The “OMRR” Ventures Must Include the Rivers Traversed by the Lewis-Clark Expedition

by Bobby Reyes

Middle Fork Salmon River | Photo by Rex Parker via Creative Commons 2.0

Part XXX of the “EDEN America” Series

It is logical that the “Old-Man River Renaissance” (OMRR) ventures should include the rivers that the Lewis-Clark expedition traveled over as it inched to the Pacific Ocean.

There are very-few Filipino (and even American) writers that can claim a historical linkage to Capt. William Clark. Yes, the “Clark” of the Lewis-Clark Expedition. But this columnist does.

When Allan M. Albert became the son-in-law of this columnist, he said that one of his maternal ancestors was John Clark, his great-grandfather. Mr. Clark became a provincial official of the island province of Palawan during the American occupation of the Philippine Islands, as the archipelago was known then. According to the collective oral history of the Clark, Marcelo, and Albert families of Palawan Province, John Clark descended from a branch of the Clark Clan. A scion (from another branch) of the same clan was Capt. William Clark.

In April 2007, Allan Albert became my co-publisher and first webmaster of the website. We published four letters of John Clark in September 2007. Here is Part I of the series, titled “Letters From an American Old-timer (Pioneer) in the Philippines.” Here is the link to the first letter, which was dated December 10, 1905.

Therefore, this columnist may claim that he is a distant relative by the affinity of Capt. William Clark.

Readers can browse more details of the Lewis-Clark Expedition at this link.

It was probably because of my connection to Captain Clark that I adopted LOLO (as in the “Lolo Trail” between Montana and Idaho, which the Lewis-Clark Expedition traversed). I turned “LOLO” into an acronym for “Law and Order, Less government and Opportunities equally for all.” I returned to the Philippines and ran for governor of my home province of Sorsogon in the May 2016 election. (I lost in the said election, as I landed fifth out of eight candidates.) By the way, the Filipino term for a grandfather is also “Lolo,” which I was when I ran for public office.

But speaking of a Renaissance idea of developing the Mississippi River and its tributaries, Missouri, the Gallatin, Madison, and Jefferson (Montana) Rivers flow into the Old-Man River. It would make the “OMR Renaissance” a national project and make the Continental United States (CONUS) the most significant source of fresh water in North America, if not in the world. The CONUS can become the biggest fresh and clean oasis of Planet Earth.

And it may enable the United States to become the lead country and organize an international consortium that this columnist proposes. He tentatively calls it the “Organization of Water-Exporting Countries” (O.W.E.C.).

“It would make the “OMR Renaissance” a national project and make the Continental United States (CONUS) the most significant source of fresh water in North America, if not in the world. The CONUS can become the biggest fresh and clean oasis of Planet Earth.”

Here are the rivers traversed by the Lewis-Clark Expedition: “The Missouri River headwaters are the Three Forks, Gallatin, Madison, and Jefferson Rivers in Montana and flow into the Mississippi River at St. Louis.

“The Salmon River: The Salmon River, dubbed the ‘River of No Return,’ remains one of the few remaining free-flowing waterways in America and flows for 425 miles from the headwaters in central and eastern Idaho mountains. The Salmon River Reconnaissance was completed by Captain Clark and his team on August 19, 1805.

“The Clearwater River and Lochsa River in North Central Idaho: Flows along US highway 12. They are tributaries of the Snake River. The Lolo Trail, route traveled by Lewis and Clark in 1805 and 1806, parallels Highway 12 along the upper ridges.

“The Snake River is 1,040 miles long. It is the chief tributary of the Columbia River. And (re)named (the) Lewis’ River on October 10, 1805.”

As Googled, “The Lolo Trail leads to the Lolo Pass, which has an elevation of 5,233 feet. It is a mountain pass in the western United States, in the Bitterroot Range of the northern Rocky Mountains. It is on the border between the states of Montana and Idaho, approximately 40 miles west-southwest of Missoula, Montana.”

According to references in the “Lewis and Clark Trail” website, the Columbia River flows for more than 1,200 miles, from the base of the Canadian Rockies in southeastern British Columbia to the Pacific Ocean at Astoria, Oregon, and Ilwaco, Washington. On October 16, 1805, Lewis and Clark entered the waters of the Columbia.

“The Yellowstone River: The longest undammed river in the contiguous United States, retains most of its natural habitat characteristics and flows. It is 554 miles long from the Wyoming boundary to the North Dakota boundary. William Clark explored the Yellowstone in 1806. “

Curious readers may visit the website “Lewis and Clark Trail” at this link.

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