Set out at an early hour and proceeded principally by the toe line, using the oars mearly to pass the river in order to take advantage of the shores. scarcely any bottoms to the river; the hills high and juting in on both sides, to the river in many places. the stone tumbleing from these clifts and brought down by the rivulets as mentioned yesterday became more troublesome today. the black rock has given place to a very soft sandstone which appears to be washed away fast by the river, above this and towards the summits of the hills a hard freestone of a brownish yellow colour shews itself in several stratas of unequal thicknesses frequently overlain or incrusted by a very thin strata of limestone which appears to be formed of concreted 〈cemented〉 shells.  Capt. Clark walked on shore this morning and ascended to the summit of the river hills he informed me on his return that he had seen mountains on both sides of the river runing nearly parrallel with it and at no great distance; also an irregular range of mountains on lard. about 50 mes. distant, the extremities of which boar W and N. W. from his station.  he also saw in the course of his walk, some Elk, several herds of the Big horn, and the large hare; the latter is common to every part of this open country. scarcely any timber to be seen except the few scattering pine and spruce which crown the high hills, or in some instances grow along their sides. In the after part of the day I also walked out and ascended the river hills which I found sufficiently fortiegueing. on arriving to the summit one of the highest points in the neighbourhood I thought myself well repaid for any labour; as from this point I beheld the Rocky Mountains for the first time, I could only discover a few of the most elivated points above the horizon, the most remarkable of which by my pocket compass I found bore N. 65° W. being a little to the N. of the N. W. extremity of the range of broken mountains seen this morning by Capt. C. these points of the Rocky Mountains were covered with snow and the sun shone on it in such manner as to give me the most plain and satisfactory view. while I viewed these mountains I felt a secret pleasure in finding myself so near the head of the heretofore conceived boundless Missouri; but when I reflected on the difficulties which this snowey barrier would most probably throw in my way to the Pacific, and the sufferings and hardships of myself and party in them, it in some measure counterballanced the joy I had felt in the first moments in which I gazed on them; but as I have always held it a crime to anticipate evils I will believe it a good comfortable road untill I am compelled to beleive differently. saw a few Elk & bighorns at a distance on my return to the river I passed a creek about 20 yds. wide near it's entrance it had a handsome little stream of runing water;  in this creek I saw several softshelled Turtles  which were the first that have been seen this season; this I believe proceeded reather from the season than from their non existence in the portion of the river from the Mandans hither. on the Stard. shore I killed a fat buffaloe which was very acceptable to us at this moment; the party came up to me late in the evening and encamped for the night on the Lard. side. it was after dark before we finished butchering the buffaloe, and on my return to camp I trod within five inches of a rattle snake but being in motion I passed before he could probably put himself in a striking attitude and fortunately escaped his bite, I struck about at random 〈lying〉 with my espontoon being directed in some measure by his nois untill I killed him. Our hunters had killed two of the Bighorned Anamals since I had left them. we also passed another creek a few miles below Turtle Creek on the Stard. 30 yds in width which also had runing water bed rockey.— [NB: we called it Windsor Cr: ]  late this evening we passed a very bad rappid which reached quite across the river, [NB: water deep channel narrow gravel &c. on each side] the party had considerable difficulty in ascending it altho' they doubled their crews and used both the rope and the pole. while they were passing this rappid a female Elk and it's fawn swam down throught the waves which ran very high, hence the name of Elk rappids which they instantly gave this place,  these are the most considerable rappids which we have yet seen on the missouri and in short the only place where there has appeared to be a suddon decent. opposite to these rappids there is a high bluff and a little above on Lard. a small cottonwood bottom in which we found sufficient timber for our fires and encampment.  here I rejoined the party after dark. The appearances of coal in the face of the bluffs, also of birnt hills, pumice stone salt and quarts continue as yesterday.  This is truly a desert barren country and I feel myself still more convinced of it's being a continuation of the black hills. we have continued every day to pass more or less old stick lodges of the Indians in the timbered points, there are two even in this little bottom where we lye.—
|S 45° W.||1||to the point of a plain on the Stard. side opposite to a
bluff on Lard. side.
|N. 70° W.||¼||Along the Stard. point opposite to a bluff|
|N. 45° W.||¼||Along the Stard. point opposite to a bluff|
|N. 10° W.||¼||Along the Std. do. do. do. do.|
|N. 70° E.||¼||Along the Stard. point opposite to a high hill|
|N. 35° E.||2||to a few trees on a Lard. point.|
|N. 10° W.||¾||to a point in a bend on Stard. side|
|N. 75° W.||½||to a point of timber on the Stard. side|
|N. 66° W.||1||to a point of timber on the Lard. side|
|N. 18° W.||1||to a gravley point on the Stard. side|
|N. 12° E.||1||to the entrance of a creek [EC: Windsor's
] 30 yds. wide on
|West||¾||to some trees on a Lard. point|
|S. 80 W.||1 ½||to the upper point of some timber in a bend on Lard. Side.|
|N. 80 W.||1 ½||to an open point on the Lard. side.|
|West||2||to the entrance of a creek [EC: Turtle
] in a stard. bend, no timber on
either side of the river, pine scattered on the
|S. 24 W.||2||to a Clift in a bend on Lard. side|
|West||2||to a point on the Lard. side no timber|
|S. 60° W.||½||to a bluff point Lard. opposite to the upper point of a
small sand Island.
|S. 45° W.||4||to the point of a small plain Lard. side, passing high bluffs on
|S. 70° W.||1||to the point of a high bluff in a Lard. bend, at which place
is a very considerable riffle which we call the Elk rappids.—
|N. 80° W.||¼||to the upper point of a small grove of timber on Lard.
side where we encamped for the night
We Set out early and proceeded as yesterday wind from the S. W. the river enclosed with very high hills on either Side. I took one man and walked out this morning, and ascended the high countrey to view the mountains which I thought I Saw yesterday, from the first Sumit of the hill  I could plainly See the Mountains on either Side which I Saw yesterday and at no great distance from me, those on the Stard Side is an errigular range, the two extremities of which bore West and N. West from me. those Mountains on the Lard. Side appeared to be Several detached Knobs or mountains riseing from a leven open Countrey, at different distances from me, from South West to South East, on one the most S. Westerly of those Mountains there appeared to be Snow. I crossed a Deep holler and assended a part of the plain elevated much higher than where I first viewed the above mountains; from this point I beheld the Rocky Mountains for the first time with Certainty, I could only discover a fiew of the most elivated points above the horizon. the most remarkable of which by my pocket Compas I found bore S. 60 W. those points of the rocky Mountain were Covered with Snow and the Sun Shown on it in Such a manner as to give me a most plain and Satisfactory view. whilst I viewed those mountains I felt a Secret pleasure in finding myself So near the head of the heretofore Conceived boundless Missouri; but when I reflected on the difficulties which this Snowey barrier would most probably throw in my way to the Pacific Ocean, and the Sufferings and hardships of my Self and party in them, it in Some measure Counter ballanced the joy I had felt in the first moments in which I gazed on them; but as I have always held it little Short of Criminality to anticipate evils I will allow it to be a good Comfortable road untill I am Compelled to believe otherwise—. The high Country in which we are at present and have been passing for Some days I take to be a continuation of what the Indians as well as the French Engages call the Black hills. This tract of Country So Called Consists of a Collection of high broken and irregular hills and Short Chains of Mountains, sometimes 100 miles in width and again becoming much narrower, but always much higher than the Country on either Side; they commence about the head of the Kanzas river and to the west of that river near the Arkansaw river, from whence they take their Cource a little to the west of N. W. approaching the Rocky Mountains obliquely passing the river Platt near the forks, and intersepting the River Rochejhone near the big bend of that river, and passing the Missouri at this place—, and probably Continueing to Swell the Country as far North as the Saskashawan river. tho' they are lower here than they are discribed to the South and may therefore termonate before they reach the Saskashawan. the Black hills in their Course northerly appear to approach more nearly the Rocky Mountains. I Saw a great number of white brant, also the common brown brant, Geese of the common Size & kind and a Small Species of geese, which differs considerably from the Common or Canadian Goose; their necks, head and backs are considerably thicker, Shorter and larger than the other in propotion to its Size they are also more than a third Smaller, and their note more like that of the brant or young goose which has not perfectly acquired his note, in all other respect they are the Same in Colour habits and the number of feathers in the tail, they frequently also ascocate with the large Geese when in flocks, but never Saw them pared off with the larger or common goose. The white Brant ascocates in very large flocks, they do not appear to be mated or pared off as if they intended to raise their young in this quarter, I therefore doubt whether they reside here dureing the Summer for that purpose. this bird is larger than the Common brown brant or 2/3 of the common goose. it is not So long by Six inches from point to point of the wings when extended as the other; the back head and neck are also larger and Stronger; their beak, legs and feet are of a redish flesh coloured white. the eye of a moderate Size, the puple of a deep Sea green encircled with a ring of yellowish brown. it has 16 feathers of equal length in the tail their note differs but little from the Common brant. they are of a pure white except the large feathers of the 1st and 2d joint of the wings which are jut black.
The country which borders the river is high broken and rocky, generally imbeded with a Soft Sand Stone higher up the hill the Stone is of a brownish yellow hard and gritty those Stones wash down from the hills into the river and cause the Shore to be rocky &c. which we find troublesom to assend there is Scerce any bottom 〈to〉 between the Hills & river and but a fiew trees to be Seen on either Side except Scattering pine on the Sides of the emence hills; we passed 2 Creeks on the Stard Side both of them had running water in one of those Creek Capt Lewis tells me he saw Soft Shell Turtle Capt Lewis in his walk killed a fat Buffalow which we were in want of our hunters killed 2 Mountain rams or big horns in the evening late we passed a rapid which extended quite across the river we assended it by the assistance of a Cord & poles on the Lard. Side the Cliffs jut over, the opposit Side is a Small leavel bottom, we Camped a little above in a Small grove of Cotton trees on the Lard. Side in the rapid we saw a Dow Elk & her faun, which gave rise to the name of Elk & faun Riffle we had a few drops of rain at Dark.— the Salts Coal & Burnt hills & Pumicston Still Continue, game Scerce this Countrey may with propriety I think be termed the Deserts of America, as I do not Conceive any part can ever be Settled, as it is deficent in water, Timber & too Steep to be tilled. We pass old Indian lodges in the woody points everry day & 2 at our camp &c
|mile||Course & Distance 26th of May 1805|
|S. 45° W.||1||to the point of a plain on the Stard. Side opposit to a Bluff.
|N. 70° W.||¼||allong the Stard. point opsd. a Bluff|
|N. 45° W.||¼||allong the Stard. point opsd. a Bluff|
|N. 10° W||¼||allong the Stard. Point opsd. a Bluff|
|N. 20° E.||¼||allong the Stard point opsd. a high hill|
|N. 35° E.||2||to a fiew trees on a point to Lard Side|
|N. 10° W||¾||to a point in a bend to the Stard Side|
|N. 75° W||½||to a point of timber on the Stard.|
|N. 66° W.||1||to a point of timber on the Lard. Side|
|N. 18° W||1||to graveley point on the Stard. Side|
|N. 12° E||1||to the mouth of a Creek Stard. Side Windsors Creek|
|West||¾||to Some trees on the Lard point|
|S. 80° W||1 ½||to the upper point of Some timber in a bend to the Lard.
|N 80° W||½||to a open point on the Lard Side|
|West||2||to the mouth of a Creek in a bend to the Stard. Side no
timber on either Side of the river, pine Scattered on the
|S. 24° W.||2||to a Clift in a bend to the Lard. Side|
|West||2||to a point on the Lard Side (no timber)|
|S. 60° W.||½||to a Bluff point Lard. opposit the upper point of a Small
|S 45° W.||4||to the point of a Small plain Lard. passing a high bluff on
|S. 70° W||1||to the point of a high bluff in Lard. bend at which place is
a verry considerable riffle which we Call Elk & faun rifflee
|N. 80° W.||¼||to the upper part of 〈Some〉 the timber in a small grove
[ML: on Lard.] where we encamped
One of the party killed a bighorned 〈antelope〉, the head and horns of which weighed 27 lbs. a hare was also killed which weighed 8½ lbs. the hare are now of a plale lead brown colour— [EC: ovis montana Lepus campestris]
May 26th Sunday 1805. Set out eairly. wind from s. w. the river nearly closed by the high hills on boath sides. the Country thro which borders the River is high broken & rockey generally imbeded with a Soft Sand Stone higher up the hills the Stone are of a brownish yallow, hard & gritty those Stone wash in to the River down the brooks and cause the Shore to be rockey for some distance in the water which we find troublesome to assend. their is Scarce any bottom under the hills, & but fiew trees to be Seen, on either Side except a fiew pine on the hills, we passed 2 creeks  on the Starbord Side boath of them had running water in one of them saw Soft Shell Turtle. Capt. Lewis in his walk killed a fat Buffalow, which we were in want of the hunters killed 2 Mountain Rams, or big horned animel in the evening late we passed a rapid which extended quite across the river. the waves roled for Some distance below, we ascended it by the assistance of the chord & poles the crafts all crossed on Stard. Side except one which with Some difficulty got up the Lard Side we Saw a dow Elk & faun, which gave rise to the name Elk & faun riffle. bluffs on Labord Side, and jist over the opposite Side is a livel plain. we Camped a little above in a Small grove of Cotton trees on the Lard. Side. we had a fiew drops of rain at dark. the Salts coal & burnt hills Still continue. Game Scarser. this country may with propriety be called the Deserts of North america for I do not conceive any part of it can ever be Setled as it is deficient of or in water except this River, & of timber & too Steep to be tilled. we passed old Indian Camps & lodges in the woody points everry day, & 2 at our Camp &.C. we Came 22¾ miles this day.—
Sunday 26th. We set out early in a fine morning, and passed through a desert country; in which there is no timber on any part, except a few scattered pines on the hills. We saw few animals of any kind, but the Ibex or mountain sheep. One of our men killed a male, which had horns two feet long and four inches diameter at the root.  We passed two creeks this forenoon on the North side and in the evening one of the men killed a buffaloe. At dark we came to large rapids, where we had to unite the crews of two or three canoes, to force them through. It was some time after night before we could encamp. We at length, after having gone twenty-one miles encamped on the South side in a small grove of timber, the first we had seen during the day.
Sunday 26th May 1805. a clear pleasant morning. we Set off eairly and proceeded on with the towing line under high bluffs which make near the River on each Side & are verry Steep & barron Some Spots of pine, but the most of the knobs and river hills wash by rains. passed high Clifts of Sand Stone on each Side. passed Several Creeks which appeared to be large, Some on each Side. passed Several Small Islands in the river. Some of the hunters killed 2 mountain Sheep or Ibex as Capt. Clark calls them which were running along in flocks where the bluffs were to appearence nearly perpenticular we Suppose they keep on high Steep clifts & bluffs & mountain  in order to keep out of the reach of other larger animals they are verry Suple & run verry fast. one of these Ibex which was killed today, had verry large horns. the head & horns weighed 27 pounds, one of the hunters killed a hare which weighed 8½ pound we proceeded on with the towing lines all day towards evening we Came to a rapid place in the river, where the hills made close on each Side & high clifts of rocks. this rapid had considerable of a fall, which gave us Some trouble to git over our crafts but by towing & waiding in the water & holding the canoes from filling in the waves, we all got Safe over by dark, and Camped on the S. Side below a Small prarie is at a Small bottom of timber where their was Several old Indian Camps. Capt. Lewis & one of the hunters killed 2 buffloe. we Came 22 miles this day.
Sunday May 26th We had a Clear pleasant morning, & set off early; the stream running so strong, that we were forced to use the tow lines, in order to make headway, we passed under high bluffs lying near the River on both sides of it which 〈are〉 were very steep and barren; and some small spots of Pine Timber, here most of the knobs, & River hills Wash by the Rains into the River.—
We continued on our way, and passed high clifts, of sand stone lying on each side of the River, and several Creeks which appeared to be large on each side of the River also, and small Islands lying in the middle of it.— Some of our hunters that were out hunting killed 7 Mountain sheep (or Ibex) out of a flock, which were running on the top of the Clifts, which were to appearance very high; & perpendicular.— Those animals are rarely seen in any place, but on the Tops of high hills or Clifts, and it is said they use these places in Order to avoid the large beasts of prey.— They are very Subtle, nimble & Run very fast.— One of those Ibex or mounting Goats that was killed this day had very large horns, The upper Jaw of the head & horns, weighing Twenty Seven pounds, these animals were in good order, and their flesh 〈eat like〉 had the Taste of Mutton, One of our hunters killed a hare, which he brought to us, It weighed 8½ pounds.— We proceeded on, towing our Crafts, when we came to a rapid place in the River; where the hills made close in on both sides of it, and high Clifts of Rocks.— This rapid, had a considerable fall, and it gave us much trouble to pass through it.— This we accomplished with much labour, by Towing and wading in the Water, and holding the Crafts & preventing them filling with Water from the Waves, which ran high.— We all got safe over by dark with our Crafts, and encamped on the South side of the River, below an Island of priari land, at a Small bottom of Timber, where there was several old Indian Camps.— Captain Lewis and one of our party, killed 2 buffalo as they went along Shore, We came 22 Miles day.—
"Such is the description given of the Ibex; but which to us does not appear to suit the animal found about the Rocky mountains called the mountain Ram. From what we have before heard of that animal, and from Mr. Gass's verbal description, we are led to believe, that it much more nearly resembles the wild sheep, called the Mufflon or Musmon, to be found in the uncultivated parts of Greece, Sardinia, Corsica and in the desart of Tartary; and which is thought to be the primitive race and the real sheep in its wild and savage state. Perhaps it may be found to be exactly the same; of which we find the following description.
" 'The Mufflon, or Musmon, though covered with hair, bears a stronger similitude to the Ram than to any other animal; like the Ram it has the eyes placed near the horns; and its ears are shorter than those of the goat: it also resembles the Ram in its horns, and in all the particular contours of its form. The horns also are alike; they are of a white or yellow colour; they have three sides as in the Ram, and bend backwards in the same manner behind the ears. The muzzle and inside of the ears are of a whitish colour tinctured with yellow; the other parts of the face are of a brownish grey. The general colour of the hair over the body is of a brown, approaching to that of the red deer. The inside of the thighs and belly are of a white tinctured with yellow. The form upon the whole seems more made for agility and strength than that of the common sheep; and the Mufflon is actually found to live in a savage state, and maintain itself either by force or swiftness against all the animals that live by rapine. Such is its extreme speed that many have been inclined rather to rank it among the deer kind, than the sheep. But in this they are deceived, as the Musmon has a mark that entirely distinguishes it from that species, being known never to shed its horns. In some these are seen to grow to a surprizing size; many of them measuring, in their convolutions, above two ells long.' Goldsmith."(back)