'Set out from Camp River a Dubois at 4 o’clock P.M. and proceeded up the Missouri under sail… A cloudy, rainy day. Wind from the northeast. Men in high spirits.' Clark’s journal entry for May 14, 1804 doesn’t begin to describe the excitement the men must have been feeling at the long awaited departure. After months of confinement and drilling at Camp DuBois the rain would hardly dampen the men’s enthusiasm. It was common to leave on a voyage late in the day to keep the first nights camp close to the departure point. If something was left or adjustments needed to be made it was much easier to return. It also allowed any stragglers to join the main party. This view is looking north at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers from the bank of present day Columbia Bottoms, Missouri. The keelboat, lined with excited men has just swung out of the Mississippi’s current and into the Missouri’s. The keelboat and two pirogues would battle this current continuously for the next seven months. In the foreground is all the debris of the mighty river. Downed and washed up tree trunks covered with wet grasses, horsetails, mushrooms and the just emerging poison ivy. Wild grape vines dangle from cottonwoods and, in the foreground, river willows wave in the wind. A raw start to this monumental journey.