Friday, March 16, 2018

1925 - Part 3 - Across the Continent by Motor Boat (with Evinrude Big Twins)

Lots going on in Part 3!  I wonder where all the photos are that were taken on the cruise.  So few were used here it is a bit annoying.  Somewhere (hopefully) is an archive with the photos but I can't find it.  You can identify the original photos as they have the photo description as part of the image.
The cover of the March 1926 issue :-)

We kept our schedule into St. Louis.  Although most of the morning was consumed making photographs around camp and overhauling our equipment, we got under way at 10:30 in the morning.  The run down the Mississippi was only a matter of 18 miles, aided by a 4 mile per hour current, so that we pulled up in front of the Municipal Landing Barge sharply at noon.  There we were welcomed by the usual delegation of newspaper men and photographers.  After getting properly mugged and reported, we were taken in tow by William H. Dees, Sales Manager for the Canvas Products Company, of St. Louis.  Mr. Dees' firm manufactures the Peerless Auto Tent, which we had found to be a very satisfactory article for motor boat use, and which had been our home during the cruise when we were not actually under way with the boat.

St. Louis riverfront in 1927.

We spent that afternoon, and the following day in St. Louis, getting started for Hoboken again about 9 o'clock on the morning of August the second.  

Notwithstanding the fact the Mississippi from St. Paul Minnesota to New Orleans, is a rather sluggish stream, we found the current dragged heavily upon a boat having no greater speed  and engine power than Transcontinental had.    But, we had plenty of headway left after overcoming the current even though we played safe and bucked right up the middle of the steamboat channel which is marked with a veritable fence of buoys and shore day marker targets.  

The run of 18 miles back up the Mississippi to the mouth of the Missouri was made in three hours, ands at one o'clock in the afternoon we tied up at Alton, Illinois, to go ashore for lunch.

It was a tremendous relief to be away from the nerve racking strain of dodging sand bars and snags in the Missouri, and just to have clear water to cruise in was a pleasure we had not known since leaving the Columbia.

While the Mississippi River above the mouth of the Missouri might not be considered clear by persons who are used to streams and lakes of crystal clearness, it is sufficiently clear that the tip of an oar blade is visible about four feet below the surface.

Below the mouth of the Missouri, however, it's quite a different story.  The writer is inclined to share the views of certain geographers who have always maintained  that a grave mistake was made when the Missouri was named as a tributary of the Mississippi.  It has been claimed that the Mississippi really flows into the Missouri, and that the Missouri is one river from the point in Montana where it is formed by the junction of the Madison, Gallatin, and Jefferson Rivers - right straight through to the Gulf of Mexico.  The question will probably always remain debatable, but it is an incontrovertible fact that - there is no Mississippi River below the mouth of the Missouri.  he Mississippi most assuredly loses its identity after the Missouri pours its torrent of silt and mud down to mingle with the waters of the Mississippi.  The Mississippi is swallowed by the Missouri just as the Missouri is swallowed up in North Dakota where it meets the Yellowstone.

(I added the red dashes on top of almost invisible faded out route markings.)
The scenery along the Mississippi, especially on the Illinois side of the river between Alton and the mouth of the Illinois River at Grafton, Illinois, was without doubt some of the most beautiful we had seen since leaving the bad lands of Montana.  Along this portion of the river the shore like terminates at the water's edge in the form of great, rocky, almost perpendicular bluffs.  These rocky formations appear to be very old, much weathered and waterworn, and with patches of vivid green vegetation growing out of the cracks and canyons that break through the rocky walls.  For the first time on this entire cruise we found ourselves on this portion of the run in the company of other motor boatmen.  Motor boats of all descriptions appeared along the river.  Boats bearing such distant ports of registry as Peoria, St. Paul, and Des Moines, indicated that we were not the only outfit doing a bit of long distance travel.

 Traveling on up the Mississippi that afternoon we arrived at Grafton, Illinois, at the mouth of the Illinois River at six o'clock in the evening.

Grafton is a quaint little townof less than a thousand population, but it seems to typify the many little communities that dot the shores of the Mississippi from Lake Itaska to the Gulf of Mexico.

It is one of those villages in which we still find the unspoiled Americanism of two or three decades ago - people who work six days a week, go to church on Sundays, maintain the standards of living that were those of our great grandparents, lead simple wholesome lives, and don't walk up the backs of each other's neck in the present day scramble for the elusive dollar.

It is one of the few remaining towns where the hostelry sells a night's lodging in a nice clean room with a bed and a wash bowl for a dollar, and meals at fifty cents each. At mealtime they load the food onto the tables, go outside and toll the bell - the signal to those who are hungry to come and get it. To one who has spent most of his recent years in the commercial tread-mill of the modern American city, a visit to Grafton or any of the many Graftons along the Mississippi, is deliciously refreshing.

Fourteen years ago the writer canoed down the Illinois River from Peoria to the Mississippi River.  I was at that time a student of biological science at the University of Illinois.  The canoe cruise was made with the joint cooperation of the University  College of Natural History and the United States Bureau of Biological Survey.  It was for the purpose of taking a census of the bird life along the river, and making analysis of the stomach and crop contents of birds to determine their economic relation to agriculture.

Turning the bow of the Transcontinental into the Illinois River in August, 1925, I found a very different river from the stream I had roamed with the canoe in 1911.  The river has been transformed in those fourteen years from one of the most beautiful streams of the entire nation - rich and bird and fish life, to a foul-smelling, filthy, open sewer.  The blame for this condition must be placed squarely where it should go, and that is upon the city of Chicago.  Anyone who travels up the Illinois River today, and sees the condition that the pollution from Chicago's sewage has caused, may righteously accuse the city of slovenliness, greed, selfishness, and an utter disregard for the rights of the people living down the Illinois and Mississippi River Valleys.  

The writer believes that if a representative lot of Chicago citizens could be taken down the river and shown what the city has done, then go back to Chicago and clean house with the city government from cellar to roof, if that might be necessary to accomplish an ending of the imposition the community has inflicted upon its neighbors.  In justice to Chicago, however, it should be stated that steps are now being taken to put a stop to the pollution which the Chicago Drainage Canal has caused the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.  The task is a complicated engineering task that will require at least five years for realization.

Years ago, someone who was evidently a skillful, paid propagandist, set in motion the theory now widely credited that - running water purifies itself after flowing a certain distance.  But, to anyone who is sufficiently gullible to accept that theory, I would say: Take a look at the liquid pouring out of the Illinois River into the Mississippi.  Nineteen-twentieths of it is said to be pure uncontaminated water from Lake Michigan that flows down the Chicago Drainage canal.  The remaining twentieth is sewage  and the comparatively small amount of water which the Illinois River accumulates from a number of tributaries.  In spite of the fact that the water flows 325 miles from Chicago to the mouth of the Illinois River, it pours into the Mississippi as an evil-smelling mass of filth that is utterly indescribable.  

If that water has purified itself, or is in any way improved by reason of the distance it has flowed one's optical and olfactory nerves would have to be paralyzed to permit him to believe it.  Moreover, if it is fit for human use by the time it mixes with the Mississippi and is pumped up by the municipal waterworks at St. Louis, I'm ready to phone the insane asylum and tell them to get me a room ready.

While the Illinois River is still just as beautiful a stream to the eye as it was fourteen years ago, one needs a gas mask or a clothes pin on his nose in order to appreciate the appreciate its shores.  The boat channel has a minimum depth of about seven feet, and is well buoyed and lighted.  From the standpoint of navigation it was one of the easiest streams we traveled on the entire cruise.  But, at the end of our first day's cruising on the Illinois we were cured of the camp habit.  Instead of attempting to camp in an atmosphere that was nauseating enough during the days, we tied up in front of a town each night.  If the town had more than one hotel we selected the one farthest from the river.

After driving up the Illinois on runs that averaged 50 to 60 miles a day using both motors to increase our speed against the drag of the current, we launched at noon on August seventh at Pekin, Illinois, and the shoved off up the river for Peoria.  A few miles up the river a huge dirigible airship soared down out of the sky and began maneuvering around above us.  Then came a couple airplanes, and later a speedboat down the river.  The speedboat circled us, came alongside, and throttled down.  About that time the idea dawned upon us that all this demonstration was a reception committee from Peoria.  The men in the speedboat beckoned to me to come aboard, so I left Wilton at the wheel and Woodbury at the engines, and made a flying transfer without stopping either boat.  The speedboat contained A. T. Griffith, Peoria yachtsman and editor of Boating, and a group of newspaper men representing the Peoria and Chicago papers.

We then proceeded to the Illinois Valley Yacht Club in Lake Peoria, where the members of the club and its officers gathered around it and insisted that we should make their club our headquarters as long as we could remain with them.  

Much we  would have liked to have availed ourselves of the hospitality of the IVY Club, our sojourn there had to be made as brief as possible.  We were already weeks behind the schedule we had originally planned for the coast to coast cruise.  Weather conditions, however, compelled us to remain a day in Peoria.  The weather had been hot but fair all the way from Kansas City to Peoria.  The day after our arrival in Peoria, about the time we had arranged to leave, it began raining as if the skies were attempting to give the state a year's supply of moisture in one deluge.  So, off went another day from our already badly wrecked schedule.

It is sixty-two miles from Peoria to the entrance of the Illinois and Michigan Canal near La Salle, Illinois, but by getting an early start the next morning, we believed we could be in La Salle that evening. We cruised steadily all day, stopping at Lacon for half an hour for lunch.  Then for the rest of the afternoon we kept Lewis and Clark turning at full throttle without ever being shut down.  

This is the steamboat, Marion.  First boat down the Hennepin Canal in 1907.
About six o'clock we passed the mouth of the Hennepin Canal, the water route between the headwaters of the Illinois and the Mississippi Rivers, and cruised on up the river.  The farther up the stream we progressed the worse the pollution became.  A few miles below Peru, Illinois we found ourselves in liquid that was as black as ink, with masses of black muck floating upon the surface.  

This part of the river is nothing but a flowing cesspool.  Gas bubbles are constantly rising from the bottom, and the aroma is enough to stagger a billygoat.  Until Chicago solves her sewage problem in some less slovenly manner every living thing except the germs of pestilence must shun the Illinois River, especially the upper portions of it.  We traveled through it merely to get from the Mississippi into the Great Lakes.  A portage of this route would have been justified.

Up to this point of the narrative, I have scarcely touched upon the subject of night navigation.  We never made a practice of traveling after dark except when absolutely necessary.  But, in spite of our efforts to eliminate night running we came in for more than our share of it.  We frequently found it necessary to keep going after darkness had fallen in order to get to a landing, a camp site, or some other designated objective.  And, as I think of it now it was the worst nightmare of the entire ocean to ocean journey.  Rapids, snags, sand bars, falling cut banks, rough water, and all the factors that constantly menaced the expedition pale in to insignificance compared with the utter feeling of helplessness and impending disaster which threatened us with every run we ever made after dark.

Cruising through unknown waters, often with swift currents to contend with, and with darkness so black that a blind man at the wheel would have an advantage over us, lacked much of being conducive to peace of mind and security of body.   It was not the disaster we ever met while running at night, but the disaster we constantly and momentarily expected, that caused us discomfort.  It was like walking along on the edge of a cliff blindfolded - and wondering what instant one might step off into space and to destruction.  Every time we ran at night - and without meeting disaster, we solemnly swore we'd never doit again.  But, as surely as we made our vows, it was only to break them, possibly the following day.

Although we had repeatedly sworn off on night cruising, we found ourselves cruising the upper Illinois River in the vicinity of Peru, Illinois, through a night as dark as the proverbial cat.  We scraped the shore several times, dodged a million rocks and deadheads that were either real or imaginary, passed above the twinkling lights of Peru, and thought we detected the entrance to the Illinois and Michigan Canal on the left bank of the river. 

That effort to get into the canal without being able to see it came nearer to ending the transcontinental cruise than any other mishap of the entire journey.  Steering for the faintly silhouetted opening which we believed to be the canal, we ran aground on a slimy mud flat.  Just as we struck, the whole aft end of the cockpit burst into flames with a preliminary gasoline vapor explosion that all but blew us out of the boat.  Instantly the fire began shooting skyward, and it seemed that we were doomed to pile overboard - making for shore the best we could through the filthy water, and leaving the boat and its thousands of dollars' of equipment to the flames. Mr. Woodbury, who was in the stern end of the boat at the time, grabbed the heavy canvas cockpit cover, and chucked it over the fire.  He was wildly tucking the corners over the tongues of escaping flame when I got aft with the Pyrene.  In less time it takes to tell it the flames were out.

Following the flare of the fire the blackness of night seemed tremendously intensified. We rubbed the singed lashes out of our eyes, and began hunting for the cause of the near-disaster with a pocket flashlight.  

We found it in the form of a leaking gasoline line from the main tank amidships.  The fuel had run out on top of the bilge and under the floor grating of the after cockpit.  The swirling vapor of the liberated gasoline had been apparently set off by having made its way into one of the kerosene running lights. 

 The leading gasoline line was closed off at the tank.  We sponged up all the loose fuel we could find, extinguished the running lights, and poled the boat off the mud flat.

Making our way to shore, we landed to discover that the opening we had tried to enter was the Illinois and Michigan Canal - or rather the ditch where the canal used to be.  There was no water in it - nothing but slimy mud, and clouds of mosquitoes swarming over it.   

The mosquitoes drove us back to the boat, where we started the motors, and got under way - but not sure where we were going, or even where we wanted to go.  To all appearances we were in the head end of a blind ally.  The only course open to us seemed to be to go on up the river, attempt to reach La Salle, and there obtain information as to whether we might be able to get through the Illinois and Michigan Canal or not.

Abraham Lincoln was very involved with getting support for this project. See more.
The Illinois ceases to be a navigable river above the entrance to the canal. The current becomes very swift, and all aids to navigation are lacking. Thus we found ourselves battling up the river in total darkness for about two miles until the lights of La Salle came into view. We discerned the dim outline of two bridges, and battled the current under them without hitting anything. Five hundred yards above the second bridge we ran aground on a mud flat and in a field of submerged or semi-submerged stumps. Meanwhile we had noted the river seeming to swing away from the town, and certainly with no indication of going any nearer. Under the circumstances, the only thing sensible thing for us to do was to get off the mud flat and run back down the river to Peru.

Getting off the flat, however, was no easy task.  When we attempted to pole off, the poles went down in the soft black muck of the river bottom without exerting any appreciable push.  

This action dislodged clouds of bubbles from the mud that all but gassed us out of the boat. A ten minute effort with the oars finally got us clear of the mud flat.  We started one motor and began feeling our way down the river.  

We got through the swift waters between the bridge piers again without hitting anything, eventually landing at Peru against a retaining wall that seemed to be the back end of a freight yard.  No sooner were we ashore when we were overhauled by the Irish policeman assigned to that particular beat.  We were glad to meet him.  The officer had heard of us through the press and seemed to feel he'd gain a rare privilege in being able to render even a small service.  He promised he'd let seven varieties of daylight through any prowler who might attempt to molest our boat or outfit.   Then he went to his call box and ordered a taxi for us.

Telephone calls to Joliet and Chicago next morning revealed the fact that heavy rains earlier in the season had caused some breaks in the levees of the Illinois and Michigan Canal.  The canal was dry between Ottawa and the Illinois River - a distance of 15 miles.  The remainder of the canal, from Ottawa to Joliet had a little water in it, but was closed to navigation.  A fifty-foot lock at Joliet; the lock that when in operation handles traffic from the end of the Illinois and Michigan Canal into the Chicago Drainage Canal was hopelessly out of commission.  The superintendent, however, stated that we might attempt to navigate the canal AT OUR OWN RISK.  He also generously offered to instruct all canal employees to lend us every possible assistance.  The superintendent assured us we would find a minimum depth of 20 inches of water between Ottawa and Joliet, which with the Transcontinental draft of 18 inches was sufficient to let us through.  

But, we faced a difficult problem in getting the boat into the canal at all with 15 miles of dry land at the west end of the canal.  There were just two ways this problem could be solved.  One was to portage to the water at Ottawa.  The other was an attempt to navigate up the unnavigable Illinois River to Ottawa, go up the Fox River to the point where it flows under the aqueduct that  carries the Illinois and Michigan Canal over the Fox River, and then manhandle the boat into the canal from the Fox River.

We chose the latter method for the sole reason we were out to cross the continent by water, with only one portage.  We had already made one unanticipated portage of three miles around the Cascade Rapids in the Columbia River, and no desire to make additional portages whether they might be long or short.  

So, with this far from rosy prospect ahead of us we set out from Peru, Illinois, that Sunday morning, August ninth, to attempt getting up the Illinois River, and into the Fox River at Ottawa.  The pollution of the river above Peru is utterly indescribable.  The water is as black as India ink, full off masses of floating sewage, with a stench that assails to high heavens.  This is the river, once one of the most beautiful and lovely streams in the state which now flows past the Illinois State Park, and around the base of Starved Rock - the cradle of history of the commonwealth of Illinois, La Salle would turn over in his grave, hold his nose and shudder, if he could see the river today that he so valiantly explored.  

These two postcards are from roughly 15 years before this story. 

 Undoubtably, too, the valiant Indians who starved to death on the summit of Starved Rock rather than surrender to their enemies, would prefer death by starvation to seeing their once glorious domain transformed into a cesspool of filth that white men have made of it.  

A few miles above Peru, Woodbury consigned breakfast to horrors of the polluted river, while Wilton and I gagged and bore it, attempting to get some measure of physical relief by tying wet towels over our mouths and noses.  Here, Wilton, who was forever experimenting with mechanical improvisations, turned his sun visor eye shade upside down under his nose.  He claimed it deflected the rising gas from the river away from his nostrils.  Although he wore it that way until we reached Ottawa, and declared it a success, my own opinion is that it formed an eddy where an eddy was least likely to be desired.

In spite of the horrible pollution of the river we found Starved Rock festooned with people, the shores in the vicinity lined with automobiles, and excursion boats thronged with people whose desire to visit this birthplace   of state history was as strong as their stomachs.

We encountered very swift water around the base of Starved Rock, and a mile above it came to a rapid where we could barely move against the current.  Nowhere did we find more than 20 inches of water, and more often it was difficult to find sufficient depth to keep Transcontinental off the bottom.  The bed in the river in the vicinity is nothing but rock, and when we grounded, as we frequently did, it was usually to lose a shear-off pin, or knock a propeller out of shape against the rocks.  It is 18 miles from Peru to Ottawa by way of the unnavigable river, we put-putted into the Fox River at Ottawa about four o'clock that afternoon.  Although we went aground several times in attempting to get up the Fox River to the Illinois and Michigan Canal aqueduct crossing, it was such a relief to get into clean water that going aground on a sand bottom was a mere detail.  

Illinois & Michigan Canal, Fox River Aqueduct, Ottawa, La Salle County, IL
Source: Library of Congress

Arriving at our destination for the day, I found it impossible to recruit the necessary men to attempt juggling Transcontinental out of the Fox River and into the canal.  It being Sunday every able bodied man in town seemed to be out on holiday.  Monday morning, however, with the aid of Mr. Brown, canal toll house keeper, we got a crew of men together, and be shear brute strength awkwardness yanked the boat out of the river, yo-heaved-it up the sixty foot embankment and set it down in the canal.

The Illinois and Michigan Canal is 63.6 miles in length, and in this distance are eleven locks.  Due to the canal being officially closed to navigation, the keeper at Ottawa could not assure us we'd get lock service unless we provided it ourselves.  The same thing applied to the numerous low bridges that span the canal between Ottawa and Joliet.  He promised us, though, that he'd get busy on the phone, and endeavor to round up as many of the bridge and lock keepers as possible.  We found later he had fair success with the lock keepers, but very little with the bridge tenders. We took down the bows, and removed everything removable to give the boat the lowest possible clearance under the bridges.  Then, as luck would have it, the two tenderless bridges that we failed to clear sufficiently high to let us under by loading a few rocks aboard the boat to depress her hull.  

We found the lock keepers on the job at the first four locks and got through the dilapidated old wooden structures with a minimum of delay.  But we found the fifth lock deserted.  Inquiries about the neighborhood revealed the lock keeper had motored off to Joliet, and there was no telling when he would return.  None of us had ever had any experience in operating a lock, but the job didn't seem to appear past the mastery of ordinary human intelligence, so we went to work to lock ourselves through.  We got the lower gate open, the boat into the lock, then the sluice gates open above.  When the water level failed to rise, we discovered that the water was running out of the rickety lower gate as fast as it ran in from above.  

Thereupon I borrowed a hammer and a few nails from a nearby farm house, fished several driftwood boards out of the canal, and nailed the boards over the leaks in the lower gate.  With the worst of the leaks partially stopped the water in the lock began to rise.  Half an hour later we still lacked six inches of having the levels equal in the lock and in the upper canal.  The water was going out of the lower end so fast that the lock level would rise no higher, and the pressure from above made it impossible to open the upper gate.  After all efforts to open the gate had failed, the farmer from whom I had borrowed the hammer and nails, brought a block and a fall.  Then with all hands tugging on the rope we managed to pry the upper gates open.  The two water levels equalized almost immediately, and we got the boat of the lock.  But, before leaving we were careful to close the upper gate again.  We didn't want to take a chance on  letting the whole canal run out if the lower gate collapsed, as it appeared to be in grave danger of doing at any minute.

From Ottawa to Lock No. 6 the Illinois and Michigan Canal for a distance of 34 miles, is fed by a number of small creeks and streams that eventually flow to the Illinois River.  This portion of the canal is therefore clean water - the first clean and odorless water we'd been in since leaving the Mississippi, with the exception of our little two mile run in the Fox River.  Just the pleasure of being in clean water again was ample compensation for offsetting the other difficulties we experienced in the canal.  

But, a cruel surprise awaited us at Lock No. 6.  There we found the lock keeper on the job, with the lower lock gate open.  We drove right into the lock - and instantly became aware of where the water used on that portion of the canal came from.  Mirable dictu - it was like driving from clean water into a cesspool.  And the worse luck - it was a case of remaining in the boat while we were locked over, or attempting to climb out up the slime smeared walls of the lock.  A real description of that locking couldn't be printed.

Lock No. 6 -VIEW OF SOUTH SIDE OF LOCK WITH NORTH LOCK WALL AND LOOKING NORTHEAST - Illinois & Michigan Canal, Lift Lock No. 6   Source: Library of Congress 
Illinois & Michigan Canal, Lift Lock No. 6, Source: Library of Congress
The remainder of the Illinois and Michigan Canal into Joliet contained the same variety of fluid as Lock No. 6.  Thus, we negotiated the last few miles as we did the upper Illinois River - with wet towels over our mouths and noses, and Wilton wearing a wet towel plus his inverted sun visor.  We arrived at Joliet about seven o'clock that evening.  Leaving the boat in care of the collector of the port, we hailed a taxi, and told the driver to take us to the best hotel that was the farthest away from river and canal.

The following day we got an early start because we knew we faced the ordeal of getting over the unworkable lock at Lockport.  

Part 3 to be continued...


The Illinois and Michigan Canal opened in 1848. Its function was largely replaced by the wider and shorter Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in 1900, and it ceased transportation operations with the completion of the Illinois Waterway in 1933.
This is a fun historic map of the states our boys covered. 
Go HERE and poke around on a bigger version at the  David Rumsey Map Collection
Notice the little size slider hovering on the map to make it bigger when you go there.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

1925 - Part 2 continued - Across the Continent by Motor Boat (with Evinrude Big Twins)

Here is the continuation of Part 2 of John Edwin Hoag's article.  
He is at Pierre, South Dakota now.  

Part 2 also contains the first exclamation mark I have encountered in transcribing the article so far.

On the afternoon of July 3, we tied up at Pierre, the capital of South Dakota, spent the Fourth there, and departed down river on the 5th.  A few days later, while still in South Dakota, we set up the radio outfit in camp one evening, and picked up a broadcast news report concerning ourselves.  The announcement came from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to effect that the transcontinental motor boat expedition was believed to have met disaster in the Missouri River.  We had not been seen or heard from for three days, and - "grave fears were entertained for our safety."  Persons living along the river were requested to be on the lookout for us, and in the event of the boat being sighted to report the fact to the Council Bluffs station.

The following day at Greenwood, South Dakota, I telegraphed the broadcasting station informing them we'd picked their message out of the air, that we were coming right along down the river, and would stop at Council Bluffs in a few days.  On June 14, I delivered a twenty minute dissertation  on transcontinental motor boat cruising to an invisible audience from the Council Bluffs radio station from which we'd previously been reported as among the missing.  My father and mother, who live in Kansas City, sat in their parlor and heard every word as if I'd been in the same room.  Friends in Chicago, Wichita, Kansas; and St. Paul, Minnesota, later reported they recognized my voice.

The Missouri River never ceased to be a stream of surprises, surprises that did not always come in the form of snags, unseen sandbars, or falling cut banks.  One of these surprises came late one afternoon  just as we passed under the railroad bridge across the river at the little town of Rulo, Nebraska.  We were looking for a place to camp when we espied a camp on the Nebraska side that was already set up.  Several men on the riverside gesticulated wildly for us to come ashore.  We landed.  The leader of the party introduced himself as Dr. Claude P. Rordyce, of Falls City, Nebraska.  They had a camp set up, dinner cooked, and everything all ready just as we came into sight around a bend in the river. As fine a lot of outdoors men as we ever met.  They had about ten cooking spiders full of fried chicken, a huge pot of roasting ears, and trimmings enough to have fed a small regiment.  We took nothing out of our boat that night but our bedding, and spent as pleasant an evening there as we had on our entire trip from ocean to ocean.

I can't believe eBay had the exact bridge Hoag just mentioned!  
A few days later near St. Joseph, Missouri, we looked down the river and saw a dozen men on the Kansas side of the river.  They were carrying elongated objects on their shoulders, and looked like a party of civil engineers.  As we came nearer, I took a look with my field glasses, and discovered somewhat to our chagrin that the party on shore was either a squad of highwaymen or officers of the law.  The things they carried over their shoulders were high powered rifles.  Presently the rifles were leveled at us, and the men began beckoning us to come ashore.  Whether they were robbers or deputies made little difference. Sitting out there on the river in a boat with a battery of rifles pointed at us - there was no alternative but to obey orders.  We went ashore.  The leader of the band came forward flashing a sheriff's badge.

 Then, he read the name of our boat and her port of registry aloud. "Astoria, Oregon."he exclaimed. "But how in the name of helzbelz did you fellows ever get over here?"
    At that instant a burly deputy in the rear laughed uproariously.  "Haw, haw, haw.  That's a good one on you,  Bill.  These fellows are not the birds you are looking for.  I know who these boys are - ain't you been readin' about 'em in every newspaper you've seen for the last six weeks?"
   "Oh, ye-ah." answered the sheriff, scratching his head somewhat sheepishly.  "I reckon you're not the outfit we're after."

We learned from our conversations with the men that they had just completed raiding a moonshine still in the river bottom.  They'd pinched a three-worm still, two moonshiners, a quantity of mash, and miscellaneous jugs, bottles, and demijohns full of moonshine.  They also had a tipoff that a boatload of sugar was coming down the river on the way to the still.  So, when they heard our boat popping around the bend upriver, their logical conclusion was - "Here comes the sugar."

When he discovered his error the sheriff was very apologetic.  He lined his men up for us at our request for a picture, and as partial compensation for the trouble he'd caused us, offered us a 2 gallon demijohn of the confiscated liquor.  I took a smell of the stuff, and almost choked to death.  It would have knocked a pink elephant dead at forty yards!

We docked at St. Joseph, Missouri, late the same afternoon (June 16th), where we were greeted by my father , two St. Joseph newspaper reporters, two reporters from Kansas City;  Jack Moffet of the Kansas City Star, and Paul Jenkins of the Kansas City Journal-Post; and a 16-year old nephew of mine -  the son of my eldest brother.  This was the delegation we were to haul down the river the next day in a boat that was already loaded almost to the gunwales.  The problem was solved, however, when a St. Joseph citizen who was going to Kansas City with a motor truck volunteered to haul a load of equipment for us.  So, we pulled out about a half ton of gear, loaded it into the truck, and made room for all the Kansas City passengers.

It is exactly a hundred miles down the Missouri River from St. Joseph to Kansas City.  Our usual day's run down the river had averaged from sixty to one hundred and sixty miles per day.  A day's mileage was altogether dependent upon how many sandbars we ran afoul of.  There were many days on the Missouri when we rolled off a hundred miles or more between daybreak and noon.  High hopes would be raised for smashing a day's distance record, but usually those hopes would go glimmering when the boat grated onto a sand bar, and came to a sudden stop.  There was no such thing as getting off a sandbar by backing up.  The current was usually too strong, and the shallowness of the river precluded the use of power either ahead or in reverse.

When we got on to a bar there was no way to get off except to wash over it.  We frequently spent as much as three hours washing over a bar - moving perhaps three hundred yards where we didn't have six inches of water to float our craft with a draft of approximately eighteen inches.  Washing over a bar was simply utilizing the same current that put us on the bar, and which prevented us backing up, to carry us on over places where we didn't have enough water to float.  Whenever we hung up, the current would inevitably swing us around broadside.  Then it would begin washing the sand out from under the hull.  The sand washing process would continue for about ten minutes, and then the boat would  move perhaps three or four feet.  We, of course, would speed the process of washing over a bar as much as we could by piling overboard, and swinging the boat to take advantage of the maximum placering effect of the current.  Frequently, when we came to the end of a bar the sand would shelf off so suddenly into deep water that the boat would go adrift, and we'd have to swim after it to get aboard.  As for keeping off the bars - the oldest and most experienced Missouri River boatman will testify that the man hasn't lived who could navigate the river without getting hung up occasionally.
Gavins Point segment of the Missouri National Recreational River upstream of National Park Service Mulberry Bend
Left -1999, Right - 2011.         Source: US Dept. of Interior

From the mouth of the Yellowstone to the Mississippi the water is completely opaque.  Absolutely nothing can be told as to the depth of the water by looking at the surface. Hence, in an unchartable stream where visibility ends at the surface, successful navigation depends almost wholly upon judgement and personal ability to read certain surface indications as shown by the current.  The deepest water is invariably found wherever the current is the swiftest.  But, the current swings from one side of the river to the other.  Frequent crossings are necessary to follow the current, and often in making the crossing it is purely a matter of guess work as to where the swiftest current is.  There is always deep water along the edge of a cut bank, so wherever the cut banks end, usually sandbar troubles begin.  Snags, of which there are no less than a million between the mouth of the Yellowstone and the Mississippi, are easily avoided - a fact that is attested to by our having navigated down 2284 miles of the river, and among uncountable snags, without ever touching one.  A protruding snag is easily seen and avoided, while a submerged one invariably breaks water and swirls the current below it to indicate its position.

Leaving St. Joseph, Missouri, early on the morning of July 17, it seems reasonable that we could run the one hundred miles to Kansas City, and arrive there around four o'clock in the afternoon.  Sandbars, however, changed our plans somewhat.  Fifteen miles down the river from St. Joseph, we ran past the end of a cut bank, and attempted a crossing where one man's guess was about as good as another's as to where the deepest water was.  We hung up on a bar, and for the next hour the entire party - newspaper men included, labored overboard in B.V.D.s, before Transcontinental was again floated.  A second sandbar took another hour off the schedule before we landed in Atcheson, Kansas, for lunch, and to let the newspaper men get their stories on the wires.  At 6:30 that evening we rounded the bend above the mouth of the Kaw River, bumped over several sandbars on a very dangerous crossing, but without hanging up, and came in sight of Kansas City.

Kansas City is in the upper left corner of the map. You have to move the little gray rectangle over
the small image above on the lower right
 to view the part you want to see.

Coming into Kansas City was one of the biggest thrills for me of the entire trip.  I was coming down the river to the old town where most of my boyhood days were spent - the home of my parents, several brothers, one sister and innumerable friends.  Just as we rounded the Kaw River bend, Jenkins, the Journal-Post reporter, who'd been doing a turn on the wheel, called back to me: "Johnny, for the love of Mike -LOOK."  I looked and could see little dots on the docks, and all along the waterfront, that looked like a swarm of ants.  Another look with my field glasses, each dot became a human being. the entire waterfront was literally festooned with people - people who had waited there from four o'clock in the afternoon until nearly 7 P.M. in the broiling sun, just to see the boat with the men and the dog, who were attempting to blaze a water trail across North America.  A few minutes later we landed on the float at the foot of Delaware Avenue, where the milling crowd nearly tore the docks down in an effort to get a look at us.

Cameras and movie machines were clicking in all directions when I virtually broke up the entire show.  Glancing back into the crowd I saw but one thing -my mother - and made a dive in that direction. For about two minutes I didn't even see two brothers, one sister, and a miscellaneous assortment of nephews, cousins, in-laws, etc. who were gathered on the dock.  The fact that her son was already half way across the continent by motor boat, and the chief topic of the columns of daily newspaper comment, didn't seem to impress my mother nearly so much as the blackness of my complexion.  Sun baked and weather beaten from weeks in the open air along the Columbia and MissouriRivers, all three members of the transcontinental party were so blackened as scarcely to represent the Caucasian Race.  Thus my mother's greatest surprise was that this sun blackened specimen of humanity was actually her own flesh and blood - her son, whose father is a Scotchman.

Prior to our arrival in Kansas City we had put in such long days and strenuous hours on the Missouri that we felt somewhat in need of a rest, and a diversion from camp life and my own camp cookery.  There was no point on the entire transcontinental run where this could have been done to better advantage than in Kansas City, where all we had to do was move in under my father's roof, and live on home cooking such as only one's own mother can produce.  We remained in Kansas City for a week resting up and taking life easy.  Meanwhile, we'd had more than our share of space in the Kansas City newspapers, and got the boat and motors thoroughly overhauled for the cruise down the remaining 400 miles of the Missouri River.  

Spy, also contributed his share toward the spreading of printers ink by going AWOL from the custody of one of my young nephews in whose care we'd left him.  The dog evidently started out to find Wilton, his master, but soon found it quite an undertaking in a city of nearly half a million people.  As soon as we got word he'd gone adrift, we notified newspaper editors.  Forthwith, the papers came out next morning with front page stories about the transcontinental water dog that had deserted the ship.  I borrowed Dad's car and retrieved the derelict terrier nearly five miles from the  point where he'd been last seen.

Before leaving Kansas City the editor of the Kansas City Journal-Post requested our consent for sending a reporter down the river aboard Transcontinental.  He stated that his interest in the cruise centered chiefly around the possibilities it served to illustrate on behalf of commercial navigation of our inland waterways.  We were somewhat hesitant about granting the editor's request until he advised us the man he proposed to send was none other than Paul Jenkins, the reporter who had previously accompanied us down the river from St. Joseph.  We'd seen just about enough of Mr. Jenkins to know he was a 100 per cent HE-MAN, as well as a gentleman and clever newspaperman.  The editor was promptly informed we'd be delighted to have his representative along.  We later talked with Jenkins, and learned that he'd been pulling every possible editorial wire to be permitted to make the trip.  When we told Jenkins that we desired to tow a skiff down the river for the purpose of using it as a camera boat, he promptly took himself up the Kaw River, bought a boat, and floated down to the foot of Delaware Avenue on the Missouri.

During our sojourn in Kansas City the weather remained as hot and sultry and sticky, as weather ever gets in that section of the country in July.  The only respite we got from the terrific heat was on the morning of July 26, the Saturday following our arrival there, when we decided to shove off down the river.  That morning it poured down rain, and along with it some of the most villainous thunder and lightening imaginable.  The skies literally opened to belch forth fire and water together, to the accompaniment of noises that made the gun practice of the Pacific Battle Fleet sound like a mediocre Fourth of July celebration by comparison.  It would have been idiotic to have started out in such weather.  So, instead of getting started at 8 o'clock in the morning we waited until 2 o'clock in the afternoon before the weather broke, and we got under way. The skiff, which Jenkins had brought down from the Kaw River was christened Dickey Bird, and we set out down the river towing the craft astern with the reporter sitting in it calmly smoking his pipe. 

The naming of the skiff was appropriate, the same being significant of the rise in business of Walter S. Dickey, publisher of the Kansas City Journal-Post.  The writer has known Mr. Dickey for many years, and has seen him come up from an average business man to one of the wealthiest and most influential citizens in this rapidly expanding mid-west metropolis. 

Years ago the Dickey Clay Products Company was his chief business enterprise.  There was on the market at that time a clay pigeon used for shotgun target trap shooting under the name of Dickey Birds.  Hence Dickey Bird as the name of the skiff that carried the newspaper reporter on the remainder of the 400 mile cruise down the Missouri in tow of the Transcontinental.

The last lap of our run down the Missouri was made more difficult by the fact that during our stay in Kansas City the river had lowered approximately two and a half feet.  Consequently, we began to have more trouble with sand bars below Kansas City than we'd had on the 1894 miles of the river above.  To put it in Jenkin's words: "There's nothing wrong with the MIssouri River for commercial navigation except that the bottom is to close to the top."

Our late start out of Kansas City permitted us to get down the river only 40 miles that day.  We passed under the Santa Fe Railroad bridge at Sibley, Missouri, found a good camp site on the north side of the river below the bridge, and tied up for the night.  Jenkins wanted to swim across the river to get into the town and put his story on the wire, but after some thought couldn't figure out how to take care of his clothing problem while swimming the river and also entering the town.

This bridge was the earlier bridge, but it is too cool a picture not to share :-) 
This is the bridge they went under.
The current, moreover, would land him down the river at least two miles below the village with a hike back  through a bottomland jungle of willows infested by billions of mosquitoes.  We offer We offered to take him across in the Transcontinental but he declined, saying: "I think I'll walk the bridge."  The bridge is about a mile long, very high, and without any flooring.  It is a railroad trestle only, but the newspaperman declared he wanted the exercise. "Besides," he said, "I've always had a curiosity to see just what that bridge is like."    I cooked up a big feed that evening, and after eating, Jenkins struck out.  He got back to camp about midnight declaring he'd found the railroad bridge somewhat more of a structure than he'd anticipated. 

Spy also had a little adventure of his own.  He wandered out from camp, as was his usual habit, in quest of cats, skunks, field mice, muskrats, or anything that gratified his canine curiosity.  He evidently found something he wasn't looking for.  At least, he came back to camp the next morning the sorriest  looking dog that ever gnawed a bone.  His eyes were all swelled shut, he was covered with welts from the end of his nose to the tip of his tail.  To all appearances he'd investigated a hive of bees, or a nest of hornets.  He was a very sick dog for several days, and it was weeks before his eyes cleared up, in spite of the most careful doctoring administered several times of day by his master.

Due to the low stage of water, our many encounters with unavoidable sand bars, the cruise from Kansas City to St. Louis consumed a week, instead of the four days as we had scheduled it.  And, but for the assistance given us by Jenkins, it would have probably taken longer.  The newspaperman seemed to be familiar with every inch of the river below Kansas City, and when we questioned him abut the source of his knowledge he admitted that he had made the trip from Kansas City to St. Louis  in a canoe some weeks before.  This resulted in his removal from Dickey Bird to the pilot seat of the Transcontinental. 

Wilton then took up his station in Dickey Bird, got his camera set up and secured with a most ingenious assembly of hay wire, ropes and leather strips.  The cameraman was forever rigging up
Frank S. Wilton
something.  He rigged up a life preserver on one of the bows to keep the sun off himself, and then usually spent the rest of the day re-rigging it as the boat and sun continually shifted positions.  He rigged up some concoction of kerosene, carbolic acid, and quinine, as a lotion for discouraging mosquitoes.  I tried it but decided mosquitoes were the lesser evil.  He rigged up a hook for handling parcels in and out of the forepeak storage locker when his own rotund figure persistently gained weight in spite of his efforts to reduce, and when he found it difficult to crawl in and out through the small water tight door.  He rigged up a trunk strap for a back rest behind the forward seat where he rode most of the time.  He rigged up a magnificent assortment of scrap iron and bolts for fastening a movie camera on the forward deck of the Transcontinental.  From Astoria to New York, the cameraman was busy attempting to rig up scraps of something into forms that he could use, and with varying degrees of success.  I think the only time on the trip when he was not rigging something was when he was asleep.  At that time he could give the most perfect imitation of a saw mill, a whistling buoy, and an overheated steam boiler - all in the same nap.  But, I shouldn't poke too much fun at him, for on the whole he proved himself as thorough an outdoors man as I have ever traveled with.  Always happy, always good natured, nothing ever discouraged him.  If there was work to be done he was usually at it, and nothing ever happened to us that was so bad he couldn't say: "Oh. Well.  It might have been worse."

These traits of the cameraman were never better illustrated than the first day that he attempted making pictures from Dickey Bird.  After he got the camera set up, we let the skiff out on about sixty feet of rope so he could grind off a few feet of film of Transcontinental cruising down the river, scooting past snags and avoiding cut banks.  We cruised past several snags, going dangerously close to them for the special benefit of the motion picture man.  But, we didn't go close enough to suit him.  He gesticulated wildly, pointed out another snag, and motioned for us to steer closer to it.  The snag he had selected was the whole backbone of a huge cottonwood tree that stuck up out of the river with the current boiling and swirling around it.  That time, Jenkins, who was at the wheel, put the boat within six inches of the snag.  We cleared it, but Dickey Bird didn't.  

The boat in tow veered  from its course a bit, sideswiped the snag, and sent the cameraman sprawling into the bottom of the craft.  Although the smaller craft came very near to upsetting, and the camera man was down - he never let go of the camera crank, or ceased to turn it.  Next he signaled us to steer close to a cut bank where the river was swallowing a cornfield to the rate of fifty tons a bite.  We went as close to the falling bank as we dared go without grave danger of getting part of the cornfield down on top of us, but that wasn't close enough for the cameraman.  He motioned us to go closer, so we took the risk - and went.  Then, he began turning the crank of the movie machine, but still motioning us to go closer to the bank.  We were cruising about as close to the cut bank as we could go without actually hitting it, and expecting it to come down on us every instant, when just what the crank-turner wanted to happen did happen.  A piece of farm weighing perhaps fifty tons, and loaded with standing corn, suddenly splashed into the river between Transcontinental and her tow.  The landslide didn't get entirely under the water when the Dickey Bird got there.  The bow of the little boat struck the island of earth just as it was disappearing under the edge of the cut bank.  For an instant the Transcontinental was at a standstill.  The tow line tightened up like a fiddle string, and I caught a glimpse of the Dickey Bird completely out of the water.  It literally took to the air over the obstruction that had dropped down in front of it - but, the cameraman never ceased turning the crank, although it was nothing but sheer luck that his boat managed to land in the water right side up.  

We thought that experience would forever cure him of taking chances, but it didn't.  He put a new film magazine in his camera, and began motioning us closer to his cut bank.  That time we got him as close as he wanted to go.  We were skimming along within three feet of the bank when Dickey Bird, swinging on the tow line collided with it.  The movie man sat down with a thud on the starboard gunwale, and he would have unquestionably gone onerboard but for the perpendicular wall of the cut bank checking his momentum.  He scraped the cut bank for at least 20 feet with his back before the boat slid off the soft mud into the river, shipped water, and sent the cameraman scurrying off the gunwale.  As it was we got away from that section of cut bank just in the nick of time.  We were no sooner clear of the bank when down came a hundred yard chunk of it - corn and all - along the entire front where the both boats had been but an instant before. The swell thrown across the river by the falling bank all but swamped Dickey Bird.  The cameraman had had enough and decided to come aboard Transcontinental.
Most information on Wilton is on the pay newspaper sites sadly, but I found this which is worth sharing:  The Nov. 30, 1919, San Francisco Chronicle reported that H. A. and Sydney Snow, accompanied by cameramen Frank S. Wilton and Donald Keyes, were en route to Capetown, South Africa to join the Simson big game expedition. This expedition would spend two years collecting specimens of all the animals of Australia before proceeding to South Africa. The specimens would fill the new Oakland Museum to be constructed when they returned in 1921.
Below Jefferson City, Missouri, we had the unique experience of leaving the Missouri River through a false channel, running into the Osage River, traveling down that stream some ten miles, and coming back into the Missouri again through the original mouth of the Osage.  Jenkins discovered this paradox on his canoe trip down the river, and assured us there was ample water in the Osage to make the run through.  The explanation of it is simple.  The Osage River, a beautiful stream, navigable for many miles above it confluence with the Missouri, ambles down across the state.  It flowed very close to the Missouri just below Jefferson City before taking a long eastern swing almost parallel with the Missouri, and discharging into the larger stream some miles further down.

About a year ago, the Missouri during high water flooded over into the Osage River.  It cut a narrow channel into the Osage of sufficient depth to remain flowing when the larger river receded. This a portion of the water from the Missouri now flows into the Osage, and goes down the bed of the tributary stream, returning to the Missouri through the mouth of the Osage ten miles below where it went in.

You can see where the the breach may have happened.  It is healed up now.
At noon on the sixth day of cruising after leaving Kansas City, we landed at St. Charles, Missouri, lunched and lugged ten gallons of gasoline from an uptown garage to the boat in the river.  It should be mentioned here that we gassed up at a marine filling station in Portland, Oregon, and never saw another marine filling station until we got to St. Louis - the only dock we ever saw in that distance, was at Kansas City.    In these thousands of miles of water travel, every drop of gasoline had been lugged to the boat in five gallon cans from automobile service stations on shore, or was delivered to us by the various oil companies at the rivers.  We also paid the conventional state road tax on nearly every gallon used in the craft.  We could, of course, have taken receipts for the taxes paid on the gasoline for boat use, and collected a refund - but it would have involved a mass of correspondence and business detail that would never have paid for the effort.  Thus, the entire western half of the cruise, or that portion of it from Pacific Ocean to the Mississippi River could be likened to a cross-country automobile tour without a single garage, filling station, road map, or guide post.

It is also interesting to note that the distance covered by Transcontinental down the Missouri River from Fort Benton, Montana, to the Mississippi River - 2,284 miles, is the exact equivalent of the railroad distance from Los Angeles to Chicago by the route taken by one of the best known passenger trains, The Rock Island-Southern Pacific, Golden State Limited.

The Missouri River at St. Charles.

Leaving St. Charles that afternoon we had every reason to be happy and to feel we had accomplished something of a victory in having eluded disaster navigating down 2,254 miles of the treacherous Missouri River.

Thirty miles more would take us out of the stream which had been more or less a nightmare.  And, upon reaching the Mississippi we would complete the entire route of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  In a little more than two months we had traversed the great west that had taken those intrepid explorers three months.

The writer has made an intimate  study of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and has never ceased to regard it as one of the most fascinating chapters of American history.  But, after having gone over the entire water route that Lewis and Clark and their men traveled, camping on many of their camp sites, and encountering just a few of the obstacles that they encountered; my respect for those indomitable souls is more profound than ever.  Even the personal diaries of Lewis and Clark themselves tell nothing more than the highlights of their story.  The trial, tribulations, difficulties and dangers that they encountered would be utterly unbelievable.  

In 1833 Karl Bodmer found the snags as impressive
as the company of the Transcontinental found them.
The Missouri and Columbia nearly defeated us - even with gasoline engines to do the work, radio, and frequent contact with the civilization of the region as we find it today.  When we found this condition in attempting to get down the Missouri, it doesn't take a great deal of imagination to picture what they must have contended with going up.  If the distance seemed interminable to us - what must it have been to those men working upstream into an unknown wilderness with nothing other than muscular power, facing hostile Indians, and relying completely upon their own resources for every requirement of life?

We found the last thirty miles of the Missouri one of the most difficult stretches to navigate in our entire cruise down the length of the stream.  We barely had enough water to float the boat, scraped over innumerable sandbars, went completely aground twice, and pike-poled our way through nearly every yard of  the distance from St. Charles to the mouth of the river. 

 If the Government has made any effort in the last couple years to free the lower river of snags, the work was certainly not in evidence.  The river looked like a sunken forest on the last thirty miles, and seemed to get worse and worse as we approached the Mississippi.

We passed under the Bellefontaine railroad bridge, 8 miles above the mouth of the Missouri, and then treaded our way among the snags and through a fairly deep channel until the Father of Waters itself came into view - apparently flowing into the Missouri.

No Bellefontaine railroad bridge postcards, but this is too nice not to post.
Steering close to the north bank of the Missouri we ran down a line of whirlpools where the clear water of the Mississippi was mingling in curdled masses with the opaque liquid of the Missouri.  A hundred yards beyond the whirlpools, we floated off the Missouri River water entirely, and were in clear water entirely - the first we had seen since the Columbia.  Our troubles with Missouri silt were at an end, and we shouted until we were nearly hoarse for sheer joy over the thought.   I then recalled  that years ago when a boy in about the fourth grade in school, one of my teachers had drilled me with the lesson that the Missouri River is the longest river on the face of the earth.  The truth of that lesson was never more vivid than when Transcontinental slid out of the mouth of the Missouri and into the Mississippi.  I can vouch for it authoritatively.

The sun was setting big and red as we put-putted across the Mississippi to the Illinois shore, and tied up for the night - to camp upon the identical spot where Lewis and Clark camped when they assembled their men and equipment for their dash through to the Pacific Ocean exactly 120 years before. 

 Upon this pot from which Lewis and Clark set out, we set up our radio outfit.  In another minute we were listening to music and news reports from Chicago.  Then, with a turn of the dials we listened to four different stations in St. Louis, two in Kansas City and one each in Indianapolis, Memphis, and Louisville.  Tuning back on St. Louis again we caught the tail end of a news report broadcasted from a St. Louis newspaper station to the effect that - the motor boat Transcontinental was expected to arrive in St. Louis about noon the following day.  
Surely, Lewis and Clark would have squirmed in their graves could they have known what was going on at their old camp site that evening.

(To be continued)