July 6, 1806
92.38% Complete
Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

July 6, 1806


Set out a little after sunrise    passed the creek a little above our encampment. [1]

East 14 M. to the point at which the river leaves the extensive plains
and enters the mountains    these plains I called 〈the knob
the prarie of the knobs [2] from 〈the〉 a number of knobs
being irregularly scattered through it.    passed the N. fork 1
of the Cokahlarishkit River
[3] at 7 M.    it is 45 yds. wide deep
and rapid.    had some difficulty in passing it.    passed a large
crooked pond [4] at 4 ms. further.    great Number of the bur-
rowing squirrls in this prarie of the speceis common to the
plains of Columbia. [5]    saw some goats and deer.    the hunters
killed one of the latter.    the trail which we take to be a re-
turning war-party of the Minnetares of Fort de prarie be-
comes much fresher.    they have a large pasel of horses.    saw
some Curloos, [6] bee martains woodpeckeres plover robins,
doves, ravens, hawks and a variety of sparrows common to the
plains also some ducks.    the North fork is terbid as is also the
main branch which is about 50 yds. wide    the other streams
are clear.    these plains continue their course S 75 E. and
are wide where the river leaves them.    up this valley and
creek a road passes to Dearbourn's river and thence to the
N. 60 E   1 ½ up the river.    here we halted and dine and our hunters over-
took us with a deer which they had killed.    river bottoms
narrow and country thickly timbered. Cottonwood and pine
grow intermixed in the river bottoms musquitoes extreemely
troublesome.    we expect to meet with the Minnetares and
are therefore much on our guard both day and night.    the
bois rague [7] in blume.—    saw the common small blue flag [8]
and peppergrass. [9]    the southern wood and two other speceis
of shrub are common in the prarie of knobs.    preserved
specemines of them. [10]    passed several old indian encamp-
ments of 〈stick〉 brush lodges.—
S 80 E   2 m. to two nearly equal forks of the river [11]    here the road
forks    also one leading up each branch    these are the forks
of which I presume the indians made mention.    passed a
creek on N. side 12 yds. wide shallow and clear. [12]
N 75 E.   8 m.    to our encampment of this evening over a steep high
balld toped hill for 2 m. thence through and to the left of a
large low bottom 2 M.    thence three miles through a thick
wood along the hill side bottoms narrow.    thence 1 m. to our
encampment [13] on a large creek some little distance above it's
mouth through a beatifull plain on the border of which we
passed the remains of 32 old lodges.    they appear to be those
of the Minnetares as are all those we have seen today.    killed
〈another〉 five deer and a beaver today. [14]    encamped on the
creek    much sign of beaver in this extensive bottom.
Ms. 25

Some frost this morning    the last night was so cold that I could not Sleep.    we Collected our horses which were much scattered which detained us untill 9 A. M. at which time we Set out and proceeded up the Creek on which we camped 3 Miles [15] and left the road which we came on last fall to our right and assended a ridge with a gentle Slope to the dividing mountain which Seperates the waters from [NB: of] the Middle fork of Clarks river from those [NB: of Wisdom ] [16] and Lewis's river and passed over prosueing the rout of the Oat lash shute band which we met last fall to the head of [NB: Glade Cr:] a branch of Wisdom R and down the Said branch crossing it frequently [17] on each Side of this handsom glades in which I observe great quantities of quawmash just beginning to blume on each side of those glades the timber is small and a great propotion of it Killed by the fires. I observe the appearance of old buffalow roads and some heads on this part of the mountain.    [NB: proving that formerly Buffs. [18] roved there & also that this is the best route, for the Buffs, 〈who〉 and the 〈Buffs.〉 Indians always have the best route & here both were joined]    The Snow appears to lying in considerable masses on the mountain from which we decended on the 4th of Septr. last. [19] I observe great numbers of the whistleing Squirel [20] which burrows their holes Scattered on each Side of the glades through which we passed. Shields killed a hare of the large mountain Species. [21]    the after part of the day we passed on the hill Side N of the Creek for 6 Ms. Creek [NB: down glade Cr ] and entered an extensive open Leavel plain in which the Indian trail Scattered in Such a manner that we Could not pursue it.    the Indian woman wife to Shabono informed me that she had been in this plain frequently and knew it well that the Creek which we decended was a branch of Wisdom river [22] and when we assended the higher part of the plain we would discover a gap in the mountains in our direction to the Canoes, [23] and when we arived at that gap we would See a high point of a mountain covered with snow in our direction the canoes. [24]    we proceeded on 1 mile and Crossd. a large Creek [25] from the right which heads in a Snow Mountain and fish Creek over which there was a road thro' a gap. [26]    we assended a Small rise and beheld an open boutifull Leavel Vally or plain of about 20 [NB: 15] Miles wide and near 60 [NB: 30] long extending N & S. in every direction around which I could see high points of Mountains Covered with Snow. [27] I discovered one at a distance very high covered with Snow which bore S. 80° E. [28] The Squar pointed to the gap through which she said we must pass which was S. 56° E. She said we would pass the river before we reached the gap.    we had not proceeded more than 2 Miles in the last Creek, before a violent Storm of wind accompand. with hard rain from the S W. imediately from off the Snow Mountains this rain was Cold and lasted 1½ hours. I discovd. the rain wind as it approached and halted and formd. a solid column to protect our Selves from the Violency of the gust.    after it was over I proceeded on about 5 Miles to Some Small dry timber on a Small Creek and encampd. [29] made large fires and dryed our Selves.    here I observed Some fresh Indian Signs where they had been gathering quawmash.    [NB: This is the great plain where Shoshonees gather quawmash & cows &c.    our woman had done so.    many beaver]

Courses and distance &c. [30]
on the course which we had decended the branch of Clark's river to } 3 ½
the first Flat heads or Oat lashshoot band the 4th of Septr. 1805—
Thence up a jintle Slope of the dividing mountain which separates } 3—
the waters of the [blank] from those of Lewis's & Clark's rivers leave-
ing the old rout on which we Came out to the right on a course
nearly S. E.—
Thence N. 80° E. through a leavel piney Country on the top of the } 2 ½
mountain to a glade at the head of a branch which runs towards
the Missouri
Thence S. 50° E. down the branch Crossing it frequently & } 7—
through small glades on either Side of the branch the glades at
Some places a mile wide with Several Small Streams falling in on
either Side up which there is Small glades to the narrows N E.
Thence N. 68d E. keeping down the North Side of the Creek on } 4—
the Side of the hill.    the bottoms of the Creek Small open and
much fallen timber to an extensive bottom S. Side
Thence S. 56° E. through an open Leavle plain passing a large } 6—
Creek from the right at one mile to a quawmash flatt through
which a Small Creek runs scattered through the bottom, and
miles 26—0

Sunday 6th July 1806.    a fair morning.    we were detained a while hunting up our horses.    then proceed. on as usal up the branch to the mount. and crossed over to the left in an Indian trail.    at about 5 or 6 miles we got over on a branch running South [31]    Shields killed a hair [32] of a different discription of any we have seen before.    our Intrepters wife tells us that we She knows the country & that this branch is the head waters of jeffersons river &C.    we proceeded on down the branch.    large glades covred with Commass & fine grass    about noon we halted at one of the glades to dine and proceeded on down the creek    late in the afternooon we came to a large extensive plain    contined our course about South in this plain    got 5 or 6 miles out in the open plain    came up a hard Thunder Shower of hail rain and hard wind.    we halted a Short time in the midst of it    then proceed. on at dark we Campd. [33] at a branch    Saw Indn. signs    abundance of Commass on this branch—


Sunday 6th.    We had a fine clear morning with some white frost, and renewed our journey early; saw a great many serviceberries, not yet ripe, and some flax which grows on these plains. Having gone about seven miles we passed a north branch of the Co-qual-la-isquet, [34] which is 40 yards wide and was mid-rib deep to our horses, with a rapid current. About seven miles up the valley we passed a beautiful small lake; [35] where the river and road leave the valley, and bears towards the northeast between two hills not very large. We kept up the river, through a small brushy valley about the eighth of a mile wide, for a mile and half, and then halted for dinner. Here our two hunters came to us, and had killed a deer. We kept two men out every day hunting. In this small valley there is a considerable quantity of cotton wood timber; and the musketoes are very troublesome. At 1 o'clock we proceeded on, passed a number of handsome streams which fall into the river, and a number of old Indian lodges. As we advance the valley becomes more extensive, and is all plain. At night we encamped [36] on a beautiful creek, having travelled twenty five miles. Our hunters killed four deer to day.

4. There are various lakes in this part of Powell County, east of the North Fork of the Blackfoot River. The largest are Kleinschmidt Lake and Browns Lake. One of these, most likely the former, is probably represented by a crescent shape marked "Pond" in the appropriate location on fig. 4. It appears that Biddle has substituted some of the words in this sentence, which were lost in tears at the bottom of the page. The words are in dark rather than his usual red ink. (back)
5. Probably the Columbian ground squirrel. (back)
6. Longed-billed curlew, Numenius americanus [AOU, 264]. (back)
7. Meaning the French bois rouge, "red wood," referring to the red, woody stems of red osier dogwood, Cornus sericea L. (or C. stolonifera Michx.). Hitchcock et al., 3:588–90. (back)
8. Western blue flag, Iris missouriensis Nutt., a new species. Ibid., 1:817–18; Cutright (LCPN), 311, 326, 410. (back)
9. Peppergrasses are small, generally weedy, herbs of the mustard genus Lepidium. Lewis may have seen one of several native species such as tall peppergrass, L. virginicum L. It is equally likely, however, that he was using this common name for one of the many other mustards of the region, many of which are very similar in appearance. Hitchcock et al., 2:519–21. (back)
10. Big, or common, sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata Nutt. The other two species of shrubs collected on this day are Antelope bush, bitter brush, Purshia tridentata (Pursh) DC., and silverberry, Elaeagnus commutata Bernh., both new to science. Ibid., 5:70, 3:162, 460; Cutright (LCPN), 326, 408, 416. (back)
11. Perhaps the junction of Poorman Creek from the south and Blackfoot River, in Lewis and Clark County, Montana. At this fork, on fig. 4, Clark has made a dotted line representing the Indian trail going southeasterly, while Lewis's trail goes northeast. It is also possible that Lewis has misplaced this course and that it should go as the second course of July 7, since Lewis's camp was more than one mile below the entrance of Poorman Creek. The two forks would then be Landers Fork and Blackfoot River. These two streams more nearly fit the captain's description here. (back)
12. Probably Arrastra Creek in Powell County, flowing into Blackfoot River. (back)
13. On Beaver Creek, in Lewis and Clark County, some two miles west of present Lincoln (see fig. 4). (back)
14. Beaver, Castor canadensis. (back)
15. Camp Creek, in Ravalli County, Montana, roughly parallel to U.S Highway 93, unnamed on Atlas map 68. (back)
16. Biddle has made his addition to Clark's apparent blank space. (back)
17. Clark's party evidently crossed the Continental Divide from Ravalli County to Beaverhead County, Montana, by way of Gibbons Pass, then went down Trail Creek (Clark's Glade Creek) toward the valley of the Big Hole River (his Wisdom River). His route appears as a dotted line on Atlas map 68. Some of his courses appear on the route on Atlas map 103. (back)
18. These were probably mountain bison (Bison bison athabascae), rather than plains bison (Bison bison bison) who had wanddered into the mountains. The mountain Indians, since acquiring the horse and thus increasing their hunting efficiency, had greatly reduced the numbers of this animal by Lewis and Clark's time. See also Clark's entry for July 14, 1806, Christman. (back)
19. The general area of Saddle Mountain in Ravalli County, from which the party descended on the date Clark mentions toward Ross Hole. Atlas maps 68, 103. (back)
20. Again, the Columbian ground squirrel. (back)
21. Perhaps Nuttall's cottontail, Sylvilagus nuttallii; if so, a new species. Burroughs, 123. (back)
22. The Big Hole River. Atlas maps 65, 66, 67. On Atlas map 103 it is also "E. fork of Clarks R," certainly an error. (back)
23. Big Hole Pass, at the upper end of the Big Hole Valley in Beaverhead County, through which present Montana Highway 278 passes. It was on the way to Camp Fortunate, at which place the canoes had been cached in August 1805. Atlas maps 67, 103. (back)
24. Perhaps the Tendoy Mountains in Beaverhead County, south of Camp Fortunate; they were probably not visible from this point but came into view in a few miles. (back)
25. Ruby Creek in Beaverhead County, which runs northeasterly to join Trail Creek and form the North Fork Big Hole River. A few miles to the east is the Big Hole Battlefield National Monument, site of an engagement between the Nez Perces and the U.S. Army on August 9–10, 1877. Both the Indians and the soldiers who attacked them reached the site by Clark's route through Gibbons Pass, named for the army commander in the battle. Brown (FNP), 250. (back)
26. Ruby Creek heads in the Beaverhead Mountains of the Bitterroot Range near the heads of some of the tributaries of the North Fork Salmon River (Lewis and Clark's Fish Creek). The gap is another Big Hole Pass, east of Gibbonsville, Lemhi County, Idaho, in Beaverhead County, Montana. Atlas maps 67, 103. (back)
27. The valley of the Big Hole River, in Beaverhead County; in its east central part lies the present town of Wisdom, still bearing Lewis and Clark's name for the river. Atlas maps 67, 103. (back)
28. There are a number of high peaks in the Pioneer Mountains east of Clark's position, some of them over 10,000 feet. He may be using the word "mountain" as he often did to mean a whole range, or he may be seeing Tweedy Mountain in Beaverhead National Forest. (back)
29. Apparently on Moose Creek, in the western part of the big Hole Valley in Beaverhead County, some seven miles southwest of Wisdom. The spot appears on Atlas map 103. (back)
30. Being in new territory, Clark has resumed keeping tabled courses and distances. (back)
31. The group followed Camp Creek, roughly paralleling U.S. Highway 93, and crossed the Continental Divide from Ravalli County to Beaverhead County, Montana, by way of Gibbons Pass. Here they picked up Trail Creek and began their descent to the Big Hole Valley. (back)
32. Perhaps Nuttall's cottontail, Sylvilagus nuttallii. (back)
33. The party followed Trail Creek to near its junction with North Fork Big Hole River then moved southeasterly and apparently camped on Moose Creek, in the western part of the Big Hole Valley, Beaverhead County, some seven miles southwest of Wisdom. (back)
34. North Fork Blackfoot River, meeting Blackfoot River in Powell County, Montana, south of Ovando. Note that Gass's version of the Nez Perce name used on July 3 is now more like Lewis's. (back)
35. Of the several lakes in Powell County east of the North Fork Blackfoot River, it was perhaps Kleinschmidt Lake. (back)
36. For the problems surrounding the location of this campsite see Lewis's entry of this date. It was in Lewis and Clark County, Montana, perhaps at the junction of Poorman Creek and Blackfoot River, or the junction of Landers Fork and Blackfoot River. (back)