Rumors reached Portland last week of a schism among the Discovery Expedition re-enactors heading our way to mark the 200th anniversary of Lewis and Clark's arrival at the Pacific.
It seems somewhere in North Dakota, the modern-day Meriwether Lewis ditched the modern-day William Clark and took off in his own canoe with three men and a dog, assuming the name "Lewis and Clark Then and Now."
Since then the two groups, doomed to follow the same trail, have occasionally bumped into each other at community events and television studios along the way.
Confused? We were, too. So last Saturday WW braved cold, rain and fry bread to track both groups to the mouth of the Columbia and figure out who's who. We return to bring you...
Willamette Week's Guide to Lewis and Clark Re-enactors
|Measure||Discovery Expedition||Lewis and Clark Then and Now|
|Fearless leader||Peyton "Bud" Clark, 61, of Dearborn, Mich.||Scott Mandrell, 40, of Alton, Ill.|
|Goal(s) of the reenactment||Teaching people about Lewis and Clark||Following the trail as closely as possible; learning from, and reconciling with, Indian tribes|
|In their own words...||"We are the living history group that has the actual re-creation of the Lewis and Clark boats." (Bud Clark)||"Our group has been the group that has really taken the trip." (Scott Mandrell)|
|Claim to genealogic legitimacy||Bud Clark says he is William Clark's great-great-great-grandson, descended through Capt. Clark's third son.||Churchill Clark, 41, who portrays Capt. Clark, says he is William Clark's great-great-great-great-grandson, descended through the captain's eldest son|
|Number currently in group||20-25||8 (picked up some folks along the way)|
|Average age (subjective assessment)||65||45|
|Dress||Wool or buckskin period costumes; strict uniform standards outlined in "Discovery Expedition Re-Enactor Guide||"Eclectic; ranges from authentic Lewis-and-Clark-era regalia to modern-day fleece and Gore-Tex. Most wear beads, cedar hearts and veterans' ribbons "gifted" by area tribes.|
|Number of dugout canoe(s) used for Columbia River voyage||4||1|
|Number of days it took crew to build canoe(s)||6||11|
|Name(s) of canoe(s)||None||Matochanté (Lakota for "Bear Heart")|
|Where they're moored now||In Chinook County Park, Wash.||"Pinned against the rocks" on private property just outside Chinook, Wash.|
|Found last Saturday...||Demonstrating period tools and costumes for curious onlookers||Unloading sodden gear into an empty room behind a hotel in Wheeler, Ore.—on the coast, south of Nehalem|
|Also attended that Saturday||Corps of Discovery II exhibit in Long Beach, Wash.; Destination: The Pacific event at Fort Stevens||Chinook Nation commemoration event|
|Grand finale: what and when||Encampment at Fort Clatsop; Nov. 25-26||Canoeing across the Columbia River, north to south, at the Astoria-Megler Bridge; when weather permits|
|Plans to reenact the journey home next year?||"We're looking at funding issues and community interest, etc." (Bud Clark)||Absolutely. "I feel incomplete." (Churchill Clark)|
|Quotable||"We were pretty much in civilization the whole time." (Dick Brumley, 67, who portrays John Colter)|
"We are a closer-knit American family than we were when this bicentennial happened." (Bud Clark)
"We're just re-enactors. We are not Lewis and Clark." (Brumley)
|"We were out there every day slugging it out with the climate and the weather, and that's every day." (Mandrell)|
"The love on the trail is there." (Churchill Clark)
"I feel every day his spirit inside of me." (Mandrell, of Capt. Lewis)