Upon seeing the Rocky Mountains

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May 26, 1805
On arriving to the summit of one of the highest points in the neighborhood, I thought myself well repaid for my labor; as from this point I beheld the Rocky Mountains for the first time… While I viewed these mountains I felt a secret pleasure in finding myself so near the head of the heretofore conceived boundless Missouri; but when I reflected on the difficulties which this snowy barrier would most probably throw in my way to the Pacific… it in some measure counterbalanced the joy I had felt in the first moments in which I gazed on them. But as I have always held it a crime to anticipate evils I will believe it a good comfortable road until I am compelled to believe differently.
--Meriwether Lewis.

 

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