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Re-enactors Make Final Preparations for River Trip

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By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis – The 42 crew members of the Lewis and Clark commemorative expedition are making final preparations for Friday's launch from Hartford, Illinois.

The re-enactors have been spending the winter at Wood River, preparing to retrace day by day the three-year expedition that ended on the Oregon coast.

Scott Mandrell, who portrays Meriwether Lewis, says the crew is preparing the keelboat and two pirogues for the trip up the Missouri River.

"We have to have them rigged for six months in the water; they won't be out of the water again until November," Mandrell said. "I kind of feel like we're at Cape Canaveral and they're moving the shuttle into place for launch right now."

The expedition will launch from the Illinois bank directly opposite the confluence. The ceremony begins at 3:30 Friday.

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