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We set out this morning a little before sunrise ascended the river hills and continued our rout as yesterday through the open plains at about 6 miles we reached the top of an elivated plain which divides the waters of the rose river from those of Maria's river. from hence the North mountains, the South mountains, the falls mountains and the Tower Mountain  and those arround and to the East of the latter were visible. our course led us nearly parrallel with a creek of Maria's river which takes it's rise in these high plains at the place we passed them; at noon we struck this creek about 6 ms. from its junction with Maria's river  where we found some cottonwood timber; here we halted to dine and graize our horses. the bed of this creek is about 25 yds. wide at this place but is nearly dry at present, the water being confined to little pools in the deeper parts of it's bed. from hence downwards there is a considerable quantity of timber in it's bottom. we passed immence herds of buffaloe on our way in short for about 12 miles it appeared as one herd only the whole plains and vally of this creek being covered with them; saw a number of wolves of both speceis,  also Antelopes and some horses. after dinner we proceeded about 5 miles across the plain to Maria's river where we arrived at 6 P. M. we killed a couple of buffaloe in the bottom of this river and encamped on it's west side in a grove of cottonwood some miles above the entrance of the creek.  being now convinced that we were above the point to which I had formerly ascended this river and faring that a fork of this stream might fall in on the Northside between this place and the point to which I had ascended it, I directed Drewyer who was with me on my former excurtion, and Joseph Fields to decend the river early in the morning to the place from whence I had returned, and examine whether any stream fell inn or not. I keep a strict lookout every night, I take my tour of watch with the men.
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as we were about Setting out this morning two Buffalow Bulls came near our Camp Several of the men Shot at one of them. their being near the river plunged in and Swam across to the opposit Side and there died. Shabono was thrown from his horse to day in pursute of a Buffaloe, the hose unfortunately Steping into a Braroe  hole fell and threw him over his head. he is a good deel brused on his hip Sholder & face. after brackfast I proceeded on as usial, passd. over points of ridges So as to cut off bends of the [NB: river] crossed a Small Muddy brook  on which I found great quantities of the Purple, yellow & black currents  ripe. they were of an excellent flavour. I think the purple Superior to any I have ever tasted. The river here is about 200 yards wide rapid as usial and the water gliding over corse gravel and round Stones of various sizes of an excellent grite for whetestones. the bottoms of the river are narrow. the hills are not exceeding 200 feet in hight the sides of them are generally rocky and composed of rocks of the same texture of a dark Colour of Grit well Calculated for grindstones &c. The high bottoms is composed of gravel and Stone like those in the Chanel of the river, with a mixture of earth of a dark brown colour  The Country back from the river on each Side is generally open wavering plains. Some pine is to be Seen in every direction in those plains on the Sides of hills &c. at 11 A. M. I observed a Smoke rise to the S. S. E in the plains towards the termonation of the rocky mountains in that direction (which is Covered with Snow) this Smoke must be raisd. by the Crow Indians in that direction as a Signal for us, or other bands. I think it most probable that they have discovered our trail and takeing us to be Shoshone &c. in Serch of them the Crow Indians [WC: now at peace with them] to trade as is their Custom, have made this Smoke to Shew where they are—or otherwise takeing up to be their Enemy made this Signal for other bands to be on their guard. I halted in a bottom of fine grass to let the horses graze. Shields killed a fat Buck on which we all Dined. after dinner and a delay of 3 hours to allow the horses time to feed, we Set out at 4 P. M. I set out and proceeded down the river through a butifull bottom, passing a Indian fort on the head of a Small island near the Lard Shore and Encamped on a Small Island Seperated from the Lard Shore by a very narrow Chanel.  Shields killed a Buffalow this evening which Caused me to halt sooner than Common to Save Some of the flesh which was So rank and Strong that we took but very little. Gibson in attempting to mount his horse after Shooting a deer this evening fell and on a Snag and sent it nearly [NB: two] inches into the Muskeler part of his thy. he informs me this Snag was about 1 inch in diamuter burnt at the end. this is a very bad wound and pains him exceedingly. I dressed the wound.
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Friday 18th July 1806. a clear cool windy morning. we set off as usal and proceeded on down the gentle current Saw large gangues of buffaloe out in the plains about noon Collins killed three deer. Saw great numbers of beaver and otter &C. towards evening we passed the mouth of Smiths River  a Short distance below Some of the hunters went out after some gangues of buffaloe and we Camped it being late the hunters did not kill any this evening but Saw great numbers in the plains. the Musquetoes and Small flyes are verry troublesome. my face and eyes are Swelled by the poison of those insects which bite verry Severe indeed.
Friday 18th. There was another plesant day, and I went down with three of the men to the lower end of the portage  to examine the periogue and deposit there, and found all safe. We took some tobacco out of the deposit, covered up all again, until the party should arrive with the canoes, and returned to camp.
1. These are all names which the captains had bestowed in 1805. The North Mountains are the Bears Paw Mountains. The South Mountains would be either the Highwood or the Judith mountains, although the latter could not be seen from this point. The Falls Mountains may be either the Little or Big Belt mountains. The Tower Mountains are the Sweetgrass Hills. See May 24 and 25, 1805, and June 5, 1805. (Return to text.)
2. Lewis's Buffalo Creek, now Dugout Coulee, flowing north toward the Marias in Chouteau and Liberty counties, Montana. (Return to text.)
3. The coyote, Canis latrans, and the gray wolf. (Return to text.)
4. Lewis camped on Marias River, in Liberty County, a few miles above the mouth of Dugout Coulee. (Return to text.)
5. At this point in the first draft Clark has inserted a small sketch map (fig. 6) showing the three islands. They were in Stillwater County, Montana, at the mouth of present White Beaver Creek, Clark's "Muddy Creek" ("Small Creek muddy" on Atlas map 115). Atlas map 107. (Return to text.)
6. Clearly "S 20° W." here in the first draft, but "S. S. E" in the text of the Codex M entry and "S. 30° W." in the codex courses and distances. To the southwest would lie the Absaroka Range, the Beartooth Mountains, the Granite Range, and other highlands in the vicinity of the Yellowstone Plateau. The mountains to the east at a long distance would be the Pryor Mountains. (Return to text.)
9. After passing Monument Butte, he reached White Beaver Creek, in Stillwater County. Atlas maps 104, 115. (Return to text.)
10. The purple and yellow currants are genetic variants of golden currant. The black currant is probably the wild black currant, Ribes americanum Mill. See April 30, 1805, for a discussion of regional currants. (Return to text.)
11. The high bottoms are Yellowstone River terraces of sand, gravel and cobbles. The dark soil is either organic-rich material or is derived from weathering of the dark-colored Tertiary-Cretaceous Livingstone Formation. (Return to text.)
12. In Stillwater County, some three miles west of Columbus and the mouth of the Stillwater River (Clark's "Rose bud R"). A mile or so below the camp is the mouth of Huntley Creek, which does not appear on Atlas maps 108 or 115. The "Indian fort" appears on Atlas maps 107 and 115 a little above a dry brook which is apparently present Berry Creek. (Return to text.)
14. Still carrying the expedition name, it meets the Missouri in Cascade County, Montana. (Return to text.)
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