“We left Pittsburgh six days ago,” Nancy Caruso said. “We are retracing the route of Lewis and Clark, and of my grandfather, William Deely, who did the same trip in 1973.”
The Carusos are from California. Nancy is a marine biologist who runs a non-profit organization. She does ocean restoration work, and also instructs school age children in marine and environmental science, as well as working to motivate people to get outdoors, explore the world and become more healthy.
“I was studying to get my captain’s license, and wondering why I needed to know all these inland waterway rules,” said Caruso, who was accustomed to boating along the California coast. “I had never navigated on a river before.”
She said she had an epiphany one evening while studying for her test.
“I said I know why I’m doing this — I’m going on my grandfather’s trip!” she said.
Caruso’s non-profit organization Get Inspired tries to help people make healthy choices by eating less and being more active. She counts the distractions of life, such as television and computers, as the main reason why people do not get out more and explore the world.
“We live just five miles from the ocean, and I was astounded at the low number of students who had been to the beach. We live two hours from the mountains, and hardly anybody has been up to see snow. And it’s all from distraction,” Caruso said. “So I thought, let’s make the trip about that.”
“That’s a fantastic mission, to remind people that it’s summertime. Go outside, go climb a rock, go play in the hose, go explore,” she said. “That fits the mission of my organization because I promote science education. There is no science without exploration. And we’re following in the wake of some of the greatest explorers this country has ever seen — Lewis and Clark.”
The Carusos continued along their journey Thursday morning, planning a stop in Cincinnati before heading down river and eventually all the way to their destination in Oregon by the end of the summer. Nancy said she plans to continue trying to inspire people along their route to get outdoors and explore the world.