A large block of lava sits amid white sandstone cliffs of the Missouri River in central Montana. The Lewis and Clark expedition passed by here on May 31, 1805, on their way to the Pacific, and again on July 29, 1806, as they headed back to "civilization." Steamboats powered up and down the river in the 1800s, and this giant plug of lava is named LaBarge Rock after one of the steamboat captains. Geologically, the area has changed little. However, this area was formerly home to tremendous herds of bison, large numbers of wolves, and even grizzly bears, and these are entirely absent from the area. I've floated this portion of the Missouri more than a dozen times, and it's one of the most peaceful experiences I've ever had. The reflection says it all. Photo © copyright by Stephen Penland.