A few weeks ago, Laura Dean, a musician who created a program called “Heart And Place: Music Of The Westward Expansion,” emailed me to ask how many violins I thought the Lewis and Clark Expedition carried: one or two? In my opinion, I told Dean, they carried one.
Let me back up for a moment. I play the violin, and I used to present a show about one of the fiddlers with Lewis and Clark. I learned in 1997 that the expedition included two fiddling crew members: Pierre Cruzatte and George Gibson. I also learned that Cruzatte, the expedition’s half-French, half-Omaha boatman, is best-known for accidentally shooting Captain Lewis in his rear-end. Cruzatte’s story was ripe for the telling.
Nyad’s almost through the second night of her Cuba swim, but she’s in trouble. A few hours ago, she waited out a storm, treading water for about an hour and a half. The sea has stopped churning, but her stomach hasn’t. She retches again. Bits of vomit stick inside her jellyfish mask.