July 3, 1806
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

July 3, 1806

Courses and distances from travellers rest.
North 7 m. to the crossing of Clarke's river, [2] valley wide    tops of
the hills covered with Long leaf pine.    bottoms pine and
Cottonwood.    passed a small branch at 3 M on W. side and
at 1 M. further the entrance of a small creek on E. side. [3]    at
5 miles Co-kâh-lâr coosh or buffaloe river falls in on the East
side. [4] Clark river 120 yds. wide    buffaloe river [blank] yard
wide—    set out at 8 A. M.    halted at 11 A M. to make a
raft.    dined here.
N. 75 E 7 m. through a handsome level plain to the point where
the Cokahlar ishkit River enters the mountains, or where
the hills close it in on both sides.    we halted 〈one〉 five
mile short of this place on a little stream 〈which runs
down from the 2nd largest of the rivers〉 [X: nothern]
we encamped. [5] Sent out the hunters    they killed three
deer gave the indians half.    the musqutoes troublesome
built fires for our horses. [6]    we did not get over the river
until 6 P. M. I fell in the water and wet the chronome-
ter.    we made three rafts.    indians express great ap-
prehension with rispect to the Minetares.    saw the fresh
track of a horse in the main road which leads up this
river which the indians supposed to be the Shalees.
Took leave of Capt. C. and party to-day.    gave one of
my shirts and a handkercheif to the two Indians whom
we met on Collin's Creek and detained some [days?]

All arrangements being now compleated for carrying into effect the several scheemes we had planed for execution on our return, we saddled our horses and set out I took leave of my worthy friend and companion Capt. Clark and the party that accompanyed him. I could not avoid feeling much concern on this occasion although I hoped this seperation was only momentary. I proceeded down Clark's river seven miles with my party of nine men and five indians. [7]    here the Indians recommended our passing the river which was rapid and 150 yds. wide.    2 miles above this place I passed the entrance of the East branch of Clark's River which discharges itself by two channels; the water of this river is more terbid than the main stream and is from 90 to 120 yds. wide.    as we had no other means of passing the river we busied ourselves collecting dry timber for the purpose of constructing rafts; timber being scarce we found considerable difficulty in procuring as much as made three small rafts. we arrived at 11 A. M. and had our rafts completed by 3 P. M. when we dined and began to take over our baggage which we effected in the course of 3 hours the rafts being obliged to return several times.    the Indians swam over their horses and drew over their baggage in little basons of deer skins which they constructed in a very few minutes for that purpose. [8]    we drove our horses in after them and they followed to the opposite shore. I remained myself with two men who could scarcely swim untill the last; by this time the raft by passing so frequently had fallen a considerable distance down the river to a rapid and difficult part of it crouded with several small Islands and willow bars which were now overflown; with these men I set out on the raft and was soon hurried down with the current a mile and a half before we made shore, on our approach to the shore the raft sunk and I was drawn off the raft by a bush and swam on shore the two men remained on the raft and fortunately effected a landing at some little distance below. I wet the chronometer by this accedent which I had placed in my fob as I conceived for greater security. I now joined the party and we proceeded with the indians about 3 Ms. to a small Creek and encamped at sunset. I sent out the hunters who soon returned with three very fine deer of which I gave the indians half    These people now informed me that the road which they shewed me at no great distance from our Camp would lead us up the East branch of Clark's river and a river they called Cokahlarishkit or the river of the road to buffaloe [9] and thence to medicine river [10] and the falls of the Missouri where we wished to go.    they alledged that as the road was a well beaten track we could not now miss our way and as they were affraid of meeting with their enimies the Minnetares they could not think of continuing with us any longer, that they wished now to proceed down Clark's river in surch of their friends the Shalees.    they informed us that not far from the dividing ridge between the waters of this and the Missouri rivers [11] the roads forked    they recommended the left hand as the best rout but said they would both lead us to the falls of the Missouri. I directed the hunters to turn out early in the morning and indeavour to kill some more meat for these people whom I was unwilling to leave without giving them a good supply of provision after their having been so obliging as to conduct us through those tremendious mountains.    the musquetoes were so excessively troublesome this evening that we were obliged to kindle large fires for our horses    these insects tortured them in such manner untill they placed themselves in the smoke of the fires that I realy thought they would become frantic.    about an hour after dark the air become so coald that the musquetoes disappeared.

On the Marias and Yellowstone Rivers, July 3–August 12, 1806
(Journals 8 University of Nebraska Press,
used with permission.)

Courses and distances July 3rd 1806.
North—   7 M. down the West side of Clark's river to the place at which we
passed it.    forded travelers rest C. ½ a mile below our camp,
passed a branch on west side at 2½ m. further    also at 1 m.
further passed the entrance of a small creek on the E. side of
Clark's river, and two miles short of the extremity of the
course passed the entrance of the East branch of Clark's river
which discharges itself in two channels. Clark's river 150 yds.
wide the East branch from 90 to 120.    the vally of Clarks
is extensive beatifull level plains and praries.    the tops
of the hills and mountains on either hand are covered with
long leafed pine larch and fir; near the river the bottoms are
timbered with long leafed pine and cottonwood.
N. 75 E.   7 M. through a handsom leve plain to the point at which the
East branch enters the mountains or where the hills set in
near it on either side.    we halted and encamped on a small
creek 5 miles short of the extremity of this course.    a Creek
15 yds. wide falls into the E. branch on it's N. side one mile
short of the mountain. [12]
ms. 14

We saw the fresh track of a horse this evening in the road near our camp which the indians supposed to be a Shale spye. [13]    we killed a prarie hen with the short and pointed tail she had a number of young which could just fly.


we colected our horses and after brackfast    I took My leave of Capt Lewis and the indians and at 8 A M Set out with [blank] men [14]    interpreter Shabono & his wife & child (as an interpreter & interpretess for the Crow Inds [15] and the latter for the Shoshoni) with 50 [16] horses.    we proceeded on through the Vally of Clarks river [17] on the West Side of the [river] nearly South 18 [13?] Miles and halted on the upper Side of a large Creek, haveing Crossed 8 Streams 4 of which were Small.    this vally is from 10 to 15 Ms. in width tolerably leavel and partially timberd with long leaf & pitch pine, [18] Some cotton wood, Birch, [19] and Sweet willow [20] on the borders of the Streams. I observed 2 Species of Clover [21] in this vally    one the white Clover Common in the Western parts of the U. States, the other Species which is much Smaller than either the red or white both it's leaf & blossom    the horses are excessively fond of this Species.    after letting our horses graze a Sufficient length of time to fill themselves, and taking dinner of Venison we again resumed our journey up the Vally which we found more boutifully versified with Small open plains covered with a great variety of Sweet cented plants, flowers & grass. this evening we Crossed 10 Streams 8 of which were large Creeks [22] which comes roleing their Currents with Velocity into the river.    those Creeks take their rise in the mountains to the West [23] which mountains is at this time Covered with Snow for about 1/5 of the way from their tops downwards. Some Snow is also to be Seen on the high points and hollows of the Mountains to the East of us. [24] our Course this evening was nearly South 18 Ms. making a total of 36 miles today.    we encamped on the N. Side of a large Creek [25] where we found tolerable food for our horses. Labeish killed a Deer this evening. We Saw great numbers of deer and 1 bear today. I also observed the burring Squirel of the Species Common about the quawmarsh flatts West of the Rocky Mountains. [26] Musquetors very trobulesom.—    one man Jo: Potts very unwell this evening owing to rideing a hard trotting horse; I give him a pill of Opiom which Soon releve him.


Thursday 3rd 1806 July.    we got up our horses and boath parties Set out about one time. Capts. Lewis & Clark parted here with their parties & proceed. on    I with Capt. Clark up the flat head River. [27]    we kept up the west Side as it is too high at this time to cross.    we are now on our way to the head of the Missourie.    we wrode fast & Crossed a number of large creeks in which is beaver dams &C.    about noon we halted to dine at a branch [28] and bottom of fine feed white clover [29] &C.    proceeded on    the plains partly covd. with pitch pine timber. Saw a number of deer.    in the evening we Camped [30] at a bottom having made 35 miles in 10 hours this day.    one of the hunters killed a deer this evening.


Thursday 3rd.    We had again a fine morning; collected our horses and set out. Captain Lewis and his party [31] went down Clarke's river, and Captain Clarke with the rest of the party went up it. All the natives accompanied Captain Lewis. We proceeded on down Clarke's river about 12 miles, when we came to the forks; [32] and made three rafts to carry ourselves and baggage over. The river here is about 150 yards wide, and very beautiful. We had to make three trips with our rafts, and in the evening got all over safe; when we moved on up the north branch, which is our way over to the falls of the Missouri, and, after travelling a mile and a half encamped [33] for the night. Two hunters went out and killed three deer. The musketoes are worse here than I have known them at any place, since we left the old Maha village on the Missouri. [34] This north branch of the river is called by the natives Isquet-co-qual-la, [35] which means the road to the buffaloe. [36]

1. Here begins Lewis's fragmentary Codex La, which runs through July 15. Lewis may have intended it as preliminary field notes for the period when he was traveling through the mountains to the Great Falls of the Missouri, to be copied into Codex L, but in fact there are no entries in Codex L after July 4 until July 15, when he apparently resumed keeping the notebook journal. He left a set of blank pages in Codex L to fill in with the missing dates (see July 4, 1806), which he never did. The bottoms and edges of the pages in Codex La are quite tattered, making some transcriptions questionable. These are shown in brackets with question marks, as appropriate. The captains split the party into two groups on this day to pursue separate explorations, Lewis on the Marias River and the Missouri and Clark on the Yellowstone, untill they reunited on August 12, 1806. (back)
2. Lewis went down the west side of the Bitterroot and the Clark Fork and crossed the latter, as he notes, some two miles below the junction of the Bitterroot and the Clark Fork, in Missoula County, Montana, northwest of present Missoula. (back)
4. The Clark Fork. The word is a Nez Perce name, qoq̓á·lx 'ískit, "bison trail." (back)
5. On Grant Creek near its junction with the Clark Fork River, northwest of Missoula. (back)
6. The smoke from the fires would keep the mosquitoes from bothering the horses. (back)
8. Lewis is evidently desecribing a method of crossing streams used by Indians of some northwestern tribes in which goods were placed on inflated rafts of deerskin and towed across. Gustavus Sohon's depiction of Flatheads using this method in the 1850s appears in Fahey, following p. 46. (back)
9. The route would go up the Clark Fork and the Blackfoot rivers in Missoula County. (back)
10. Sun River, which meets the Missouri just above the Great Falls at Great Falls, Cascade County, Montana. Atlas maps 54 and 61. (back)
13. A Salish (Flathead) scout. (back)
15. The Crow language is quite similar to that of the Hidatsas, with which Charbonneau and Sacagawea were familiar. (back)
16. Biddle has added a pointing hand symbol and the numerals "50" to Clark's apparent blank space, both in red ink. (back)
17. Clark's party headed south up the Bitterroot River, going from Missoula County to Ravalli County, Montana. The route appears as a dotted line labeled "Capt Clarks rout returning" on Atlas map 68; the starting point at Travelers' Rest is on Atlas map 69. The stream where they halted at noon may have been Kootenai Creek in Ravalli County; if so, they had crossed Mormon and Carlton creeks in Missoula County, and One Horse, Sweeney, and Bass creeks in Ravalli County. (back)
18. Ponderosa pine and lodgepole pine, respectively. (back)
19. Water, or river, birch, Betula occidentalis Hook. Hitchcock et al., 2:77–81. (back)
20. Sweet willow is the name used earlier for large, tree-sized willow species, which on the Missouri River was primarily the peach-leaved willow, Salix amygdaloides Anderss. In this area, however, Pacific willow, S. lasiandra Benth., is the more probable tree. Little (CIH), 189-W; Little (MWH), 173-W. (back)
21. Clark notices the same species that Lewis mentioned on July 2. (back)
22. Including Big, Sweathouse, Bear, and Fred Burr creeks in Ravalli County. Atlas map 68 shows numerous streams in this area on the west side of the Bitterroot River without naming any of them. (back)
23. The Bitterroot Range along the Montana-Idaho boundary. Atlas map 68. (back)
24. The Sapphire Mountains in Missoula and Ravalli counties. Atlas map 68. (back)
25. On Blodgett Creek in Ravalli County, near U.S. Highway 93 and some three miles north of present Hamilton. The site does not appear on Atlas map 68, but was some eight miles north of the party's campsite of September 7, 1805. (back)
26. The Columbian ground squirrel of Weippe Prarie, Clearwater County, Idaho. (back)
27. Clark's party headed south up the Bitterroot River, going from Missoula County to Ravalli County, Montana. (back)
29. Probably longstalk clover, Trifolium longipes Nutt., which Lewis noticed on July 2, 1806. (back)
30. On Blodgett Creek, Ravalli County, near U.S. Highway 93 and about three miles north of Hamilton. (back)
31. Besides Gass, Lewis's party included Drouillard, the Field brothers, Werner, Frazer, Thompson, McNeal, and Goodrich. (back)
32. Lewis's party went down the west side of the Bitterroot River to its junction with the Clark Fork, and crossed the latter some two miles below the forks in Missoula County, Montana. (back)
33. They went up Clark Fork and camped on Grant Creek near its junction with the river, northwest of Missoula in Missoula County. (back)
34. The deserted Omaha village near Homer, Dakota County, Nebraska, visited by some of the party on August 13, 1804. (back)
35. Gass's version of the Nez Perce name for the Clark Fork, which Lewis gives as Cokalarishkit (variously spelled); it is qoq̓á·lx̣ 'ískit, "bison trail." (back)
36. McKeehan's note: "The rout taken by Captain Lewis and his party is the direct rout to the falls of the Missouri, mentioned in Captain Clarke's letter; that taken by Captain Clarke and his party leads to the head waters of the main branch of the Missouri, which they ascended in their outward bound voyage, and which is a considerable distance south of the direct course from the falls to the crossing place of the great chain of Rocky Mountains." McKeehan refers again to Clark's letter to his brother in September 1806, the first published report of the expedition. (back)