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November 30, 2006



As far as the L&C Journey goes:

I'd have to say a Springfield 1903 30'06 and a Hi Standard target match .22 pistol. Ammo would be split between 250 rounds of 180gr noslers for the Springfield and 550 rounds of copper jacketed Remington for the Hi Standard. Knife would be a Kukri.

All things being equal, I'd rather ditch the Hi Standard and switch it to a Rem870 Wingmaster with a scattering of #4 and #00.

As far as the route? Well, tough to say. Regardless, you're gonna get snowy and cold, so I'd have to say a pass-through on SW Mont so I could at least dip my tootsies in a mud pot or two to thaw them out.

I'm gonna have to think about the songs - but it'll include Maiden and Zep for sure.


Thanks for the link Rob, now I'll see if I can tackle the weaponry question. Music is completely a matter of personal preference, but when it comes to weapons I can at least attempt to apply a little reasoning to back up my choices.

First of all, if one were to take 800 rounds of ammunition, travelling alone, then it would stand to reason that one would have to pissant said ammunition oneself. Since the projectile portion of most ammunition is formed of lead, ammunition is quite heavy. I would therefore make the bulk of my ammunition as light as possible. I'm leaning toward at least 700 rounds of my compliment consisting of either .22 rimfire, .17 HMR, or possibly .223 Remington for a little more "reach out and touch someone" ability. That much standard NATO issue .223 (5.56 mm to the rest of the world) ammo would weigh approximately 21 pounds, which you'd damn sure notice after packing it a few thousand miles, but if the rest of your supplies were kept to the minumums that you suggest, it would be more than manageable. I think I'd lean a little more toward the .223 for a long gun.

As far as which manufacture? I wouldn't be too picky, as long as it was accurate, equipped with both a scope and iron sights in case the scope was damaged, and was of stainless/synthetic construction for durability. Likely I'd choose a Sako or Kimber bolt action, although any run of the mill Remington, Winchester, ect. would do just fine as long as it did what it was supposed to do. Just like the ammo however, light weight would be an important determining factor.

Since I'm choosing a relatively low powered rifle, I think I'd back it up with a handgun possessing a little more gumption for close quarters self defense against wild critters and whatever else may wish to end my burdensome journey prematurely. A .44 Magnum would be the bare minimum, and although a .454 Casull, a .480 Ruger, or a .50 Smith would come in handy in a tussle with a griz, I think the weight penalty would negate the benefits. What good is a weapon going to do if you're too damn pooped to draw and fire it from packing the heavy assed ammo around? Nope, I think I'd lean on the trusty .44, with the hottest ammo I could find, and a Ruger Blackhawk Hunter, in stainless of course, would be my chosen method of delivery. Perhaps not the best defense against a charging griz, but at least somewhat adequate with the right ammo and if properly deployed.

Now the knife. It would have to be sharp, capable of staying that way, not excessively bothersome to carry, and not particularly prone to corrosion. It would also have to be not only utilitarian in design as to be used for cleaning game ect., but also wieldable in case it came into play in a scuffle. Since I'm no connoisseur of cutlery, I'd likely just take my trusty old Buck hunting knife, although one of those Kershaws with the interchangeable blades would likely come in handy as well.

My route would likely be as southerly as possible, since the ground would be a bit flatter, and the weather a bit warmer. One would have to venture a ways north however, lest face a severe shortage of water. If I were required to do what Lewis and Clark did, and explore the Missouri, I'd stick to the river all the way to Three Forks, hoof it over the mountains until the first westerly flowing stream that I found, build me a raft, and ride that sucker to the big water.

Now if one were to not take the question so literally, and only take into account the "modern weaponry", and "to the Pacific and back again" clauses, then in that case I'd simply take the first military seaplane or helicopter gunship that I found that was capable of covering the distance required without refueling. Make the whole 800 rounds .50 machine gun since I'd likely not need any anyway. However I may want to have lunch before I came home, so maybe my Ruger Mark II and 50 rounds so I could dust the first tasty vamint that happened by. A fighter jet would make the trip a lot faster, but finding a place to land one on the west coast in 1804 may be a little difficult. Maybe a Harrier? ;)


And what would be your armament(s) of choice, Rob?


I've been so remiss about posting my answer to this mostly because I change my mind every 40 minutes. So many concerns - hostiles in number, security, hunting, grizzly bears and mooses - and such limitations on choice. Part of the time, my thinking follows Justins, and I'd love to be able to throw one helluva lot of .223 at speed. But the one certainty that I keep coming back to is this: I know what I want for a handgun.

The Handgun is simple, Ruger Blackhawk, .44 mag. stainless finish, (just like I actually have). It has plenty of stoppping power up close, and has the added advantage of being one of the toughest handguns ever made. The journey were talking about here is a long ways, through many conditions, and I'd rather spend my time moving than cleaning or fiddling with my weapons. I'm not convinced that more complicated (read tempermental) semi-autos would survive the trip, regardless of capacity or power. I think for this journey, the dictum is "keep it simple, stupid".

Fior me, that dictum decides the rifle. One shell, two weapons. I want to stick with 44 mag. I thought about the Ruger Deerfield carbine. But I'd really like to stay with something even more simple and durable. I'd probably go with a Marlin stainless .44 mag 1894 lever action rifle. I'd thought about maybe the Henry, but if you have to reload in a hurry, you're a little better off with the Marlin. Either way, you've got multiple shots (10 with either), a simple mechanism, and a rifle you don't constantly have to baby on the trail. I don't know if I'd have it scoped or not. I need to think on that one. So, obviously, I would be taking 800 rounds of .44 mag pure power (I'd probably stick with a hot-loaded 250 grain).

Of course that's about 40# of ammo. I'll deal with that little issue when I get to the journey. But for now, I'm out of typing time, so I'll answer the rest later.


Okay, here's part two:

I thought about a Ghurka knife, a Kukri, but only found one that I liked. (The last one on the page.) I also considered a Kabar. But in the end, I think I'd have to go with this bad boy, by Tomahawk. It really has it all, a curved blade for skinning, a point for stabbing, and handle weight ... not to mention all the survival doodads that come with it. I'm not certain that there is a clear choice for knife, but you could do worse than that.

Route determines so much. But I do have to point out, I said that you had to go alone, but I never said that you couldn't canoe, boat or have a horse/mule. I would so totally take a mule, and a horse ... maybe. I would take a northerly route, not so much because it's better, but because a southerly route would be far worse. The problems with a southern route:

1) Deserts. Water is invaluable on such a journey, and so is food. Easy food follows the water. The water is north, not south, so the easy food is north.

2) Hostiles. History has shown, even before 1802, that the most beligerant of indigenous people are to the south route. I want to use my ammo on buffalo, not on folk.

3) Mountain prep. You just ain't crossing the plains, north or south, in the winter. If you cross Texas and New Mexico in the Winter, you face bad weather, and a summer in the Mojave and a journey over the Sierras in ... Winter. That's bad. You're far better off crossing the Dakotas in summer, wintering in the valleys of the Rockies (just like Lewis and Clark did), and passing the Rockies and the Cascades in a season. A Northern route favors equine companions, even in the winter. A southern route favors hoofing alone and packing the ammo on my back. No thanks.

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