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Introduction

In August of 1805, the Lewis & Clark Expedition crossed the Lemhi Pass. When they did, they answered a question that had been lingering for over 300 years. Is there a water route across the continent? Is there a NorthWest passage? Is there a body of water that can shorten the length of time that commerical traffic can go from Europe to Asia?

When Meriwether West reached this beautiful pass, he saw, not the Columbia River as expected, but ranges of ridges extending westward. In the face of disappointment, the character of the Corps of Discovery and their leaders did not quit, but proceeded on into the most difficult section of their journey, the crossing of the Bitteroot Mountains on the Lolo Trail