Gettysburg resident Lex McMillan publishes a book about golfing along the Lewis and Clark Trail

Former Gettysburg College Vice President and Gettysburg resident Lex McMillan has published his first book, “Golfing with Lewis and Clark: My Rediscovery of America,” which chronicles his 40-day road trip along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail during which he learned a lot about U.S. history, interviewed many people, and played 16 rounds of golf.

The book explores topics such as the American immigrant experience, our genocidal treatment of the Indigenous People, the rise of the “rural cemetery” movement in the mid-19th century, the meaning of Mount Rushmore, the ghost of sex trafficking in Williston, Montana, as well as deep dives into St. Louis, the two Kansas Cities, and Astoria, Oregon.

The Lewis and Clark trail is a route across the United States commemorating the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 to 1806 which extends from Pittsburg to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon. “It’s a well-marked system of roads that parallels the path Lewis & Clark took,” said McMillan.

McMillan made the trip in 2017, calling ahead to golf pro shops and asking to be paired with local golfers. On the course, he asked people what they most appreciated about the United States, what they worried about for the United States, and what they would change to make the United States a better country.

He also wrote reviews of the golf courses he played. “I took a very liberal version of the route in order to hit some excellent golf courses,” he said.

McMilllan said he remembered many comments from his playing partners, including a Canadian golfer in North Dakota who told him the U.S. Constitution “was the most brilliant document in all human history.”

His informants also tended to agree that social media exaggerated political differences and created conflict.

McMillan said he was inspired to take the trip when former Gettysburg College president Gordon Haaland gave him a copy of Steven E. Ambrose’s book “Undaunted Courage: The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America’s Wild Frontier.” “It was a mystery to me.  I just wanted to take a trip,” he said.

“Like all golfers as they approach their next shot, the ‘undaunted courage’ of Lewis and Clark was rooted in hope.  Playing golf along the trail gave me an opportunity to indulge a passion while digging more deeply into the communities along the trail,” McMillan said.

“Golfing with Lewis and Clark: My Rediscovery of America” is published by Path Finder books and is available on Amazon.

chuck

Charles (Chuck) Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Owner, Publisher, and Editor in Chief. I would like to hear from you. Please contact me at cstangor@gettysburgconnection.org.

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Lex McMillan
Lex McMillan
1 year ago

Many thanks for this excellent overview of my book. Also available through Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Book, Books-A-Million and others. A great gift for golfers as well as those interested in the Lewis and Clark’s Voyage of Discovery.

Leon Reed
Leon Reed
1 year ago

The book is really enjoyable. The author meanders here and there and it’s great fun

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