The Voyage of Discovery, led by Lewis and Clark in 1803, took three years to travel to the West Coast and back. There was a desire to shorten the time for continental travel and mail delivery; the stage coach was the logical choice, but the logistics were almost overwhelming. There would need to be blacksmiths, harness makers, drivers and conductors, and many way stations. Horse feed was an overwhelming problem; horses need a minimum thirty pounds of forage a day to maintain their health. When hundreds or thousands of horses are using the same limited pasture, the natural graze begins to disappear. Yet the relentless stream of coaches continued to arrive at way stations, looking for fresh well-fed horses and possibly a hot meal.
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