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Lewis and Clark on the Rocks|
In the fall of 1805, Lewis and Clark horsepacked Idaho's Bitterroot Mountains on a precipitous trail known as the Lolo. Though the Bitterroots barely top out at 7,000 feet (2,130 meters), the Lolo is a twisting, steep passage through dense pine woods, and its daunting reputation persists nearly 200 years since the explorers' Corps of Discovery traversed it.
We sent writer Tim Cahill to tackle what expedition member Sgt. Patrick Gass called those "most terrible mountains" (see "Lewis and Clark Get Lost" in the April 2002 issue [read excerpt]). Author of nine books, including his upcoming collection of travel essays, Hold the Enlightenment, Cahill can spin the most frightening trips into hilarious, rollicking tales. But how would he fare on the route that nearly spelled the end for the Corps of Discovery?
Reporting back from his Adventure assignment, Cahill recounts his seven days on the Lolo in the audio clips at left.
Portrait by William Caldwell
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