July 25, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

July 25, 1805


Set out at an early hour and proceeded on tolerably well the water still strong and some riffles as yesterday.    the country continues much the same as the two preceeding days.    in the forenoon we saw a large brown bear on an island but he retreated immediately to the main shore and ran off before we could get in reach of him.    they appear to be more shy here than on the Missouri below the mountains.    we saw some antelopes of which we killed one.    these anamals appear now to have collected again is small herds several females with their young and one or two males compose the herd usually.    some males are yet soletary or two perhaps together scattered over the plains which they seen invariably to prefer to the woodlands.    if they happen accedentaly in the woodlands and are allarmed they run immediately to the plains, seeming to plaise a just confidence in their superior fleetness and bottom.    we killed a couple of young gees which are very abundant and fine; but as they are but small game to subsist a party on of our strength I have forbid the men shooting at them as it waists a considerably quantity of amunition and delays our progress.    we passed Capt. Clark's encampment of the 23rd inst.    the face of the country & anamal and vegatable productions were the same as yesterday, untill late in the evening, when the valley appeared to termineate and the river was again hemned in on both sides with high caiggy and rocky clifts. [1]    soon after entering these hills or low mountains we passed a number of fine bold springs which burst out underneath the Lard. clifts near the edge of the water; they wer very cold and freestone water.    we passed a large Crk. today in the plain country, 25 yds. wide, which discharges itself on the Stard. side; it is composed of five streams which unite in the plain at no great distance from the river and have their souces in the Mts.    this stream we called Gass's Creek. [2]    after Sergt. Patric Gass one of our party.—    two rapids near the large spring we passed this evening were the worst we have seen since that we passed on entering the rocky Mountain; they were obstructed with sharp pointed rocks, ranges of which extended quite across the river.    the clifts are formed of a lighter coloured stone than those below    I obseve some limestone also in the bed of the river which seem to have been brought down by the current as they are generally small and woarn smooth.— [3]    This morning Capt. Clark set out early and at the distance of a few miles arrived at the three forks of the Missouri, [4] here he found the plains recently birnt on the stard. side, and the track of a horse which appeared to have passed only about four or five days.    after taking breakfast of some meat which they had brought with them, examined the rivers, and written me a note informing me of his intended rout, he continued on up the North fork, which though not larger than the middle fork, boar more to the West, and of course more in the direction we were anxious to pursue.    he ascended this stream about 25 miles on Stard. side, and encamped, [5] much fatiegued, his feet blistered and wounded with the prickley pear thorns. Charbono gave out, one of his ankles failed him and he was unable to proceede any further.—    I observed that the rocks which form the clifts on this part of the river appear as if they had been undermined by the river and by their weight had seperated from the parent hill and tumbled on their sides, the stratas of rock of which they are composed lying with their edges up; others not seperated seem obliquely depressed on the side next the river as if they had sunk down to fill the cavity which had been formed by the washing and wearing of the river. I have observed a red as well as a yellow species of goosberry [6] which grows on the rocky Clifts in open places of a swetish pine like flavor, first observed in the neighbourhood of the falls; at least the yellow species was first observed there.    the red differs from it in no particular except it's colour and size being somewhat larger; it is a very indifferent fruit, but as they form a variety of the native fruits of this country I preserved some of their seeds.    musquetoes and knats troublesome as usual.

Courses and distances of July 25th 1805.
S. 25° W.   1 to the center of a Stard. bend
S. 10° W.   1 ¼ to a point in a Stard. bend passing a small Isld. Lard. S.
S. 5° W.   3 ½ to a point in a Stard. bend.
S. 40° E.   1 ¼ to a tree in the Stard. bend passing a Lard. pot. at ½ m
N. 80° E.   2 ½ to the center of a Stard. bend, passing a small island at ½
m. on Stard. opposite or behid which a large Creek dis-
charges itself on Stard. 25 yds. wide which we called Gass's
South   3 to the center of a Stard. bend
S. 75° E.   1 ½ to a bluff point on Stard.    here the river again enters the
mountains    I beleive it to be a second grand chain of the
rocky Mots.
S. 55° E.   1 to a point in a Lard. bend at some large springs.
S. 30° E.      ½ to a point in the Lard. bend, high clifts.
South      ½ to a Clift of rocks in a Lard. bend; opst. to which we en-
camped for the night under a high bluff [7]
Miles 16

a fine morning    we proceeded on a fiew miles to the three forks of the Missouri    those three forks are nearly of a Size, the North fork appears to have the most water and must be Considered as the one best calculated for us to assend    middle fork is quit as large about 90 yds. wide. The South fork is about 70 yds wide & falls in about 400 yards below the midle fork.    those forks appear to be verry rapid & Contain Some timber in their bottoms which is verry extincive,—    on the North Side the Indians have latterly Set the Praries on fire, the Cause I can't account for. I Saw one horse track going up the river about four or 5 days past.    after Brackfast (which we made on the ribs of a Buck killed yesterday), I wrote a note informing Capt Lewis the rout I intended to take, and proeeded on up the main North fork thro' a vallie, the day verry hot    about 6 or 8 miles up the North fork a Small rapid river falls in on the Lard Side which affords a great Deel of water and appears to head in the Snow mountains to the S W. [8]    this little river falls into the Missouri by three mouthes, haveing Seperated after it arrives in the river Bottoms, and Contains as also all the water courses in this quarter emence number of Beaver & orter    maney thousand enhabit the river & Creeks near the 3 forks (Pholosiphie's River)—    We Campd on the Same Side we assended Starboard 20 miles on a direct line up the N. fork. Shabono our intrepreter nearly tired one of his ankles falling him—    The bottoms are extencive and tolerable land Covered with tall grass & prickley pears    The hills & mountains are high Steep & rockey.    The river verry much divided by Islands    Some Elk Bear & Deer and Some Small timber on the Islands. Great quantities of Currents, red, black, yellow, Purple, also Mountain Currents which grow on the Sides of Clifts; inferior in taste to the others haveing Sweet pineish flaver and are red & yellow, Choke Cheries, Boin roche, [9] and the red buries also abound—    musquitors verry trouble Som untill the mountain breeze Sprung up which was a little after night.


July 25th Thursday 1805.    a clear morning.    we Set out as usal and proceeded on. Saw a large white bear on an Island.    we Saw a flock of goats or antelopes    one of the hunters killed one of them.    we passed a Camp where Capt. Clark had Stayed all night. [10]    we discover Mountains a head which have Spots of Snow on them.    passed a large dry plain on S. Side, in the afternoon we passed high rough rocky hills & clifts of rocks.    at the entrence we found bad rapids, and Shallow rocks sticking up all the way across. Saw excelent Springs along the Shore on Larbord Side. Saw Some excelent Springs, which ran from under the clifts of rocks. Came 16 miles this day and Camped on the Stard. Side. [11]    our hunter killed one goose which was all the game killed to day.—


Thursday 25th.    We embarked and proceeded on at the usual time, in a fine morning; we passed a beautiful plain on the north side, and at 2 o'clock we came to the entrance of another chain of mountains; [12] where we took dinner and again went on. Passing through this chain we found some difficult rapids, but good water between them. This chain of mountains are not so high, nor so rocky as those we passed before. Six very fine springs rise on the southern shore, about four miles above the entrance of this range. We went 16 miles and encamped on the north side.


Thursday 25th July 1805.    a clear pleasant morning.    we Set out as usal and proceeded on.    Saw a large white bear on an Island.    Saw a nomber of otter.    Saw a flock of goats or antelopes one of the hunters killed one of them.    we Saw a Camp where Capt. Clark had Stayed one night.    discovered mountains a head which appear to have Snow on them, if not Snow it must be verry white Clay or rocks.    we eat abundance of red & yallow currents.    the timber Island not So pleanty as yesterday.—    large plains on each Side of the River & looks pleasant and extensive.    in the afternoon we entered in to Some rough rockey hills which we expect from the Indian account is the commencement of the Second chain of the rockey mountains, but they do not appear So high as the first nor So Solid a rock.    at the entrence we found Several bad rockey rapids which we had to pass through and So Shallow the rocks Show themselves across the River and appear Shallow all the way across.    we double manned and got up Safe.    I cut my foot with the Stone a towing along the Shore.    Saw excelent Springs which ran from under the clifts.    we came 16 miles this day and Camped on the N. S.    our hunter killed one goose, which was all that was killed this day—

Thursday July 25th    This morning clear & pleasant, we set out as usual, and proceeded on our Voyage, and on an Island saw a large White or brown bear, & in the River numbers of Otters, and a flock of Antelopes on the Shore one of which our hunters killed.—    We passed by a Camp, where Captain Clarke had staid all night, We discover'd Mountains lying ahead of us, which has the appearance of Snow being on them, from their white Colour, we still found abundance of Red & Yellow currants.    We did not find the Islands or timber so plenty, as it was Yesterday.    We found large extensive plains lying on both sides of the River, which had a pleasant appearance.    In the afternoon we 〈enter'd into〉 passed some rough rockey hills, which we expect from the account we have from the Indian Woman that is with us, to be the commencement of the Second chain of the Rockey Mountains; but they do not appear, to be so high, as the first chain of Mountains which we have passed, nor so solid a rock at the entrance of them.—    We found several bad rockey Rapids, which we had to pass through, and 〈are〉 the Water was so shallow that the Rocks appeared above the Water almost across the River, We double manned our Canoes, and with difficulty got over them, by hard towing; We saw several excellent springs, which came out from under the Clifts of Rocks, near the River, We came 16 Miles this day, & encamped on the North side of the River.—

The men were very much fataigued towing the Canoes this day, and some of them had their feet Cut in passing over the Rocks.—    Our hunters only killed one Goose, which was all that was killed this day.—

1. On Atlas map 64. Clark labeled them "Little Gate," and elsewhere "Little Gate of the Mountain." The place is in Broadwater County, Montana, between present Toston and Lombard. (back)
2. Now Crow Creek, Broadwater County, correctly named "Gass's Creek" on Atlas map 64. MRC map 82. (back)
3. The Lombard thrust fault cuts through here. Steeply dipping rocks, ranging in age from Precambrian through Cretaceous, are exposed within less than a mile. The Mission Canyon and Lodgepole limestones of the Madison Group occur upstream. (back)
4. The three forks meet near the Broadwater-Gallatin county line, Montana, about four miles northeast of the present town of Three Forks. Part of the area is within the Missouri Headwaters State Monument. Appleman (LC), 328–32; Atlas maps 64, 65; MRC map 83. (back)
5. Clark's route appears as a dotted line on Atlas map 65, but his campsite does not. It was on the north side of the Jefferson River, in Jefferson County, Montana, above the mouth of Willow Creek (Lewis and Clark's Philosophy River) and the town of Willow Creek, and about three miles downstream from the present crossing of U.S. Highway 287. (back)
6. Lewis's "gooseberry" is probably Clark's "Mountain Currents" of this day and their words illustrate the confusion of the two terms. From Lewis's ecological and morphological descriptions it is clear that both are the single plant, squaw, or western red, currant. The captains may be viewing color variations or perhaps the yellowish fruited individuals were simply immature. As Lewis points out, it is the same shrub encountered on June 18. It was probably Biddle who drew a red vertical line through this passage about the gooseberry; other lines were also drawn through passages about the antelopes and geese above. (back)
7. This camp is misdated July 24 on Atlas map 64. It is in Broadwater County, immediately above Toston Dam. MRC map 83. For a discussion of the campsite for this day see "Re-interpreting July 25, 1805 . . . Where is the Campsite?" We Proceeded On 16 (February 1990): 20–24. (back)
8. "Pholosophy [Philosophy] River" on Atlas map 65; now Willow Creek, in Gallatin County. The mountains are the Tobacco Root range, in Madison County. (back)
9. Probably meaning bois rouge, the previously noted red osier dogwood. (back)
10. Clark's camp of the July 23, according to Lewis, near Toston, Broadwater County, Montana. (back)
11. Above Toston Dam, Broadwater County. The camp is misdated July 24 on Atlas map 64. (back)
12. Gass does not mention the stream the captains named Gass's Creek for him, now Crow Creek, Broadwater County. (back)