning indiana?

  • Barrett Golding



    Indian a
    In Diana

    as far as i know (which ain’ t very far) none L&C’s cartographic efforts extendied to any of the regions now known as Indiana. while on subject of maps, one of the amost amazing collections and analysis of the maps leading up to and including L&C’s is:

    Exploring the West from Monticello "A Perspective in Maps from Columbus to Lewis and Clark" from the University of Virginia’s Alderman Library

  • angelw



    what river did you go on when you was on the trail

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