Bernie and I returned from our first trip to the northwest area of this beautiful country. There have been times I so wanted to be a world traveler, but hopes of that are waning as I realize the shortness of my life yet to live. But, heck, this piece of property we call the United States is amazing. AMAZING!
This was our fifth trip with Road Scholar, once known as Elderhostel. We even got a video from its president congratulating us on have done five. We have been on educational adventures in Nachez, Mississippi, in Sedona, Arizona, in Eastport, Maine and in Costa Rica. This is a commercial, by the way, for those of you who call yourselves seniors. I am not sure of the age limit…55 or 60, but I can tell you that on this last trip, 55 or 60 would have been considered young. New knees and canes abounded. But so did books and journals. These people were curious about history and culture and life. I loved being with them.
The program was called “Lewis & Clark: The Columbia and Snake Rivers by Small Ship.” The ship was indeed small. Our room had a double bed in it pushed against a wall so Bernie had to crawl over me to go to the bathroom during the night. The bathroom was so tiny it had both the toilet and shower in it. People on the ship who were campers said it felt like home. There was no closet to hang clothes, butt here were shelves and hooks on the wall. In spite of the cramped quarters, being on the boat, er ship, was amazing. The Columbia River moved us along lush green hills to desert rock mountains in the three days we traversed east. I liked the closeness of the shores. For some reason I have always dreaded being on a boat where I cold not see the shore. This was perfect.
The goal of the adventure was to educate the guests about the the Lewis & Clark’s expedition as ordered by President Jefferson. He had several goals in mind but the most important were to find a passage overland to the Pacific Ocean and to let the various Native tribes know that they now had a Great White Father that they could depend upon for all their needs. Our teacher was historian Don Popejoy who was amazing in his knowledge of the expedition. I especially liked him because he delved into the personalities and character of the participants. His way of teaching history is not unlike how he is as a man who loves people. He loved getting to know us and often teasing us or making fun of himself. Nothing slipped him by.
I happen to love learning history and find that being in the places where history was made is by far the best way to learn. I am a reader as well and am usually reading a history book along with my other reading. I have read extensively about the Lewis & Clark expedition. Currently I am reading a book of letters written by women who settled the west in the 1800’s. Strange. I hated history in school, but back then history was about wars and male leaders and inventors and, God forbid, about dates that all of this stuff happened. As a person that cannot remember any of the addresses of the places I have lived over my lifetime, having to remember dates was impossible for me and my grades showed it. Yet here I am learning like crazy as though I am making up for lost time.
I will share more in the days to come about the trip, taking a break now and then to talk about life as I like to do.