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Lewis & Clark Re-Enactors Back in MO for Winter

The replica keelboat, as it shoved off from St. Charles in May (UPI photo)

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The crew of re-enactors that has been retracing the journey of Lewis and Clark up the Missouri River is back in the St. Louis area for the winter.

For more than a year, the crew commemorating Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery expedition has been recreating every mile with painstaking accuracy.

The real Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1804 at Fort Mandan, near present-day Washburn, North Dakota. However, for insurance liability reasons, the modern-day crew was not allowed to stay at the fort, which is now an historic site.

So, the crew will spend the next five months in the St. Louis area, making repairs to their boats and planning the next phase of the voyage.

The expedition will resume April 7 from Fort Mandan. It will reach the Pacific Ocean in Oregon in about a year.

The group left from St. Charles in May. Scott Mandrell, who portrays Meriwether Lewis, says people all along the way have been amazed to see the expedition's large keelboat.

"Because the perception in many people's minds for a long time had been that was that this was two guys in coonskin caps and a birch bark canoe," Mandrell said. "So, I think the fact that we're doing the trip - and yes, we have motors [on the boats] - but I would always encourage anyone who feels that what we're doing is a walk in the park, I would encourage them to sign up with the discovery expedition and spend six months with us."

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