April 7th, 1805
Our vessels consisted of six small canoes, and two large perogues. This little fleet altho' not quite so rispectable as those of Columbus or Capt. Cook, were still viewed by us with as much pleasure as those deservedly famed adventurers ever beheld theirs; and I dare say with quite as much anxiety for their safety and preservation. we were now about to penetrate a country at least two thousand miles in width, on which the foot of civillized man had never trodden; the good or evil it had in store for us was the experiment yet to determine, and these little vessels contained every article by which we were to expect to subsist or defend ourselves. When the immagination is suffered to wander into futurity, the picture which now presented itself to me was a most pleasing one.
Where the map ended, the real adventure began.
A year had passed since Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and their band of 27 explorers left St. Louis. ...1