A man who has spent nearly two decades following in the footsteps of the Lewis and Clark expedition says he's pretty sure he has discovered the explorers' lost camp in the Bitterroots.
This morning's Missoulian reports that Ted Hall points to a rocky outcrop southwest of the Lost Trail ski resort as a campsite for the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery, where he says the explorers spent the night on Sept. 3, 1804.
"I know that is their campsite," Hall told the Missoulian. "I'm convinced of it now."
Historians have long-debated Lewis and Clark's exact route along the present-day Montana/Idaho border.
Bitterroot Forest historian Mary Williams told the Missoulian that the actual path through the Lost Trail has been "one of the biggest mysteries of [Lewis and Clark's] journey ever since they came through this way."
"If he's found the correct route, then more power to him," said Williams. "We sure don't want to discourage investigation of a site like this, but at the same time we want to make sure that everything is done correctly and legally. These are resources that belong to all Americans. If people find an artifact, they need to leave it where they find it."
That's why, Williams says, if anyone hopes to launch an archeological project near the possible campsite, they would need to obtain an Archaeological Resource Protection Act Permit from the U.S. government.