September 13, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

September 13, 1805

Course & Distance &c. Sept. 13th 1805
S. W.   2 miles up the Said Creek through an emencely bad road,
rocks, Steep hill sides & fallen timber inumerable    The
Snow toped mountains at a long distance from S W to S E
none else to be Seen in any other Directions to hot Springs
on the right. Those springs come out in maney places in the
rocks and nearly boiling hot
S. 30° W.   3 miles to the creek    passed a round about of 3 miles to our
left of intolerable road timber &c as usial    halted to noon it
& wate for Capt. Lewis who lost his horse
S. 30° W.   7 miles over a mountain & a Dividing ridge of flat gradey land
to a Creek from the left passing thro a glade of ½ a mile in
width, keeping down the Creek 2 mile & Encamped. The
Country as usial except the Glades which is open & boggey,
water Clare and Sandey. Snow toped Mountains to the S E. at
the head of this Creek which we call [blank] Creek. The after
part of the day Cloudy. I killed 4 Pheasents & Shields killed
a Black tail Deer.    a horse found in the glades left lame by
Some Indians &c.
m 12

a cloud morning    Capt Lewis and one of our guides lost their horses, Capt Lewis & 4 men detained to hunt the horses, I proceeded on with the partey up the Creek at 2 miles passed Several Springs which I observed the Deer Elk &c. had made roads to, and below one of the Indians had made a whole to bathe, I tasted this water and found it hot & not bad tasted    The last [blank]    in further examonation I found this water nearly boiling hot at the places it Spouted from the rocks (which a hard Corse Grit, and of great size the rocks on the Side of the Mountain of the Same texture[)]    I put my finger in the water, at first could not bare it in a Second— [2]    as Several roads led from these Springs in different derections, my Guide took a wrong road and took us out of our rout 3 miles through intolerable rout, after falling into the right road I proceeded on thro tolerabl rout for abt. 4 or 5 miles and halted to let our horses graze as well as waite for Capt Lewis who has not yet Come up, The pine Countrey falling timber &c. &c. Continue. This Creek is verry much damed up with the beaver, but we can See none, dispatched two men back to hunt Capt Lewis horse, after he came up, and we proceeded over a mountain to the head of the Creek which we left to our left and at 6 miles from the place I nooned it, we fell on a Small Creek from the left which Passed through open glades Some of which ½ a mile wide, [3] we proceeded down this Creek about 2 miles to where the mountains Closed on either Side crossing the Creek Several tmes & Encamped.

One Deer & Some Pheasants killed this morning, I shot 4 Pheasents of the Common Kind except the taile was black. [4] The road over the last mountain was thick Steep & Stoney as usial, after passing the head of Travelers rest Creek, the road was verry fine leavel open & firm    Some mountains in view to the S E & S W. Covered with Snow. [5]


Friday 13th Sept. 1805.    cloudy.    we got all our horses up except one which Capt. Lewis rode we could not find, and a colt also.    we then loaded our horses and proceeded on a Short distance and came to a warm Spring [6] which run from a ledge of rocks and nearly boiled and issued out in several places    it had been frequented by the Savages.    a little dam was fixed and had been used for a bathing place.    we drank a little of the water and washed our faces in it.    a handsome green on the creek near this Spring.    we had Some difficulty here in finding the direct trail.    we went round a bad way came on the trail again and halted to dine at or near the head of Sd. Creek at a beaver dam.    then proceeded on ascended a high rough mountain    over took the hunters who had killed a deer. 2 of them sent back to look for Capt. Lewises horse.    we crossed the dividing ridge [7] and a number of Spring runs and found it to be only about half a mile from the head Spring of the waters running East to the head Spring of the waters runing west.    each heading in an open marshy Swamp which is level and full of Springs.    we came on a creek running west on which we Camped.— [8]


Friday 13th.    A cloudy morning. Capt. Lewis's horse could not be found; but some of the men were left to hunt for him and we proceeded on. When we had gone 2 miles, we came to a most beautiful warm spring, the water of which is considerably above blood-heat; and I could not bear my hand in it without uneasiness. There are so many paths leading to and from this spring, that our guide took a wrong one for a mile or two, and we had bad travelling across till we got into the road again. At noon we halted. Game is scarce; and our hunters killed nothing since yesterday morning; though 4 of the best were constantly out, and every one of them furnished with a good horse. While we remained here, Captain Lewis and the men, who had been left with him, came up; but had not found the horse. At 2 o'clock we proceeded on again over a mountain, and in our way found a deer, which our hunters had killed and hung up. In a short time we met with them, and Capt. Lewis sent two back to look for the horse. We passed over a dividing ridge to the waters of another creek, and after travelling 12 miles we encamped on the creek, up which there are some prairies or plains.


Friday 13th Sept. 1805.    cloudy.    we got our horses up all but the one Capt. Lewis rode and a colt which our young Indian rode.    we hunted Some time for them but could not find them.    then all but 2 or three loaded the horses and proceeded on    a Short distance passed a warm Spring, which nearly boiled where it Issued out of the rocks    a Short distance below the natives has dammed it up to bathe themselves in, and the water in that place is considerable above blood heat.    it runs out in Sundry places and Some places cooler than others.    Several of us drank of the water, it has a little sulpur taste and verry clear.    these Springs are very beautiful to See, and we think them to be as good to bathe in &c. as any other ever yet found in the United States.    a handsom green or Small meadow on the creek near Sd. Springs.    a little above we could not git along the Indian trail for the timber which had been blown down in a thicket of pine &c.    So we went around a hill came on the trail again and proceeded on untill about 11 oClock and halted to dine and let our horses feed on the main fork of the creek where was Several beaver dams.    Capt. Lewis and the men who Stayed back to hunt their horses joined us, but had not found them    our hunters gone on a head    the mountains rough and rocks which appear above the timber like towers in Some places.    the day proved pleasant.    we proceeded on assended a high mountain, over took the hunters.    they had killed a Deer.    2 of them Sent back after Capt. Lewiss horse.    we crossed the dividing ridge found it only about half a mile from the head Spring of the water running East to a branch running west.    each heading on an open Swamp, which is level and full of Springs.    Came [blank] miles this day and Camped on the branch running west where we had good feed for our horses.

Friday Septemr. 13th    We had Cloudy weather; We got up all our Horses, but the one that Captain Lewis had rode & a Colt which was rode by the Young Indian, who attended our Interpreter; which we had got from the Snake Nation of Indians

The men all turned out to hunt for this horse & Colt, but returned to us without success.    We on the return of our Men loaded our horses with our Goods & baggage excepting 3 which we left for Men, to ride & seek the lost horses, we proceeded on our way a short distance when we came to a Warm spring, where the water was nearly boiling hot, where it issued out of the Rocks.    We found a short distance below that place a dam, which the Natives had made in Order to stop the Water, that they might have a bathing place.    the water at this Bath was considerable above blood heat, this bath run out at different places, some of which was considerable cooler than others.—    Several of our party drank of the Water that was in this Bath, it had strongly the taste of Sulphur, & was very clear.    The same kind of Sulphurous springs are to be found near this place, & has a handsome appearance, Our officers were of opinion that those Springs were very healthy to bathe in; Near this spring run lies a very handsome Creek, with a very handsome Meadow lying along it, & this Meadow lay near to the Spring, & a small distance above it—    We could not get along the Indian trail, for the timber that had been blown down in a thicket of Pine & other Trees.—    We went round this falling timber, and round a hill, and got into the road again.    We proceeded on our Journey 'till about 11 o'Clock A. M. when we halted to dine & let our horses feed which was on the Main fork of the Creek,—    where we saw several beaver dams, Captain Lewis & the Men that staid behind to hunt the horses joined us, but they had not found them.    Our hunters went on ahead to hunt, 'till the evening.    The Mountains we found this day were very rough, and Rocks, which appear above the timber like Towers.—    The day proved very pleasant, and we proceeded on, & ascended a high mountain; & overtook our hunters who had killed a deer, Captain Lewis sent back 2 of these hunters, to hunt for his Horse & the Colt which was lost—    We proceeded on, and crossed the dividing ridge, & found it only about half a mile from the head of a spring where the Water run an east Course, to a branch of Water which run a West course, each heading in an Open Swamp which lies level & abounds with Springs.    We came only 18 Miles this day & encamped on the branch which run a West course; where we found good Grass for our Horses.—

1. Opposite this entry in the Elkskin-bound Journal is a sketch map (fig. 5) showing the party's route for about September 11–12, with campsites for those days noted. (back)
2. Lolo Hot Springs, Missoula County, Montana. Space, 6; Atlas map 69. The springs emerge from granitic rocks of the Cretaceous-age Idaho baholith very near the batholith's contact with rocks of the Precambrian Belt Group. The large size or texture of the crystals in the granite is indicative of the rock having cooled slowly at a great depth in the earth. The temperature of the hot springs has been measured at 111° F. (back)
3. They crossed the present Montana-Idaho state line into Idaho County, Idaho, east of Lolo Pass, and went down Pack Creek (Glade Creek on Atlas map 70) to Packer Meadows. The camp was at the lower end of the meadows. Space, 6; Peebles (LT), 4; Atlas map 69. (back)
4. Spruce grouse, Dendragapus canadensis [AOU, 298], then unknown to science. See below, September 20, 1805. (back)
5. The Bitterroot Range, which they were now crossing. Atlas map 69, 70. (back)
7. The explorers crossed the Montana-Idaho state line into Idaho County, Idaho, east of Lolo Pass, and followed Pack Creek (their Glade Creek) to Packer Meadows, Idaho County. (back)
8. At the lower end of Packer Meadows. (back)