The Blazed Trail of the Old Frontier: Being the Log of the Upper Missouri Historical Expedition under the Auspices of the Governors & Historical Associations of Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and Montana for 1925

By Agnes C. Laut; Charles M. Russell | Go to book overview

PART V: JOHN F. STEVENS DISCOVERS MARIA'S PASS

TUESDAY, July 21, marked the last day of the Upper Missouri Historical Expedition. It also marked the Continental Divide in the Northern Rockies; and more significantly it marked the summit of proceedings in the dedication of monuments to the heroes of a great historic highway.

Looking back coldly and detachedly on the proceedings of the week, I find it hard to articulate and harder still to analyze and put in words the elusive beauty and touching poignancy of that clear, cloudless, sun- drenched summer morning. The sun shone on the surrounding peaks as it had shone long, long ago, when La Verendrye first heard of the Shining Mountains Going to the Sun. The mountain streams tumbled over the far precipices in sheets of wind-blown spray as Thompson must have seen them when coursing the Kootenay Plains and the Upper Columbia a century ago. The bluebell and the brown-eyed sunflower and the gorgeous red paint- brush tossed their chalices of morning greeting to the rising sun as they had done when Meriwether Lewis stopped here to gather flowers and name the river of this pass Maria's, after a friend of his youth. Blackfeet cayuse ponies grazed on the russet brown foothills as they had wandered at will in the days when old Fort Union was at its zenith, or in the later days, when Chief

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The Blazed Trail of the Old Frontier: Being the Log of the Upper Missouri Historical Expedition under the Auspices of the Governors & Historical Associations of Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and Montana for 1925
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