I have always dreamed of heading out West. For most of my life the farthest west I’d made it was St. Louis. It took 10 years of dreaming but in the summer of 2015 I had the opportunity to go to Montana and Idaho on the Odyssey Tours’ Lewis and Clark trip with my parents. With an amazing group of 30+ people, fearless leaders in Clay Jenkinson and Becky Cawley, and our incredible outfitters, we all conquered the Missouri River, Wendover Ridge, and spent some time at the lovely Lochsa Lodge in Idaho.
Canoeing on the Missouri River is an amazing experience in itself. From the amazing white cliffs to the speedy stillness of the river, it will take your breath away. The Missouri is a river that is difficult for most people to access since there are few points of entry. Anyone who goes on this trip is a part of a special group that gets to travel the river and see it just as Lewis and Clark did in 1804.
Following the Missouri River we headed into Idaho and prepared to climb Wendover Ridge. The hike to the top is over seven miles with about 3500 feet of elevation gain. It is a tough hike but after making it to the top, it is an extremely rewarding feeling. Taking a look back across the Bitterroots from Wendover is one amazing view. There is no better feeling than completing this climb.
After coming down from the LoLo Trail and enjoying the coolness of the Lochsa River, we headed back to the Lochsa Lodge and enjoyed several days there. Taking in the beauty of the Bitterroot Mountains and the pleasures of the lodge were, along with the views from atop Wendover and the Lewis and Clark discussions with Clay, the highlights of the trip. Visiting Montana and Idaho in this way made my dreams of seeing the West come true and my expectations of what it would be like and how amazing the trip was going to be were greatly surpassed.