| When France was mistress
of half of North America, the dream of the many bold spirits, among
her explorers and voyageurs, was the finding of a northwest passage
to the western sea. Prominent among the gentlemen adventurers and
explorers of' the New France of that day was the Sieur de Laverendrye.
All his life he trekked through the western wilds, and finally,
in his old age, passed the work of finding a passage to the west
onto his two sons, Pierre and Chevalier.
Although the three LaVerendryes failed to find a way to the seas,
they carried the tri-color far into unexplored territory and helped
make possible the achievements and discoveries of those who followed
them. The life of the two younger LaVerendryes was marked by another
achievement; in 1743, the two discovered a snow-capped range, what
is believed today to be the Big Horn Range of Wyoming. The poetic
Frenchmen named them "Shining Mountains," as they are known in poetry
and Indian legend to this day.