Travel the Lewis and Clark Trail !
Trail News/ What's New?

Return to Travel Stories


From the Journals of
Lewis and Clark



Search the Trail

Travel Books




Name Author  
Itís the Journey that Counts Dave Caveny You are Here

It's the Journey that Counts

I would stop short of labeling it a crisis, but with my 40th birthday looming on the horizon, there was a certain amount of anxiety mingled with reflection. After all, my dadís parents died just either side of 80, and I was closing in on the halfway mark. I began to questions whether I was on track for the rest of my life. A road trip was in order.

Stephen Ambrose (Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West)  peaked my interest in The Lewis and Clark Expedition with his book Undaunted Courage. At roughly 3,000 miles from my home in western North Carolina, I speculated that a trip to the mouth of the Columbia River on the Oregon coast- Lewis and Clarkís destination- should give me plenty of time to update my lifeís map for the remaining 40 years.

My daughter Elizabeth and Ken Bell, a friend of mine,were also eager to go. The three of us set a departure date.

We greeted each day with enthusiasm. The miles clicked away, we reached our destination. For 14 months Iíd planned for this moment. Visions of sitting on the beach, staring into the ocean and waiting for my epiphany had filled my head. Instead, Elizabeth and I walked down to the waterís edge, picked up a few stones and snapped a couple of photos. We climbed back on the back and headed east.

Three thousand miles later, thinking back on the people we had met and the sights we had seen, I realized that it wasnít about the Pacific Ocean or reaching Oregon. Hoping to find the secret of life on a distant coast, the truth struck like a lightning bolt less than 10 miles from home.

I had been so fixed on the destination that I lost sight of the fact that itís the journey that counts.


Travel the Trail 
Lewis and Clark
Public Art
Photo Gallery
Escorted Tours
Discover the Rivers of
Lewis and Clark
Travel Stories
Travel the Trail ~ From Sea to Shining Sea Travel Planner
Events & Exhibits
Eastern Legacy Trail
Lewis & Clark in Kentucky
Lewis & Clark in Indiana
Lewis & Clark in Illinois
Lewis & Clark in Missouri
Lewis & Clark in Kansas
Lewis & Clark in Iowa
Lewis & Clark in Nebraska
Lewis & Clark in
South Dakota
Lewis & Clark in
North Dakota
Lewis & Clark in Montana
Lewis & Clark in Idaho
Lewis & Clark in Oregon
Lewis & Clark in Washington