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Sound Journalism for the Whole Planet

Pedaling Lewis and Clark

Barrett Golding and Josef Verbanac biked the Lewis & Clark Trail in two three-week installments during the summers of 2001 and 2002. They called their two-thousand-mile trip “The Great Pains and Accuracy Tour,” after Thomas Jefferson’s instructions to Lewis and Clark to explore the Missouri River and to document what they found with “Great pains and accuracy.” Jefferson charged the pair with finding a water passage that would connect the Mississippi with the Pacific, to allow passage from Europe to Asia through North America.

No such passage was found, but Lewis and Clark did find a wilderness known only to its native inhabitants. In their travels along that trail, Barrett and Josef hoped to answer the question – What have we done with the woods, waterways, prairies and towns that lined the path taken by Lewis and Clark these past two hundred years?

They provided Living on Earth with interviews of people who live and work along the route today. To learn more, click the towns in the map above.

Click here to listen to Golding and Verbanac talk about their trip.
Click here to hear about their preparations for their trip.
Click here to listen to a piece about the Missouri river.

Related Links:
– Josef Verbanac’s biography
– Transom.com: Golding & Verbanac's Topic
– Hearing Voices: Great Pains & Accuracy Tour


Cape Disappointment, WA

Learn more about the history of this Coast Guard station by following the links below:

SEARCH AND RESCUE: the Coast Guard & the U. S. Life-Saving Service

U.S Coast Guard: Station Cape Disappointment


Nez Perc - Lewiston, ID


“Little Bit of Wisdom”
Conversations with a Nez Perce Elder
by Horace Axtell and Margo Aragon
In A Little Bit of Wisdom, Horace Axtell, a contemporary Nez Perce elder and spiritual leader, recounts to Margo Aragon his family's history and his own personal journey. It is a book about growing up Christian while maintaining a strong tribal identity, about going first to war and then to prison, and then coming home to rediscover the Long House and the sacred practice of the Seven Drum Religion and the Sweat House. Includes black and white photography.
Click here to buy “Little Bit of Wisdom” by Margo Aragon

Hanford, WA

U.S. Department of Energy - Hanford Site

Hanford Watch – Introduction to Hanford issues

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation is a Manhattan Project-era nuclear weapon facilities. Hanford covers 560 square miles of desert in eastern Washington, along 51 miles of the Columbia River. It is 35 miles north of the Oregon border, and 215 miles upstream from Portland.

From 1944 to the late 1980s Hanford produced plutonium for nuclear weapons, using a line of nuclear reactors along the river. Cooling water from the river was piped through the reactors, and then fed back into the river. Spent fuel rods from the reactors were dissolved in nitric acid to separate out the plutonium. Enormous amounts of highly radioactive and chemical waste were generated in the process. Since the production of plutonium ceased, Hanford's only mission has been cleanup.

Hanford is owned by the federal government and managed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Because Hanford is subject to both federal and Washington state environmental laws, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Washington state Department of Ecology have regulatory powers.

In Hanford, Washington from 1944 to 1955 a total of 500,000 curies of radioactive Iodine I-131 were secretly released at the Hanford site. In contrast 20 curies of I-131 were emitted during the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island.


St. Gertrude Monastery - Cottonwood, ID

To learn more about the St. Gertrude Monastery, follow the links below:

Monastery of St. Gertrude

The Historical Meseum at St. Gertrude

Blackfeet Firefighters - Lochsa Lodge (Clearwater Forest), ID


Interviewees: Eldon Wells and Nicole Meeso of the Blackfeet Blackfeet 39 Wildland Firefighters and Chief Mountain Hotshots, among the best wildland firefighters in the world. Ran into them at Lochsa Lodge, Powell campground in Idaho's Clearwater Forest.

Filmmaker documents an elite American Indian firefighting crew

Documentary Honors Blackfeet Nation Firefighters

Blackfeet Firefighters

Question: In what community is there one wildland firefighter for every eight residents?
Answer: The Blackfoot Indian Reservation in Montana, where about 8,000 people live.



Astoria, Oregon –

First Mate, John

Phil O’Shaughnessy

Dalles Dam –



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