Title: "Rollin’ Down the River: Discovering People and Places along the Mighty Missouri"
Author: Larry N. Campbell
Publisher: Acclaim Press, 2017, 160 pages
Larry Campbell had an idea and acted on it, driving the length of the Missouri River, visiting the towns and sites along the way, and, if you are looking for a quirky guide to an interesting trip, I’d recommend this book. His photographs accompany the text, reproduced from his blog.
While it is billed as a coffee-table book, I do not think the quality of the photographs is up to that description. Nonetheless, the reader will enjoy the vignettes from his journeys from Montana to Missouri. A unique section of the book is the chapter entitled “Human Treasures: People Along the River,” photos and stories of the people with whom he became acquainted on his journey.
Here is some of what he has to say about the North Dakota section of the river: “Fort Mandan has been authentically rebuilt — along with a separate impressive Interpretive Center — on a new site near Washburn, about 10 miles from the original one near the confluence of the Knife River with the Missouri. Its details are fascinating and informative …. It was on this visit that I first began to really appreciate the incredible nature of the Corps of Discovery accomplishments, and what amazing, diverse, creative, gutsy and talented people they were. The group was distinctly more than the sum of its parts.”
Pure Midwestern travel from cover to cover, pick up this book if you plan to travel in any of these areas and find the hidden treasures the author reveals.
Readers who are interested in other books on the Missouri River also should read John G. Neihardt’s "The River and I" and "Undaunted Courage" by the inimitable Stephen Ambrose.