Lewis, April 10, 1805
Wednesday April 10th 1805.
Set out at an early hour this morning at the distance of three miles passed some Minetares who had assembled themselves on the Lard shore to take a view of our little fleet. Capt Clark walked on shore today, for several hours, when he returned he informed me that he had seen a gang of Antelopes in the plains but was unable to get a shoot at them he also saw some geese and swan. the geese are now feeding in considerable numbers on the young grass which has sprung up in the bottom prariesthe Musquetoes were very troublesome to us today. The country on both sides of the missouri from the tops of the river hills, is one continued level fertile plain as far as the eye can reach, in which there is not even a solitary tree or shrub to be seen except such as from their moist situations or the steep declivities of hills are sheltered from the ravages of the fire. at the distance of 12 miles from our encampment of last night we arrived at the lower point of a bluff on the Lard side; about 11/2 miles down this bluff from this point, the bluff is now on fire and throws out considerable quantities of smoke which has a strong sulphurious smell. the appearance of the coal in the blufs continues as yesterday. at 1 P.M. we overtook three french hunters who had set out a few days before us with a view of traping beaver; they had taken 12 since they left Fort Mandan. these people avail themselves of the protection which our numbers will enable us to give them against the Assinniboins who sometimes hunt on the Missouri and intend ascending with us as far as the mouth of the Yellow stone river and continue there hunt up that river. this is the first essay of a beaver hunter of any discription on this river. the beaver these people have already taken is by far the best I have ever seen. the river bottoms we have passed to-day are wider and possess more timber than usualthe courant of the Missouri is but moderate, at least not greater than that of the Ohio in high tide; it's banks are falling in but little; the navigation is therefore comparitively with it's lower portion easy and safe.- we encamped this evening on a willow point, Stard. side just above a remarkable bend in the river to the S. W. which we called the little bason.-