Miles down river from the nearest town, a vista point has been established. Stand here — you’ll be able to look across a canyon to what was once a power camp. Between here and there, the waterfalls which once caused Lewis and Clark to spend three weeks portaging around them while navigating the Missouri River still kick up spray. If you walk away from the sign and approach the cliff you can feel the ground tremble from the power of the falls.
I’ve written about this before.
When I want to show my kids where (and how) their mother and uncles and aunt grew up, this is where I take them. We aren’t allowed access to the far side of the river anymore. Tourists climb out of air conditioned buses, gingerly stepping between crunchy stands of prairie grass and cactus to examine the view more closely.
The power camp is gone. Houses (homes), horseshoe pits, the water fountain, arbors and hedges, the path to the animal graveyard –gone. What remains are the apple orchard and the white birch tree we used for second base, and a sign that says you are here, with a map illustrating the course of the river and the path of Lewis and Clark. Nothing says we were there.