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Saturday, December 2,2000

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Lewis and Clark

I ran errands this morning under a hazy cloudy sky. The sun was shining behind the clouds with that dull glow that always reminds me of a bad science fiction movie. The colors around me seemed duller, except the orange trees that were a dark green with golden fruit. Orange trees are so beautiful and when they are blooming they have one of the best smells in the world.

I picked up a few things I need for Christmas at work so I have that off my mind. I went over to Albertsons since they have the cat litter that I like and the stores at the strip mall were having a sidewalk sale. Why is it that sidewalk sales always seem to have things that they couldn't sell otherwise? The CDs are by people you never heard of and the other items are things that you can't imagine why anyone would buy that junk.

I'm watching the tape of Ken Burn's "Lewis & Clark, The Journey of the Corps of Discovery". It's very good and there aren't schlocky re-creations. He relies on the country itself, still pictures, readings of the journals and comments by historians. It is very good. I'd seen bits and pieces before but never managed to to see very much of it so I'm enjoying this.

This expedition is one of the great triumphs of America. They went in peace, mostly, and caused no deliberate harm, unlike later groups. They had in Meriwether Lewis and Rogers Clark two great journal writers and the wonder of seeing land that no european had seen before comes through so clearly. The amazement at crossing, for days and days, land with virtually no trees and with animals they had not known about before.

The landscape in this film is so beautiful. What a great idea to let the land tell the story and not people it with actors. So beautiful! I have Lewis and Clark screensaver that I enjoy. It shows the route they take slowly move across the west. I would love to follow the Lewis & Clark Trail and see that land for myself. It's changed so much but it's still there.

How sad that this was the high water mark of exploration.

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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