Referring to himself as a “history nerd,” Bob Bogertman’s life goal was to complete the entire Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Bob Bogertman and his wife, Wilma, fulfilled that goal in 60 days in late summer of 2018.
The couple shared their miraculous journey at the Sussex-Wantage Library on Jan. 25 sponsored by the Friends of the Sussex-Wantage Library.
Bogertman explained that there are actually two levels of the Lewis and Clark Trail. The first marks Meriwether Lewis Eastern Legacy Trail going from Philadelphia to St. Louis, Missouri, while the Lewis and Clark Historic Trail travels from St. Louis to Astoria, Oregon.
After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned his personal secretary Meriwether Lewis and another equally adventurous partner to explore the new western territory which consisted of 827,000 square miles.
Bogertman compared his trip with that of Lewis and Clark. Lewis and Clark traveled 8,000 miles in roughly two-and-one-half years, 90% by river. Bogertman and Wilma traveled 60 Days, drove 11,000 miles, crossed seven mountain ranges and visited 44 sites. The Lewis and Clark trail goes through 11 states.
“I was just in awe of the diversity and beauty of the landscape, prairies and mountains,” Wilma beamed.
Bogertman personalized the Lewis and Clark trip by relating to an audience of 50 how the duo was assisted by Native Americans, especially the Shoshones. Along on the Lewis and Clark trip were Clark’s black slave York and a Newfoundland dog named Seaman and the only woman Native American Sacajewea, who acted as a guide.
The talk concluded with a question and answer session and refreshments provided by the Friends group.