It’s “Celebrate Exploration Day” Here at Soft Star!
We’re commemorating two major historical events, both involving trailblazing into uncharted territory.
On May 14, 1804, Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery embarked on a two and a half-year expedition, from St. Louis, MO, to the Pacific Ocean, and back again. All American school children have heard the story of the two scholar-explorers, the thirty-some men who followed them, and the young Shoshone women who led them (literally) out of the woods.
Fun fact: the Corps also included Clark’s friendly Newfoundland dog, Seaman, who reportedly pulled his weight by tracking game and alerting the crew to approaching grizzlies, bison, and other potential dangers. Sadly, Seaman seems to have passed away about halfway into the Corp’s journey home).
Image: "From the Mouth of the Lewis and Clark Caverns", by Ian Mackenzie
Here in the Pacific Northwest, many Oregonians feel a special connection to this slice of history since the Corps reached the Pacific on our very own coast. On November 8, 1805, having paddled the Columbia to its end, the group established Fort Clatsop, its winter camp, on the river’s southern bank within the limits of modern-day Astoria, Oregon. Today, the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park attracts modern scholar-explorers with its replica stockade, museum, and the eponymous trail network that retraces Corp’s journey.
Image: The 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland, OR; US Library of Congress
May 14 also marks the 110th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, the West Coast’s first world’s fair, held in Portland, Oregon. While no internationally-known festivities are planned for this year, we encourage you to stage your own celebration by heading outdoors! What better excuse to seek out a new trail, brush up on your local plant identification skills, or grill-up a tasty elk burger?
You can snag a historic Soft Star Corps of Discovery Pouch Kit and make your very own leather explorer’s pouch! It’s kid-friendly (with adult supervision), so stitching it together makes for a great way to pass the time on summer road trips. Plus, it’s the perfect little tote for all the cool natural specimens collected during your adventures!