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The White Cliffs

“As we passed on it seemed as if those seens of visionary inchantment would never have and end; for here it is too that nature presents to the view of the traveler vast ranges of walls of tolerable workmanship, so perfect indeed are those walls that I should have thought that nature had attempted here to rival the human art of masonry had I not recollected that she had first began her work.” The Journal of Meriwether Lewis, May 31, 1805

Lewis was describing the majestic “White Cliffs” section of the Upper Missouri River.  Extending for roughly twenty-five miles, this section of the river truly is enchanting — large sandstone cliffs and sculptures that excite the imagination.  (This area was beautifully captured in the sketches and  paintings of Karl Bodmer in the early 1830s.)  Below are a few photos taken during a four-day canoe trip on the river — highlighted a bit in the Travel section of this blog.

Jim and Ed canoeing downriver along the White Cliffs – Upper Missouri River, Montana

Looking upriver at White Rocks – Upper Missouri River, Montana (some of the last sandstone formations Meriwether Lewis would have experienced on May 31, 1805)

Exploring White Rocks – Upper Missouri River, Montana

Large pedestal rocks (toadstools) at White Rocks – Upper Missouri River, Montana

Pedestal rocks at White Rocks – Upper Missouri River, Montana

Looking downriver at LaBarge Rock – Upper Missouri River, Montana

Grand Natural Wall – Upper Missouri River, Montana

Sandstone formation (reminded me of a delicate little chapel) – Upper Missouri River, Montana

Citadel Rock – Upper Missouri River, Montana

Looking downriver at Hole-In-The-Wall – Upper Missouri River, Montana

HoleIn-The-Wall – Upper Missouri River, Montana

Sandstone rocks near Hole-In-The-Wall – Upper Missouri River, Montana

Sandstone formation looking upriver (reminded me of a large castle on the Rhine River) – Upper Missouri River, Montana

Looking upriver at all the sandstone formations – Upper Missouri River, Montana

Sandstone formation (reminded me of large statuary guarding a sacred tomb) – Upper Missouri River, Montana

Looking downriver at Dark Butte – Upper Missouri River, Montana

Sandstone formation near Dark Butte – Upper Missouri River, Montana

Near the beginning of the White Cliffs section of Upper Missouri River, Montana (looking downriver) — some of the first sandstone formations Meriwether Lewis would have experienced on May 31, 1805

Sunrise view from Slaughter River Campground (looking downriver) – Upper Missouri River, Montana

 

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