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State Historical Society of Iowa

Modern-Day Explorer Retraces Expedition on the Mighty Missouri River

Jul 14, 2017

COUNCIL BLUFFS – Meriwether Lewis and William Clark paddled up the Missouri River in the early 1800s to explore America’s future.

A retired math professor traveled the same river last year, in the opposite direction, to peek into America’s past.

Learn more about both journeys when Larry Campbell of Branson, Mo., shares highlights from his new book, “Rollin’ Down the River: Discovering People and Places Along the Mighty Missouri,” at a free talk scheduled for 1 p.m. July 28 at the Western Historic Trails Center, right on the river bank at 3434 Richard Downing Ave. in Council Bluffs.

Campbell’s epic road trip started at the Mighty Mo’s source near Three Forks, Mont., and followed the winding river through seven states all the way to its confluence with the Mississippi River near St. Louis. The trip was inspired by a similar southbound trip on the Mississippi that author Gayle Harper chronicled in a 2014 book called “Roadtrip with a Raindrop.”

Along the 2,300-mile river route, he visited many of the landmarks that Lewis and Clark saw during their famous trek from 1804 to 1806 – rugged mountains, vast prairies and the brilliant Milky Way high above.

During his talk, Campbell plans to share personal stories, historical insights and beautiful photos from his trip. Copies of his book will be available for purchase and signing afterward, when guests are invited to explore the Western Historic Trails Center’s exhibits that tell the real-life tales of Lewis and Clark as well as other 19th-century Americans who bravely set out on the Oregon, Mormon and California trails to seek their fortunes in the American West.

The Western Historic Trails Center is operated by the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

WHEN: 1 p.m. July 28
WHERE: Western Historic Trails Center, 3434 Richard Downing Ave., Council Bluffs

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa - State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations.