I like that idea of making shorter days. BTW, Cheryl and I are headed to Astoria, OR in the fall. Kinda want to see that spot where Clark said, "Ocean in view, Oh, the joy!" (I cleaned up his grammar and spelling.) I wonder why I am so fascinated by the Voyage of Discover. Any ideas?

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That will be a fun trip. The irony, of course, is that he was 20 miles from the Pacific when he penned that line, and it would take them 10 more days to get there. But the Columbia is so wide there it certainly looks like the sea.

I know the feeling. There's a lot to be fascinated about: It was the most epic camping trip of all time, a groundbreaking scientific expedition, an exploration of the unknown (to Americans and Europeans, anyway) landscape that would be central to the subsequent history of the nation, the journey that knit the country's coasts together and gave it a continental vision of itself. And, for you and me, it's probably also the fact they produced a masterpiece of journalism, in the most literal sense, along the way.

I'm truly fortunate you share that fascination, Tim: By greenlighting my Lewis and Clark project, you changed the direction of my life in a profound and entirely wonderful way. In a sense, I'm still following that path.

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Well, if you remember that fateful day when you first brought it up, Joe and I were in my office (or his). You likely didn't know it at the time, but Joe and I shared a fascination about the journey of Lewis and Clark from our childhoods. So you had a receptive audience.

But I knew you would report and write with insight and eloquence. I appreciated the historical reference you brought to the report. Jefferson's dilemma. Napoleon's financial troubles. Too often these days, we look at historical figures through the tilted or narrow view of our times in which an alternate view qualifies you for cancellation. If you want to understand the Voyage of Discovery (or any other explorer for that matter), you need to understand the construct in which they operated.

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