July 7, 1806
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

July 7, 1806


Set out at 7 A. M.—

N. 75 E.   6 M.    with the road through a level beatifull plain on the North
side of the river much timber in the bottoms hills also tim-
bered with pitch pine.    no longleafed pine since we left the
praries of the knobs.    crossed a branch of the creek 8 yds.
wid. on which we encamped at ¼ m. [1]    also passed a creek
15 yd. wide at ¼ further. [2]    〈crossed the main creek〉
North   6 ms.—    passed the main creek [3] at a mile ½ and kept up it on
the wright hand side through handsom plain bottoms to the
foot of a ridge which we ascended the main stream boar N W
& W. as far as I could see it    a wright hand fork falls into this
creek at 1 M. above the commencement of this course. [4]
N. 15 E.   8 m. over 〈a〉 two ridges and again striking the wrighthand
fork [5] at 4 ms. then continued up it on the left hand side much
appearance of beaver many dams.    bottoms not wide and
covered with low willow and grass.    halted to dine at a large
beaver dam    the hunters killed 3 deer and a fawn.    deer are
remarkably plenty and in good order. Reubin Fields wounded
a moos deer [6] this morning near our camp.    my dog much worried.
N. 10 E.   3 m. up the same creek on the east side through a handsome
narrow plain.
N 45 E.   2 m. passing the dividing ridge betwen the waters of the Co-
and Missouri rivers at ¼ of a mile. [7]    from this gap
which is low and an easy ascent on the W. side the fort moun-
[8] bears North Eaast, and appears to be distant about 20
Miles.    the road for one and ¾ miles desends the hill and
continues down a branch.
N. 20 W.   7 ms. over several hills and hollows along the foot of the moun-
tain hights passing five small rivulets running to the wright.
saw some sighn of buffaloe early this morning in the valley
where we encamped last evening from which it appears that
the buffaloe do sometimes penetrate these mountains a few
miles.    we saw no buffaloe this evening.    but much old ap-
pearance of dung, tracks &c. encamped on a small run under
the foot of the mountain. [9]    after we encamped Drewyer
killed two beaver and shot third which bit his knee very badly
and escaped

This morning our horses were very much Scattered; I Sent out men in every direction in Serch of them.    they brought all except 9 by 6 oClock and informed me that they could not find those 9: I then ordered 6 men to take horses and go different directions and at a greater distance    those men all returned by 10 A. M. and informed me that they had circles in every direction to 6 or 8 miles around Camp and could not See any Signs of them, that they had reasons to believe that the indians had Stolen them in the course of the night, and founded their reasons on the quallity of the horses, all being the most valuable horses we had, and Several of them so attached to horses of inferior quallity which we have they could not be Seperated from each other when driveing with their loads on in the course of the day. I thought it probable that they might be stolen by Some Skulking Shoshones, but as it was yet possible that they may have taken our back rout or rambled to a greater distance I deturmined to leave a Small party and hunt for them to day, and proceed on with the main party and all the baggage to the Canoes, raise them out of the water and expose them to the sun to dry by the time this party Should overtake me. I left Sergt. Ordway, Shannon, Gibson Collins & Labeech with directions to hunt this day for the horses without they Should discover that the Inds. had taken them into the Mountains, and prosue our trail &c.    at ½ past 10 A M I set out and proceeded on through an open rich vally crossing four large Creeks [10] with extensive low and mirey bottoms, and a Small river [11] keeping the Course I had set out on S. 56° E    after crossing the river I kept up on the N E. side, Sometimes following an old road which frequently disappeared, at the distance of 16 miles we arrived at a Boiling Spring [12] Situated about 100 paces from a large Easterly fork of the Small river in a leavel open vally plain and nearly opposit & E. of the 3 forks of this little river which heads in the Snowey Mountains to the S E. & S W of the Springs.    this Spring [NB: 15 yds in circumc, boils up all over bottom which is Stoney] contains a very considerable quantity of water, and actually blubbers with heat for 20 paces below where it rises.    it has every appearance of boiling, too hot for a man to endure his hand in it 3 seconds. I directt Sergt. Pryor and John Shields to put each a peice of meat in the water of different Sises.    the one about the Size of my 3 fingers Cooked dun in 25 minits the other much thicker was 32 minits before it became Sufficiently dun.    this water boils up through some loose hard gritty Stone.    a little sulferish [13]    after takeing dininer and letting our horses graize 1 hour and a half we proceeded on Crossed this easterly branch and up on the N. Side of this middle fork 9 miles crossed it near the head of an Easterly branch and passed through a gap of a mountain on the Easterly Side of which we encamped near some butifull [NB: Springs] which fall into Willards Creek. [14] I directed that the rambling horses should be hobbled, and the Sentinal to examine the horses after the moon rose.    〈much〉 Emence beaver sign.

Course distance &c. July 7th
S. 56° E to the boiling hot Spring ½ mile Easterly of the } 16    0
three upper forks of wisdom river near a large
Creek from the East    passed 4 large Creek
from the Snow mountains on my right and a
small river at 12 miles bottoms extensive & wet
S 45° E on the 〈E〉 S E. Side of the middle fork   5    0
N. 50° E to the Gap of a mountain crossing a Small }   4    0
branch at 2 Miles from the left and Encamped
miles 25—

This extensive vally Surround with covered with snow is extreemly fertile covered esculent plants &c and the Creeks which pass through it contains emence numbers of beaver &c. I now take my leave of this butifull extensive vally which I call the hot spring Vally, and behold one less extensive and much more rugid on Willards Creek for near 12 miles in length.    remarkable Cold night


Monday 7th July 1806.    we went out in the plain eairly to look up our horses.    found all except nine    hunted in all directions for them    could not find them. So Capt. Clark directed me to Stay with 4 men to hunt this day for them.    about 9 A m Capt. Clark and the rest of the party set out to go to canoe deposite. [15]    I and the 4 men [16] went out in different directions to look for the 9 horses    I and Labuiche went up a valley which led in the mountn. towards the ShoShones nation.    got on the track of the horses and followed it on untill towards evening and found them still going on an Indn. road.    we turned them back to the last nights Camp.    the other 3 men had got back their also.    we hobled the horses and Camped here. [17]    had several Showers of rain & Thunder in the course of this afternoon—


Monday 7th.    We had a wet night, and a cloudy morning. Continued our journey early along the valley, which is very beautiful, with a great deal of clover in its plains. Having gone about five miles, we crossed the main branch of the river, [18] which comes in from the north; and up which the road goes about five miles further and then takes over a hill towards the east. [19] On the top of this hill there are two beautiful ponds, [20] of about three acres in size. We passed over the ridge and struck a small stream, [21] which we at first thought was of the head waters of the Missouri, but found it was not. Here we halted for dinner, and after staying three hours, we proceeded on four miles up the branch, when we came to the dividing ridge between the waters of the Missouri and Columbia; passed over the ridge and came to a fine spring the waters of which run into the Missouri. [22] We then kept down this stream or branch about a mile; then turned a north course along the side of the dividing ridge for eight miles, passing a number of small streams or branches, and at 9 o'clock at night encamped [23] after coming thirty two miles.

1. Probably Keep Cool Creek, in Lewis and Clark County, Montana (nameless on fig. 4). (back)
2. Probably Spring Creek, in Lewis and Clark County, not shown on any expedition map. (back)
3. Landers Fork Blackfoot River, in Lewis and Clark County. Coues wrote "Lander's Fork," a name bestowed in the 1850s, on the stream in fig. 4. (back)
4. By "wrighthand fork" Lewis may mean Blackfoot River, the main stream. (back)
5. The right hand fork is now Alice Creek, Lewis and Clark County. It is shown on fig. 4 as joining Landers Fork to become the Blackfoot River. (back)
6. Moose, Alces alces, not a new species. (back)
7. Lewis crossed Hard Scrabble Creek near its mouth with Alice Creek and then went up Alice Creek, which he also crossed. He and his party then went over the Continental Divide through Lewis and Clark Pass, somewhat misnamed since Clark never saw it. The pass is about seventeen miles northeast of present Lincoln; it is shown as "Gap" on fig. 4. In crossing it the party returned to the territory of the United States. This was the route that the Hidatsas had told them of at Fort Mandan, which they had missed on the westward journey. However, had they not followed the Missouri and its forks to their headwaters, they would have missed the Shoshones and would have been deprived of the services of Old Toby and the use of the Indian horses, which would have greatly decreased their chances of making it across the Rockies. Appleman (LC), 317–18. (back)
9. About three miles east of Table Mountain, in Lewis and Clark County (see fig. 4). (back)
10. Clark headed southeasterly across the Big Hole Valley, crossing Rock, Lake, Big Swamp, and Little Lake creeks, in Beaverhead County, Montana, all affluents from the west of the Big Hole River. Although prominent, none is named on Atlas maps 67, 103, or 104. (back)
11. The Big Hole River in Beaverhead County, the captains' "Wisdom River." The dotted line labeled "Capt Clarks rout returning in 1806" marks his route on Atlas map 67. See also Atlas maps 103, 104. (back)
12. Just east of present Jackson on Warm Spring Creek in Beaverhead County. It is labeled "boiling Hot Spring which Cooked meat in 25 minits" on Atlas map 67; see also Atlas maps 103, 104. (back)
13. The water of Jackson Hot Spring is not especially mineralized, containing about 660 parts per million (ppm) dissolved solids. Of this total, only about 0.6 ppm are hydrogen sulfide. This gas, however, usually can be detected at concentrations as low as 0.3 ppm. The temperature of the water was reported to be 136° F in 1974, and the discharge at that time was 260 gallons per minute. The spring emerges from Tertiary sandstone and sandy limestone, but has a deep source. (back)
14. Clark crossed Warm Spring Creek and went southeasterly up Governor Creek and Bull Creek, roughly parallel to Montana Highway 278 in Beaverhead County. Just after passing Bull Creek he went east through Big Hole Pass, still near the path of the modern highway, and once over the pass, camped near the head of Divide Creek, the upper portion of Lewis and Clark's "Willards Creek." The route, but not the campsite, is marked on Atlas map 67. On Atlas map 103 the camp appears to be incorrectly labeled "Campd. 8 July"; it is correct on Atlas map 104, the best map of the three. (back)
15. Clark's group continued their southeasterly route to Jackson, Beaverhead County, Montana, then turned more easterly and passed through the Big Hole Pass and camped near there. (back)
16. Shannon, Gibson, Collins, and Labiche, according to Clark. (back)
17. Back at the camp on Moose Creek, apparently. (back)
18. Landers Fork Blackfoot River, Lewis and Clark County, Montana, which they crossed and went up on the east side. (back)
19. The trail went northeasterly toward Silver King Mountain and Lewis and Clark Pass. (back)
20. One of them may be present Krohn Lake, Lewis and Clark County. (back)
21. Alice Creek, Lewis and Clark County. It was not one of the "headwaters" of the Missouri because they had not yet crossed the Continental Divide; Alice Creek flows into Landers Fork. Lewis considered it the right branch of Blackfoot River. (back)
22. Lewis's party crossed the Continental Divide at Lewis and Clark Pass, Lewis and Clark County, about seventeen miles northeast of Lincoln. See Lewis's entry. The stream that runs to the Missouri is probably Green Creek. (back)
23. About three miles east of Table Mountain, Lewis and Clark County. (back)