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A Jumping-Off Point

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As especially interesting place to visit is Independence, Missouri, 250 miles up the Missouri River from the Mississippi.  It was nothing more than a river bank in 1804, when the Lewis and Clark expedition stopped overnight to pick wild plums, apples, and raspberries.  Mormons began to settle in the little frontier town in 1831, and by 1840, you could stand by the gate of the marshalling yard and contemplate the junction of all three main wagon routes to the west: the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, and the Santa Fe Trail. Something of the sort may have been in the