Gordon Thomas Ward

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Life on the Shoulder Tells of Emotional Journey

Sherie Schmauder, Recorder Community Newspapers

February 9, 2006

Lewis and Clark’s stunning journey from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean in 1804 to 1806 inspired many to follow in their footsteps. In 1994, Gordon T. Ward, a Bedminster resident and a former history teacher at the Far Hills Country Day School, and Todd Paige, also a former FHCDS teacher who lives in Pennington, took just such a trip.


     “Life on the Shoulder”, Ward’s story of that grueling trip, is a combination of his travel journal and excerpts from Lewis’s and Clark’s journals. Black and white photos in the paperback book add to the immediacy of the narrative.


     Ward and Paige intended to follow a 1,800-mile segment of Lewis and Clark’s trip. The planning involved the classes they taught at the Far Hills Country Day School.


     “Math classes even got involved with studies of bicycle frame design, angles, and gear ratios,” Ward said. The two men also hoped to raise funds for a school scholarship with their trek.


     Combining bicycling, hiking and a bit of canoeing, Ward and Paige followed the Lewis & Clark trail from Bismarck, N.D., to Canon Beach near the mouth of the Columbia River, where Lewis and Clark ended their journey.