Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates August 1805 - Part One
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: August 1, 1805 - August 2, 1805


This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates August 1, 1805 - August 2, 1805 .

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates August 1, 1805 - August 2, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates August 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates August 1, 1805 - August 2, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: August 1, 1805 - August 2, 1805

August 1, 1805
Thursday, August 1. We left our encampment early, and at the distance of a mile, reached a point of rocks on the left side, where the river passes though perpendicular cliffs. Two and three quarter miles further we halted for breakfast under a cedar tree in a bend to the right: here as had been previously arranged, Captain Lewis left us, with sergeant Gass, Charbonneau, and Drewyer, intending to go on in advance in search of the Shoshones. He began his route along the north side of the river over a high range of mountains, as captain Clarke who ascended them on the 26th had observed from them a large valley spreading to the north of west, and concluded that on leaving the mountain the river took that direction; but when he reached that valley, Captain Lewis found it to be the passage of a large creek falling just above the mountain into the Jefferson, which bears to the southwest. On discovering his error, he bent his course towards that river, which he reached about two in the afternoon, very much exhausted with heat and thirst. The mountains were very bare of timber, and the route lay along the steep and narrow hollows of the mountain, exposed to the mid-day sun, without air, or shade, or water.

Just as he arrived there a flock of elk passed, and they killed two of them, on which they made their dinner, and left the rest on the shore for the party in the canoes. After dinner they resumed their march, and encamped on the north side of the river, after making seventeen miles; in crossing the mountains Captain Lewis saw a flock of the black or dark brown pheasant, of which he killed one. This bird is one third larger than the common pheasant of the Atlantic States; its form is much the same. The male has not however the tufts of long black feathers on the side of the neck so conspicuous in the Atlantic pheasant, and both sexes are booted nearly to the toes. The color is a uniform dark brown with a small mixture of yellow or yellowish brown specks on some of the feathers, particularly those of the tail, though the extremities of these are perfectly black for about an inch. The eye is nearly black, and the iris has a small dash of yellowish brown; the feathers of the tail are somewhat longer than those of our pheasant, but the same in number, eighteen, and nearly equal in size, except that those of the middle are somewhat the longest; their flesh is white and agreeably flavored.

He also saw among the scattered pine near the top of the mountain, a blue bird about the size of a robin, but in action and form something like a jay; it is constantly in motion, hopping from spray to spray, and its note which is loud and frequent, is, as far as letters can represent it, char ah! char ah! char ah!

After breakfast we proceeded on: at the distance of two and a quarter miles the river enters a high mountain, which forms rugged cliffs of nearly perpendicular rocks. These are of a black granite at the lower part, and the upper consists of a light colored freestone; they continue from the point of rocks close to the river for nine miles, which we passed before breakfast, during which the current is very strong. At nine and a quarter miles we passed an island, and a rapid fall with a fall of six feet, and reached the entrance of a large creek on the left side. In passing this place the towline of one of the canoes broke just at the shoot of the rapids, swung on the rocks and had nearly upset. To the creek as well as the rapid we gave the name of Frazier, after Robert Frazier one of the party: here the country opens into a beautiful valley from six to eight miles in width: the river then becomes crooked and crowded with islands; its low grounds wide and fertile, but though covered with fine grass from nine inches to two feet high; possesses but a small proportion of timber, and that consists almost entirely of a few narrow-leafed cottonwood distributed along the verge of the river. The soil of the plain is tolerably fertile, and consists of a black or dark yellow loam. It gradually ascends on each side to the bases of two ranges of high mountains which lie parallel to the river; the tops of them are yet in part covered with snow, and while in the valley we are nearly suffocated with heat during the day, and at night the air is so cold that two blankets are not more than sufficient covering. In passing through the hills we observed some large cedar trees, and some juniper also. From Frazier's creek we went three and three quarter miles, and encamped on the left side, having come thirteen miles. Directly opposite our camp is a large creek which we call Field's creek, from Reuben Fields, one of our men. Soon after we halted two of the hunters went out and returned with five deer, which, with one bighorn, we killed in coming through the mountain on which we dined; and the elk left by Captain Lewis. We were again well supplied with fresh meat. In the course of the day we saw a brown bear but were not able to shoot him.

August 2, 1805
Friday, August 2. Captain Lewis, who slept in the valley a few miles above us, resumed his journey early, and after making five miles and finding that the river still bore to the south, determined to cross it in hopes of shortening the route: for the first time therefore he waded across it, although there are probably many places above the falls where it might be attempted with equal safety. The river was about ninety yards wide, the current rapid, and about waist deep: the bottom formed of smooth pebble with a small mixture of coarse gravel. He then continued along the left bank of the river till sunset and encamped, after traveling twenty-four miles. He met no fresh tracks of Indians. Throughout the valley are scattered the bones and excrement of the buffalo of an old date, but there seems no hope of meeting the animals themselves in the mountains: he saw an abundance of deer and antelope, and many tracks of elk and bear. Having killed two deer they feasted sumptuously, with a desert of currants of different colors; two species of red, others yellow, deep purple, and black: to these were added black gooseberries and deep purple serviceberries, somewhat larger than ours, from which it differs also in color, size, and the superior excellence of its flavor. In the low grounds of the river were many beaver-dams formed of willow brush, mud, and gravel, so closely interwoven that they resist the water perfectly: some of them were five feet high and overflowed several acres of land.

In the meantime we proceeded on slowly, the current being so strong as to require the utmost exertions of the men to make any advance even with the aid of the cord and pole, the wind being from the northwest. The river is full of large and small islands, and the plain cut by great numbers of bayous or channels, in which are multitudes of beaver. In the course of the day we passed some villages of barking squirrels: we saw several rattlesnakes in the plain; young ducks, both of the duckon-mallard and red-headed fishing duck species; some geese; also the black woodpecker, and a large herd of elk. The channel, current, banks, and general appearance of the river, are like that of yesterday. At fourteen and three quarter miles we reached a rapid creek or bayou about thirty yards wide, to which we gave the name of Birth creek. After making seventeen miles we halted in a smooth plain in a bend towards the left.

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Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates: August 1, 1805 - August 2, 1805

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