Rooneys return from rigorous vacation

Dan Rooney's often-conservative approach to conducting business with the Steelers franchise belies an adventurous spirit. Rooney and his family recently completed a two and a half week excursion retracing part of the 3-year journey across North America by explorers Lewis and Clark.

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark began their historic expedition in Pittsburgh in 1803 at the request of President Thomas Jefferson, with the purpose of finding the most direct water route from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean. The history of the famous explorers has been a long-time hobby of Rooney's and retracing their footsteps on the 200th anniversary of the start of their mission was his choice for the family's vacation this year.

The Rooneys followed the trail from the Missouri at Great Falls, Montana to the coast at Fort Clatsop in Oregon. The trek involved canoeing, hiking, horseback riding, and rafting through the Bitteroot Mountains and over both the Missouri and Columbia rivers.

"We needed another vacation by the time we got home," Rooney said.

This is the same NFL owner who calmly walked away from a near-disastrous landing of his single engine plane last August when a landing gear failed, so one can be reasonably sure that Rooney took any unexpected difficulties in stride.

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