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Five Months on the Missouri River
Paddling a Dugout Canoe
Three Forks, Montana to St. Louis, Missouri
by Thomas J. Elpel, Illustrated by Joanna Walitalo

"The Cascade Courier ran part of your series this summer; the fifth installment was published on August 1 under the headline "Ghosts of the Tower," and it was stupendous... You did your homework. You stopped. You saw. You read. You absorbed. You reflected, as pensive as Meriwether Lewis himself must have been in 1805 when finally reaching the Rockies. You got it, its spirit as well as its significance."

--Cheryl H. Cascade, Montana

Five Months on the Missouri River: Paddling a Dugout Canoe.

Have you ever dreamed of adventure?
      Thomas J. Elpel had the rare opportunity to carve a dugout canoe with Churchill Clark, the great-great-great-great grandson of Captain Clark. Together they whittled a 10,000 lb. Douglas fir log down to a 500+ lb. canoe.

      Enlisting friends with additional canoes to join the adventure, Tom led a five-month "Missouri River Corps of Rediscovery" expedition, paddling the 2,341-mile Missouri River segment of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail fromMontana to St. Louis. It was an archetypical story of adventure -- to carve and paddle a dugout canoe like the famed explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

Scott caught a monster northern pike.       Instead of merely racing to the finish line, Tom and friends paddled the Missouri River as a conduit for exploring the land and meeting its inhabitants. Every campsite offered a new opportunity to hike and explore the geographical landscape and geology, identify plants, and forage for wild foods. They enjoyed a leisurely pace paddling through the heart of America while diving into Lewis and Clark history and the history of Native American tribes along the route. They were assisted by many River Angels along the way, meeting some of the nicest people on the planet.

 Gates of the Mountains Pictographs.       Throughout the journey, Tom wrote a weekly column that was published in newspapers in Montana and across the Midwest. He fleshed out the story for the book, filling in additional details and whole new essays, accompanied by seven hundred stunning color photos from the adventure. The finished book is both an uplifting adventure story and a coffee table book, making an easy read and an inspiring page turner. Five Months on the Missouri River is tantalizing in its imagery, and anyone who picks up the book to look at the pictures will quickly be captivated by the story, following the expedition from the beginning until its conclusion.

Five Months on the Missouri River
Paddling a Dugout Canoe from Three Forks, Montana to St. Louis, Missouri
11"H x 8 1/2"W. 270 pages, 700+ photos, full color throughout.
ISBN: 978-1-892784-50-6. Ships early April 2020. $36.00

Paddling into the rising sun.

      Tom Elpel stepped back in time to 1804-06 and followed the Lewis & Clark Expedition's route down the Missouri river on a life changing, epic journey from Montana to St. Louis. Tom's extensive knowledge of plants and the natural world, his love of history and the river are expressed here on every page as if Lewis and Clark stepped into the 21st Century. The stunning images and narrative are breathtaking and inspiring, seen through the eyes of Elpel as he traveled aboard a beautiful dugout canoe through the heart of America.

--Norm Miller
Expedition Paddler - Historian
Founder, Missouri River Paddlers


Missouri River Corps of Rediscovery Bandana.

Hi Tom,
      We just ordered (and received) a copy of your Five Months on the Missouri River...and after receiving it we promptly ordered a second copy of your impressive book for my mother-in-law. What an amazing story!!! Our three boys eagerly thumbed through it alongside us immediately after receiving it. Then everyday since we received the delightful book I have found our young readers exploring the colorful book again and again--on the couch, over a bowl of cereal, beside the crackling woodstove. Today the boys gathered round while I began reading from the beginning this time. Each time I stopped they begged me to continue. Thank you for sharing your journey! Your story has captivated their young minds and inspired our boys to dream bigger and fall in love with nature on a whole new level!!

Sincerely,
Jessica Ferguson



Limited Time Offer

Purchase Five Months on the Missouri River (any package below) and receive a free autographed copy of the official bandana of the Missouri River Corps of Rediscovery. We gifted bandanas to river angels and other people we met along the Missouri River. We have a small supply left. We'll send one bandana with each order until we run out.

One Book
Five Months on the Missouri River: Paddling a Dugout Canoe
Five Months on the Missouri River
$36.00

Package Discount
Participating in Nature + Five Months on the Missouri River.
Participating in Nature
Five Months on the Missouri River


Total = $66.00
Your cost: $45.00

(Save $21.00!)
Package Discount
2 Copies of Five Months on the Missouri River.
Five Months on the Missouri River
2 Copies: Give one to a friend!


Total = $72.00
Your cost: $48.00

(Save $24.00!)


Sample Pages from the Book

Sample page from Five Months on the Missouri River.

Sample page from Five Months on the Missouri River.

Sample page from Five Months on the Missouri River.

Sample page from Five Months on the Missouri River.

Sample page from Five Months on the Missouri River.

Sample page from Five Months on the Missouri River.

Sample page from Five Months on the Missouri River.

Sample pages from Five Months on the Missouri River.

One Book
Five Months on the Missouri River: Paddling a Dugout Canoe
Five Months on the Missouri River
$36.00

Package Discount
Participating in Nature + Five Months on the Missouri River.
Participating in Nature
Five Months on the Missouri River


Total = $66.00
Your cost: $45.00

(Save $21.00!)
Package Discount
2 Copies of Five Months on the Missouri River.
Five Months on the Missouri River
2 Copies: Give one to a friend!


Total = $72.00
Your cost: $48.00

(Save $24.00!)

Order Direct from Thomas J. Elpel / HOPS Press, LLC
See the Package Discounts below for big savings!

Foraging the Mountain West.
Foraging the Mountain West
$30.00


Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
Participating in Nature
$30.00

Botany in a Day.
Botany in a Day
$30.00


Package Discount
Tom's books package.
Participating in Nature
Foraging the Mountain West


Total = $60.00
Your cost: $45.00

(Save $15.00!)
Package Discount
Participating in Nature and Classroom in the Woods DVD.
Participating in Nature
Classroom in the Woods DVD


Total = $55.00
Your cost: $40.00

(Save $15.00!)
Package Discount
Botany in a Day and Participating in Nature.
Botany in a Day
Participating in Nature


Total = $60.00
Your cost: $45.00

(Save $15.00!)
Three Days at the River DVD.

See also the
Art of Nothing
Wilderness Survival Video Series
Package Discount
Participating in Nature, Foraging the Mountain West, and Botany in a Day.
Participating in Nature
Foraging the Mountain West
Botany in a Day


Total = $90.00
Your cost: $65.00

(Save $25.00!)
Package Discount
Tom's books package.
Participating in Nature
Botany in a Day
Living Homes
Green Prosperity
Roadmap to Reality


Total = $150.00
Your cost: $100.00

(Save $50.00!)

Hello Folks,

Five Months on the Missouri River: Paddling a Dugout Canoe       I am writing to express my joy of receiving your publication, "Five Months on the Missouri River" by Thomas J. Elpel and Joanna Walitalo. An exemplary publication of not only beauty but also very educational. I find true excitement and intrigue within the pages. It is well worth more than a singular reading. Now at the age of seventy-one I can reflect back upon many of my own personal ventures, and am well acquainted with much of your traveled territories within all of the covered states, except Kansas. Though your accomplishment was upon the waterway, and mine has been by saddle and packhorse, the feeling of camaraderie still exists to me. These are the experiences and education that the younger generations need to revive and explore instead of the wastefulness of video games. May I once again commend you in your endeavors, and wish you the best of luck. May we all venture in the wilds.

Respectfully Yours,

Ernie W.

      Looking for life-changing resources? Check out these books by Thomas J. Elpel:

Green Prosperity: Quit Your Job, Live Your Dreams.
Green
Prosperity
Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit
Roadmap
to Reality
Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Living
Homes
Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
Participating
in Nature
Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
Mountain West
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
Botany
in a Day
Shanleya's Quest: A Botany Adventure for Kids
Shanleya's
Quest

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