previous | next
The wind blew so violently this morning that we did not think it prudent to set out untill it had in some measure abated; this did not happen untill 10 A. M. when we proceeded principally by the toe lines the bottoms somewhat wider than usual, the lands fertile or apparently so tho' the short grass and the scantey proportion of it on the hills would indicate no great fertility. passed Windy Island on Lard. at 1 M. 5½ miles above passed a large Island in a bend on Stard. side, and three miles further on the same side passed the entrance of grows Creek 20 yds wide, affords but little water.  this creek we named from seeing a number of the pointed tail praire hen near it's mouth,  these are the fist we have seen in such numbers for some days. I walked on shore this morning the country is not so broken as yesterday tho' still high and roling or wavy; the hills on Lard. side possess more pine than usual; some also on the Stard. hills. Salts and other mineral appearances as usual. the river continues about the same width or from 200 to 250 yds. wide, fewer sandbars and the courant more gentle and regular; game not so abundant as below the Muscle Shell river. I killed a deer in the course of my walk today. Capt. C. also walked out this evening and took a view of the country from a conspicuous point and found it the same as has been discribed. we have caught but few fish since we left the Mandans, they do not bite freely, what we took were the white cat of 2 to 5 lbs.  I presume that fish are scarce in this part of the river. We encamped earlyer this evening  than usual in order render the oil of a bear which we killed. I do not believe that the Black bear common to the lower part of this river and the Atlantic States, exists in this quarter;  we have neither seen one of them nor their tracks which would be easily distinguished by it's shortness of tallons when compared with the brown grizly or white bear. I believe that it is the same species or family of bears which assumes all those colours at different ages and seasons of the year.— 
The wind Continued to blow So violently hard we did not think it prudent to Set out untill it luled a little, about 10 oClock we Set out the morning Cold, passed a Small Island in the bend to the Lard Side, & proceeded on at 5 miles higher passed a Island in a bend to the Stard Side, and a Creek a Short distance above on the Stard Side 20 yds. w Capt Lewis walked out before dinner & Killed a Deer, I walked out after dinner and assended & but a few miles to view the Countrey, which I found roleing & of a verry rich Stickey Soil produceing but little vegitation of any kind except the prickley-piar, but little grass & that verry low. a great deal of Scattering Pine on the Lard Side & Some fur on the Stard. Sd. The mineral productions as described in the proceeding days, game no So abundant as below, the river Continue about the Same width, fewer Sand bars & current more regular, river falls about an inch a day
We camped on the Stard. Side, earlier than we intend on account of Saveing the oil of a bear which the party killed late this afternoon.
Maney of the Creeks which appear to have no water near ther mouths have Streams of running water higher up which rise & waste in the Sand or gravel. the water of those Creeks are So much impregnated with the Salt Substance that it cannot be Drank with pleasure.
May 22nd Wednesday 1805. the wind continued to blow So violently hard we did not think it prudent to Set out untill it luled a little about 11 oClock we Set out the [morning] cold. passed a Small Island in the bend of the river to the Lard. Side, and proceeded on at 5 miles higher passed a Isld in a bend to the Stard. Side & a creek  a Short distance [above] on the Stard. Side Capt. Lewis walked on Shore and killed a deer in the fore part of the day, after dinner Capt. Clark walked out a fiew miles to view the Country, which he found verry rich Soil produceing but little vigitation of any kind except the prickly pairs but little grass & that verry low. a great deal of Scatering pine on the Lard. Side & Some fiew on the Stard. Side. the mineral production as described yesterday or in the proceeding days. the game not So a bundant as below the river continues about the Same width. a fiew Sand bars, and current more regular. River falls about an Inch a day, we Camped on the Stard Side eairlier than we intended on account of Saveing the oil of a yallow bear which the party killed late this afternoon. Came 16½ miles to day.—
Many of the creeks which appear to have no water near their mouths have Streams of running water high up which rise & waste in the Sand or gravel the water of those creeks are so much impregnated with the Salt Substance that it cannot be drank with pleasantness.—
Wednesday 22nd. A cloudy morning. The wind blew so hard this morning, we did not get under way until 9 o'clock. The forenoon was cold and disagreeable, but the afternoon became more pleasant. We killed a brown bear and some other game on our way. Having gone 16⅓ miles we encamped on the North side.
Wednesday 22nd May 1805. the wind blew hard all last night (caught 2 beaver last night) and continues blowing this morning, Cloudy. about 11 oC. A. M. the wind abated So that we Set off and proceeded on passed a Small Island near N. S. and one Near the S. Side. the River hills make near the River. passed black bluffs the pitch pine close along Sd. bluffs to the bank of the River. passed a Creek  on the N. S. we wounded a brown bear in the River. (abt. 2 oC. we) halted to dine at a handsom timbred bottom on the N. S. a cold chilly day. towards evening Some of the hunters killed a large brown bear. we Saved the Skin & greese. we Camped on the N. S. Came 16½ Miles to day. Sergt. Ordway and one of the hunters killed a large buffaloe.
Wednesday May 22nd The wind continued blowing hard, all last night which was the case in the Morning till about 11 o'Clock A. M. when it abated, We then set off, and proceeded on our Voyage; and passed Two small Islands, one laying near the North & the other near the South side of the River, the Hills making in, near the River, and black bluffs, [crossed out, illegible] with Pitch pine Trees growing close along those bluffs, to the bank of the River, We likewise passed a Creek lying on the North side of the River, where one of the Hunters that was out wounded a brown bear, but we did not get him— he was in the River and made his escape.— At 2 o'Clock P. M. we stopped to dine at a Handsome piece of Timbered bottom land, lying on the North side of the River; the day was chilly and Cold, towards Evening some of our hunters killed a large brown Bear, which they brought to us, We halted here to Skin & get the Oil of this animal & One of our hunters killed a large Buffalo; We encamped on the North side of the River & came 16½ Miles this day.—
1. The large island is probably later Fort Island. Grouse Creek is probably later Beauchamp Creek in Phillips County, Montana. Although MRC map 69 shows a Grouse Creek farther on, it does not fit with the captains' courses and distances. Atlas maps 39, 51, 59. (Return to text.)
2. The sharp-tailed grouse. (Return to text.)
3. The white cat were channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus. Lee et al., 446. (Return to text.)
5. Lewis was not, in fact, beyond the range of the black bear. Burroughs, 52–53. (Return to text.)
7. Also given on Atlas map 39, in both captains' hands. (Return to text.)
8. The party's Grouse Creek, now probably Beauchamp Creek, Phillips County, Montana. The party camped below their Teapot Creek, which they passed the next day. (Return to text.)
9. Grouse Creek to the party, now probably Beauchamp Creek, Phillips County, Montana. (Return to text.)
previous | next