July 14, 1805
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July 14, 1805


This morning was calm fair and warm; the Musquetoes of course troublesome.    all hands that could work were employed about the canoes.    which we completed and launched this evening.    the one was 25 feet and the other 33 feet in length and about 3 feet wide.    we have now the seats and oars to make and fit &c. I walked out today and ascended the bluffs which are high rockey and steep; I continued my rout about 3½ when I gained a conspicuous eminence about 2 mes. distant from the river a little below the entrance of Fort Mountain Creek. [1]    from this place I had a commanding view of the country and took the bearings of the following places. (viz) [2]

To the point at which the Missouri first enters the Rocky

S. 28° W.

To the termineation of the 1st Chain of Rocky Mountains;
northwardly, being that through which the Missouri first

N. 73° W

To the extremity or tirmineation of 2cd Chain of Rocky

N. 65 W.

To the most distant point of a third and continued chain of
the same mts.

N. 50° W.

The direction of the 1st Chain of Rocky Mouts. from S. 20 E.
to N 20 W.
The direction of the 2cd Do. from S 45 E. to N. 45. W.—    
To Fort mountain S. 75° W. 8

The country in most parts very level and in others swelling with gentle rises and decents, or in other wirds what I have heretofore designated a wavy country destitute of timber except along the water-courses. On my return to camp found Sergt. Ordway had arrived with all the canoes about noon and had unloaded them    every preperation except the entire completion of the oars poles &c is made for our departure tomorrow.    the grass and weeds in this bottom are about 2 feet high; which is a much greater hight than we have seen them elsewhere this season.    here I found the sand rush and nittles in small quantities. [3]    the grass in the plains is not more than 3 inches high.    grasshoppers innumerable in the plains and the small birds before noticed together with the brown Curlooe [4] still continue nomerous in every part of the plains.—

had a slight shower at 4 P. M. this evening.


a fine morning Calm and worm    musquetors & Knats verry troublesom. The Canoes arrive at 12 oClock & unloade to Dry &c.    finished & Lanced the 2 Canoes, Some rain this afternoon.    all prepareing to Set out on tomorrow.


July 14th Sunday 1805. The morning clear and pleasant.    we Set out eairly and proceeded on very well.    passed 3 Islands covered with timber and arived at the upper Camp about noon. Capt. Clark and party at Camp had got the 2 large canoes nearly done.    we unloaded the canoes, and put the large niew one in the River about 4 oClock P. M.    we expencerenced a Small Shower of rain.    warm    the Musquetoes verry troublesome    we put the other niew canoe in to the River and make ready to leave this tomorrow. we have considerable of fat buffalow meat dryed, which the hunters killed at or near this Camp.    the weeds and Grass in this bottom is as high as a mans knees but the Grass on the high plains & praries is not more than 3 Inches high no time in this Season.


Sunday 14th.    A fine morning. About 11 o'clock the men came up with the canoes and baggage. The distance by water was found to be 22 miles, and by land only 6 miles. In the afternoon some rain fell but we continued to work at the canoes, and finished them ready for loading.


July 14th Sunday 1805.    we Set out eairly and proceeded on.    the morning clear and calm.    passed Several Islands, &c. and arived at the upper Camp about noon.    Capt. Clark & men had got the 2 canoes ready to put in the water.    we unloaded the canoes put one of the niew canoes in the River    about 4 oClock P. M. we had a Small Shower of rain.    verry warm    the musquetoes troublesome.    we put the other niew canoe in the river, and make ready to leave this place.    we have considerable of fat buffalow meat dryed.    the weeds and grass in this bottom is as high as a mans knees, but the grass on the high land is not more than 3 Inches high.

Sunday July 14th    We had a Clear pleasant morning, & the weather Calm, the party that was with the 3 Canoes set off early, and proceeded on for the upper Camp, they passed several Islands lying on both sides of the River, and arrived at the upper Camp about noon, Captain Clark & the Men under him, had got the 2 Canoes ready to put into the Water.    The Canoes that arrived from the lower camp was unloaded, and One of the new Canoes, was put into the River.    About 4 oClock P. M. we had a small shower of rain, & very warm, the Musketoes were very troublesome, We put the other new Canoe into the water, and all hands were employed in getting every thing in readiness to proceed on our Voyage.—

We have a very considerable quantity of dried buffalo meat at our Camp.—

The weeds & Grass in this bottom is as high, as a mans knees, but on the high land not mor than 3 Inches long, owing to the number of Buffalo that feed on them.—

1. Lewis's eminence is not known, but it probably is not Antelope Butte which is too close to the camp. Fort Mountain Creek is not named on Atlas maps 54 or 55, but may be a nameless stream above Smith River, which enters the Missouri at the town of Ulm, Cascade County, Montana. (back)
2. In the left margin of the page by this table, at right angles to the rest, Lewis has added a pointing hand symbol and has written, "the Southern extremites of these ranges not visible and believe they continue probably to mexico." He probably imagined "Mexico"—New Mexico—to be closer than it was, but he was expanding his idea of the extent of the Rockies. In essence he was correct, for the only real gap in the ranges was in the area of South Pass, in Wyoming. From his position Lewis was looking south toward the Gates of the Mountains (see July 19, 1805) and northwest along various divisions of the Lewis range (the Continental Divide) north to present Glacier National Park. (back)
3. The sand rush could be any of several species of Equisetum, horsetail or scouring rush, in the area; the "nittles" are Urtica dioica L., stinging nettle. Hitchcock & Cronquist, 43; Booth & Wright, 32. It was probably Biddle who drew a red vertical line through the passages about the grass and bird. (back)
4. Probably the same bird described in more detail on July 22, 1805; see the possible species there. (back)