August 3, 1805
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August 3, 1805


Set out this morning at sunrise and continued our rout through the valley on the Lard. side of the river.    at eleven A. M. Drewyer killed a doe and we halted and took breakfast.    the mountains continue high on either side of the valley, and are but skantily supplyed with timber; small pine [1] appears to be the prevalent growth.    there is no timber in the valley except a small quantity of the narrow leafed cottonwood on the verge of the river.    the underwood consists of the narrowleafed or small willow, honeysuckle rosebushes, courant, goosbury [2] and service bury bushes allso a small quantity of a species of dwarf burch [3] the leaf of which, oval, deep green, finely indented and very small.    we encamped this evening after sunset having traveled by estimate 23 miles. [4]    from the width and appearance of the valley at this place I concieved that the river forked not far above me and therefore resolved the next morning to examine the adjacent country more minutely.


Set out early this morning, or before sunrise; still continued our march through the level valley on the lard. side of the river.    the valley much as yesterday only reather wider; I think it 12 Miles wide, tho' the plains near the mountains rise higher and are more broken with some scattering pine near the mountain.    in the leaveler parts of the plain and river bottoms which are very extensive there is no timber except a scant proportion of cottonwood near the river.    the under wood consists of the narrow leafed or small willow, the small honeysuckle, rosebushes, currant, serviceberry, and goosbery bushes; also a small species of berch in but small quantities 〈of a species〉 the leaf which is oval finely, indented, small and of a deep green colour. [5]    the stem is simple ascending and branching, and seldom rises higher than 10 or 12 feet.    the Mountains continue high on either side of the valley, and are but scantily supplyed with timber; small pine apears to be the prevalent growth; it is of the pich kind, with a short leaf.    at 11 A. M. Drewyer killed a doe and we halted about 2 hours and breakfasted, and then continued our rout untill night without halting, when we arrived at the river in a level bottom which appeared to spread to greater extent than usual.    from the appearance of the timber I supposed that the river forked above us and resolved to examine this part of the river minutely tomorrow.    this evening we passed through a high plain for about 8 miles covered with prickley pears and bearded grass, tho' we found this even better walking than the wide bottoms of the river, which we passed in the evening; these altho' apparently level, from some cause which I know not, were formed into meriads of deep holes as if rooted up by hogs    these the grass covered so thick that it was impossible to walk without the risk of falling down at every step. some parts of these bottoms also possess excellent terf or peat, I beleive of many feet deep.    the mineral salts also frequently mentioned on the Missouri we saw this evening in these uneven bottoms. [6]    we saw many deer, Antelopes ducks, gees, some beaver and great appearance of their work. also a small bird and the Curlooe as usual. [7]    we encamped on the river bank on Lard. side having traveled by estimate 23 Miles. The fish of this part of the river are trout and a species of scale fish of a while [white] colour and a remarkable small long mouth which one of our men inform us are the same with the species called in the Eastern states bottlenose. [8] the snowey region of the mountains and for some distance below has no timber or herbage of any kind; the timber is confined to the lower and middle regions. Capt. Clark set out this morning as usual.    he walked on shore a small distance this morning and killed a deer.    in the course of his walk he saw a track which he supposed to be that of an Indian from the circumstance of the large toes turning inward.    he pursued the track and found that the person had ascended a point of a hill from which his camp of the last evening was visible; this circumstance also confirmed the beleif of it's being an Indian who had thus discovered them and ran off. they found the river as usual much crouded with islands, the currant more rapid & much more shallow than usual.    in many places they were obliged to double man the canoes and drag them over the stone and gravel.    this morning they passed a small creek on Stard. at the entrance of which Reubin Fields killed a large Panther.    we called the creek after that animal Panther Creek. [9]    they also passed a handsome litle stream on Lard. which is form of several large springs which rise in the bottoms and along the base of the mountains with some little rivulets from the melting snows.    the beaver have formed many large dams on this stream. they saw some deer Antelopes and the common birds of the country.    in the evening they passed a very bad rappid where the bed of the river is formed entrely of solid rock and encamped on an island just above. [10] the Panther which Fields killed measured seven and ½ feet from the nose to the extremity of the tail.    it is precisely the same animal common to the western part of our country.    the men wer compelled to be a great proportion of their time in the water today; they have had a severe days labour and are much fortiegued.—

Courses and distances as traveled by Capt. C. and
party August 3rd 1805.
South—      ½ in a Lard. bend.
West—   1 ¼ to a Stard. bend.
S. 45° W.      ½ to the entrance of a small creek in a Stard. bend    this
stream heads in the mountains at a little distance.    we
called it Panther Creek.
S. 20° W.      ½ in the Stard. bend.
S. 80° E.   1 ¼ to the lower point of an island.
South—      ¼ to a point of the Island on it's stard. side
South 30° E.      ¼ to a bayou in the Island
South—   1 ½ to the upper point of the island having passed two
point and a Clift on Stard. and a point on Lard.
S. 10° W.   4 On a direct line to the entrance of a small creek on
Lard. it being the dranes of a snowey mountain in view.
river passing under this mountain leaving the bottoms
to the Stard. and has several short bends in this course.
S. 25° W.   1 to a small run in a Lard. bend
S. 60° W.   1 to a low stolley bluff in a Stard. bend, opposite an island
having passed one other.
S. 20° W.   1 to the lower point of an Island Lard. passing one other,
and a narrow rocky channel under a bluf.    encamped
on this island for the evening.
Miles 13

a fine morning wind from the N E    I walked on Shore & killed a Deer    in my walk I saw a fresh track which I took to be an Indian from the Shape of the foot as the toes turned in, I think it probable that this Indian Spied our fires and Came to a Situation to view us from the top of a Small knob on the Lard Side.    the river more rapid and Sholey than yesterday one R. F. man killed a large Panthor on the Shore    we are oblige to haul over the Canoes Sholey in maney places where the Islands are noumerous and bottom Sholey, in the evening the river more rapid and Sholey we encamped on an Island avove a part of the river which passed thro a rockey bed enclosed on both sides with thick willow current & red buries &c &c [11]    passed a bold Stream which heads in the mountains to our right and the drean of the minting Snow in the Montn. on that side ar in View—    at 4 oClock passed a bold Stream which falls from a mountn in three Channels to our left, the Greater portion of the Snow on this mountain is melted, but little remaining near us    Some Deer Elk & antelopes & Bear in the bottoms.    but fiew trees and they Small    the Mountains on our left Contain pine those on our right but verry partially Supplied and what pine & cedar it has is on the Lower region, no wood being near the Snow.    great numbers of Beaver Otter &c. Some fish trout & and bottle nose. Birds as usial. Geese young Duks & Curlows


Saturday 3rd August 1805.    a clear morning.    we Set out as usal and proceeded on. Capt. Clark walked on Shore a Short time and killed a Deer.    the River verry crooked and filled with Islands.    we proceeded on. Saw 2 deer on the edge of the River    one of the hunters R. Fields went after them and killed a panther on an Island.    it was 7½ feet in length.    it differs from those in the States.    it is of a redish brown, and the first we have killed.    passed verry rapid water    we have to double man the canoes and drag them over the Sholes and rapid places.    we have to be in the water half of our time.    passed level praries on each Side.    the bottoms has been burned over about 6 months past by the natives, as appears.    passed a large Spring on the Lard. Side at a low bottom of willows and high grass. The beaver has made a dam at the mouth on the bank of the River which causes a pond back Some distance and they have lodges all through the pond.    the water falls over the dam in the River abt. 4 feet. I drunk of the water found it verry cold.    it appears that there is 3 or 4 Springs running from under the mountains a Short distance to the South of us    Some Spots of Snow on it.    about one oC. we passed over a bad rapid and halted at a bottom covered with timber, to dine    the day pleasant and warm.    proceeded on    passed a large Spring run which is made by the Snow on the Mountains and runs from the foot of the Mo. through a Smooth plain.    the River gitting more rapid    the rapids longer    passed beaver ponds, bottom prarie & bottoms covred with timber &C. Came 17½ miles this day, and Camped on the Lard. Side at a bottom of cotton timber.    the currents verry thick & rabit berrys &C.


Saturday 3rd.    A fine cool morning. We left a note for Capt. Clarke, continued our route along the valley; and passed several fine springs that issue from the mountains. Currants and service berries are in abundance along this valley, and we regaled ourselves with some of the best I had ever seen. We went about 22 miles and encamped. [12] The night was disagreeably cold.


Saturday 3rd August 1805.    a clear morning.    we Set out as usal and proceeded on.    Capt. Clark walked on Shore a Short time and killed a Deer.    the River verry crooked and filled with Islands.    proceeded on.    Saw 2 deer little a head, one of the hunters went after them and killed a panther on an Island.    it differs Some from those in the States it was 7½ feet long, & of a redish coulour the turshes long the tallants large but not verry long.    passed verry rapid water So that we had to double man the canoes and drag them over the Sholes & rapids.    passed a large prarie on S. Side.    high grass & bushes along the River.    the bottoms has been burned over by the natives I expect last fall.    passed a verry large Spring on L. S. which makes from under the mountains.    the beaver has damed up the mouth & built lodges all through the pond it forms.    it falls over the beaver dam in to the River verry Steep, about 4 feet.—    passed over a bad rapid and halted about one to dine at a bottom of timber on the S. Side.    the day pleasant & warm.    proceeded on    passed Several Springs one large one on L. S. plains and bottoms, Some of which is covred with cotton & birch [13] timber    the River Still getting more rapid and the rapids longer than below.    Came 11½ miles this day and Camped on L. Side Cot. wood.

Saturday August 3rd    A Clear morning, & we set out on our Voyage early, Captain Clark walked on Shore a short time, and killed a Deer.—    We halted our Canoes, and took the Deer on board, and then proceeded on, We find the River very crooked, and filled with Islands.    We continued on, and saw 2 Deer a small distance a head of us.—    One of our hunters went out after them, this hunter killed a Panther on a small Island, a small distance from us.    it differed but very little from those seen in the United States.    It measured 7½ feet long, and was of a reddish colout, its tushes was very long, the Talons thick but not long, We passed many places in the River, that the water ran so rapid, that we were forced to double man the Tow ropes to drag the Canoes over the Shoals & rapids.    We passed a large Priari lying on the South side of the River, high Grass & bushes, growing along the River.    We also passed a very large spring, which lies on the South side of the River, and comes from under the mountains.—    The beaver had dammed up the Mouth of this large spring, and had built their houses all through the pond it had formed, it falls over the beaver dam into the River, about 4 feet, We passed over a bad rapid, and halted about One o'Clock P. M. to dine at a bottom of timber'd land, on the south side of the River—    The day was warm but pleasant, we proceeded on and passed several springs, one of which was very large, lying on the south side of the river, & some plains, some of which was covered with Cotton wood Trees & birch timber.—    The River has this day run more rapid, & the Rapids much longer, than any we had yet seen, which fataigued our Men exceedingly.—    We came 11½ Miles this day & encamped 〈in〉 on the South side of the River, in a place of Wood land.—

1. Lewis's small pine is limber pine. (back)
2. The willow is sandbar, or coyote, willow, Salix exigua Nutt. ssp. interior (Rowlee) Conq.; honeysuckle is probably wolfberry, western snowberry, Symphoricarpos occidentalis Hook.; rosebushes are western wild rose, Rosa woodsii Lindl.; and the "goosbury" is probably swamp currant, Ribes lacustre (Pers.) Poir. Booth & Wright, 26, 234, 119, 107. (back)
3. The scrub birch, Betula glandulosa Michx. Ibid., 30. (back)
4. Lewis camped in Madison County, Montana, above the mouth of the Big Hole River as it was in 1805, at least. The rivers have meandered considerably in this region since Lewis and Clark's time. Atlas map 65. (back)
5. Biddle probably drew the red vertical line through this passage about the birch. (back)
6. Faulting and natural changes in the Jefferson River's course often cause swamps or waterlogged lands to form. The growth of vegetation in these areas is rapid, and the remains of plants are quickly covered by the remains of subsequent plants so that decay is incomplete. In such areas, peat bogs, several acres in extent, form. The mineral salts are those of sodium sulphate, sodium bicarbonate, and magnesium sulphate similar to those noticed earlier downstream of the Great Falls of the Missouri. These salts have formed here because they are derived from salt-rich Cretaceous formations through which the Ruby and Big Hole rivers pass. (back)
7. Probably the long-billed curlew, Numenius americanus [AOU, 264]. (back)
8. Evidently the northern sucker, Catostomus catostomus. Lewis gave a fuller description on August 19, 1805. Burroughs, 264. (back)
9. Later Big Pipestone Creek, in Madison County. The animal was a mountain lion, Felis concolor. Atlas map 65. (back)
10. Clark's camp was in Jefferson or Madison County, a few miles below present Waterloo. Atlas map 65. (back)
11. The "red buries" are buffaloberry, Shepherdia argentea (Pursh) Nutt. Booth & Wright, 160; Little (MWH), 191-NW. (back)
12. In Madison County, Montana, above the mouth of the Big Hole River, the party's Wisdom River, which Gass does not mention. (back)
13. Perhaps scrub birch, Betula glandulosa Michx., which Lewis calls dwarf birch this day. (back)