On April 7, 1805, a small party returned the keelboat downriver to St. Louis, carrying journal notes and plant and animal specimens from the previous year’s journey destined for President Thomas Jefferson. The permanent expedition of thirty three members set off up the Missouri River in two pirogues and canoes toward the Rocky Mountains and their ultimate goal, the Pacific Ocean. The expedition made slow progress westward as they endured strong spring winds that created sandstorms along the Missouri.
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