Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Aground `Lewis & Clark' Trip Swamped by Flood

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Aground `Lewis & Clark' Trip Swamped by Flood

Article excerpt

The waters that the Lewis and Clark Expedition navigated through Illinois and Missouri in 1803 during their successful journey to the Northwest territory are less than hospitable now to a group dedicated to the memory of the historical voyage.

The record flooding has forced the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation Inc. to cancel a barge trip set for Tuesday along the expedition's route between Wood River on the Mississippi River and St. Charles on the Missouri River.

The trip had been planned as a highlight of the group's seven-day, 25th annual meeting that began Saturday at the Holiday Inn in Collinsville.

Other side trips, including a visit to the Lewis & Clark Monument on the riverfront at Hartford and a bus trip to Ste. Genevieve, Mo., also have been canceled because of flooding.

M. Joseph Hill of Edwardsville, the chairman of the convention, was disappointed but knew there was no choice. He said other trips would be planned to replace the aborted events.

"We'll do the best we can," he said. "That's all we can do right now."

Hill said the monument erected by the State of Illinois at Hartford, where Lewis and Clark set up their winter camp in 1803 before starting up the Missouri River, was completely under water.

"You can't even see it from the air," he said.

Hill said the floods wouldn't affect another highlight of the meeting - the world premiere of a play about the expedition.

The production, called "Bitterroot," was written and directed by Alan Lindgren, a playwright at Principia College at Elsah. It stars Joneal Joplin as Thomas Jefferson, Seth Jones as William Clark and Martin LaPlatney as Meriwether Lewis.

"Bitterroot" will be performed at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday at Lewis & Clark Community College at Godfrey. There will be matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. To order tickets, call (314) 534-1111. …

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