1806 - Lewis and Clark return to St. Louis in September

An early 19th century litograph of the St. Louis waterfront.

         In 1804 the upstream trip to the Mandan Villages on the upper Missouri River took many months to accomplish, but the trip downstream from the Knife River, in 1806, only took a few weeks.  

Clark Undaunted

  An artists depiction of Lewis and Clark with Sakakawea, and Clark's slave, York, in the background.

By then, the Corps of Discovery had said farewell to Jim Colter at the confluence with the Yellowstone.  As his fellow explorers floated with the currents back to the Mississippi, the now-legendary Colter turned west and spent the next winter alone exploring the Yellowstone country.  His stories of steaming gysers and boiling rivers - in what would become the world's first national park - were heard at first with scoffs of disbelief.