Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates August 1805 - Part Two
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Journals of Lewis and Clark
Dates: August 3, 1805 - August 4, 1805


This article provides interesting facts about their historic journey taken from the Journals of Lewis and Clark dates August 3, 1805 - August 4, 1805 .

Lewis and cClark Expedition: Jounal Dates August 3, 1805 - August 4, 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates August 1805

The Journals of Lewis and Clark: Dates August 3, 1805 - August 4, 1805
The following excerpts are taken from entries of the Journals of Lewis and Clark. Dates: August 3, 1805 - August 4, 1805

August 3, 1805
Saturday, 3. Captain Lewis continued his course along the river through the valley, which continued much as it was yesterday, except that it now widens to nearly twelve miles; the plains too are more broken and have some scattered pine near the mountains, where they rise higher than hitherto. In the level parts of the plains and the river bottoms there is no timber except small cottonwood near the margin, and an undergrowth of narrow-leafed willow, small honeysuckle, rosebushes, currants, serviceberry, and gooseberry, and a little of a small species of birch; it is a finely indented oval of a small size and a deep green color; the stem is simple, ascending and branching, and seldom rises higher than ten or twelve feet. The mountains continue high on each side of the valley, but their only covering is a small species of pitch-pine with a short leaf, growing on the lower and middle regions, while for some distance below the snowy tops there is neither timber nor herbage of any kind.

About eleven o'clock Drewyer killed a doe on which they breakfasted, and after resting two hours continued till night, when they reached the river near a low ground more extensive than usual. From the appearance of the timber Captain Lewis supposed that the river forked above him, and therefore encamped with an intention of examining it more particularly in the morning. He had now made twenty-three miles, the latter part of which were for eight miles through a high plain covered with prickly pears and bearded grass, which rendered the walking very inconvenient: but even this was better than the river bottoms we crossed in the evening, which, though apparently level, were formed into deep holes as if they had been rooted up by hogs, and the holes were so covered with thick grass that they were in danger of falling at every step. Some parts of these low grounds, however, contain turf or peat of an excellent quality for many feet deep apparently, as well as the mineral salts which we have already mentioned on the Missouri. They saw many deer, antelopes, ducks, geese, some beaver, and great traces of their work, and the small birds and curlews as usual. The only fish which they observed in this part of the river is the trout and a species of white fish, with a remarkably long small mouth, which one of our men recognize as the fish called in the eastern states the bottlenose.

On setting out with the canoes we found the river as usual much crowded with islands, the current more rapid as well as shallower, so that in many places they were obliged to man the canoes double, and drag them over the stone and gravel of the channel. Soon after we set off captain Clarke who was walking on shore observed a fresh track which he knew to be that of an Indian from the large toes being turned inwards, and on following it found that it led to the point of a hill from which our camp of last night could be seen. This circumstance strengthened the belief that some Indian had strayed thither, and had run off alarmed at the sight of us. At two and a quarter miles, is a small creek in a bend towards the right, which runs down from the mountains at a little distance; we called it Panther creek from an animal of that kind killed by Reuben Fields at its mouth. It is precisely the same animal common to the western parts of the United States, and measured seven and a half feet from the nose to the extremity of the tail. Six and three quarter miles beyond this stream is another on the left formed by the drains which convey the melted snows from a mountain near it, under which the river passes, leaving the low grounds on the right side, and making several bends in its course. On this stream are many large beaver dams. One mile above it is a small run on the left, and after leaving which begins a very bad rapid, where the bed of the river is formed of solid rock: this we passed in the course of a mile, and encamped on the lower point of an island. Our journey had been only thirteen miles, but the badness of the river made it very laborious, as the men were compelled to be in the water during the greater part of the day. We saw only deer, antelopes, and the common birds of the country.

August 4, 1805
This morning Captain Lewis proceeded early, and after going southeast by east for four miles, reaching a bold running creek, twelve yards wide, with clear cold water, furnished apparently by four drains from the snowy mountains on the left; after passing this creek he changed his direction to southeast, and leaving the valley in which he had traveled for the last two days, entered another which bore east. At the distance of three miles on this course he passed a handsome little river, about thirty yards wide, which winds through the valley: the current is not rapid nor the water very clear, but it affords a considerable quantity of water, and appears as if it might be navigable for some miles. The banks are low, and the bed formed of stone and gravel. He now changed his route to southwest, and passing a high plain which separates the valleys, returned to the more southern or that which he had left: in passing this he found a river about forty-five yards wide, the water of which has a whitish blue tinge, with a gentle current, and a gravelly bottom. This he waded and found it waist deep.

He then continued down it, till at the distance of three quarters of a mile he saw the entrance of the small river he had just passed; as he went on two miles lower down, he found the mouth of the creek he had seen in the morning. Proceeding further on three miles, he arrived at the junction of this river, with another which rises from the southwest, runs through the south valley about twelve miles before it forms its junction, where it is fifty yards wide: we now found that our camp of last night was about a mile and a half above the entrance of this large river, on the right side. This is a bold, rapid, clear stream, but its bed is so much obstructed by gravelly bars, and subdivided by islands, that the navigation must be very insecure, if not impracticable. The other or middle stream, has about two thirds its quantity of water, and is more gentle, and may be safely navigated. As far as it could be observed, its course was about southwest, but the opening of the valley induced him to believe that farther above it turned more towards the west. Its water is more turbid and warmer than that of the other branch, whence it may be presumed to have its sources at a greater distance in the mountains, and to pass through a more open country. Under this impression he left a note recommending to captain Clarke the middle fork, and then continued his course along the right side of the other, or more rapid branch.

After traveling twenty-three miles he near a place where the river leaves the valley and enters the mountain. Here he encamped for the night. The country he passed is like that of the rest of this valley, though there is more timber in this part on the rapid fork than there has been on the river in the same extent since we entered it; for on some parts of the valley the Indians seem to have destroyed a great proportion of the little timber there was, by setting fire to the bottoms. He saw some antelopes, deer, cranes, geese and ducks of the two species common to this country, though the summer duck has ceased to appear, nor does it seem to be an inhabitant of this part of the river.

We proceeded soon after sunrise: the first five miles we passed four bends on the left, and several bayous on both sides. At eight o'clock we stopped to breakfast, and found the note Captain Lewis had written on the 2d instant. During the next four miles, we passed three small bends of the river to the right, two small islands, and two bayous on the same side. Here we reached a bluff on the left; our next course was six miles to our encampment. In this course we met six circular bends on the right, and several small bayous, and halted for the night in a low ground of cottonwood on the right. Our days journey, though only fifteen miles in length, was very fatiguing. The river is still rapid and the water though clear is very much obstructed by shoals or ripples at every two or three hundred yards: at all these places we are obliged to drag the canoes over the stones as there is not a sufficient depth of water to float them, and in the other parts the current obliges us to have recourse to the cord. But as the brushwood on the banks will not permit us to walk on shore, we are under the necessity of wading through the river as we drag the boats. This soon makes our feet tender, and sometimes occasions severe falls over the slippery stones; and the men by being constantly wet are becoming more feeble. In the course of the day the hunters killed two deer, some geese and ducks, and the party saw antelopes, cranes, beaver and otter.

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Journals of Lewis and Clark - Dates: August 3, 1805 - August 4, 1805

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