Lewis, May 28, 1805
Tuesday May 28th 1805.
This morning we set forward at an early hour; the weather dark and cloudy, the are smokey, had a few drops of rain; we employed the chord generally to which we also gave the assistance of the pole at the riffles and rocky points; these are as numerous and many of them much worse than those we passed yesterday; arround those points the water drives with great force, and we are obliged in many instaces to steer our vessels through the appertures formed by the points of large sharp rocks which reach a few inches above the surface of the water, here sould our chord give way the bough is instantly drivin outwards by the stream and the vessel thrown with her side on the rocks where she must inevitably overset or perhaps be dashed to peices; our ropes are but slender, all of them except one being made of Elk's skin and much woarn, frequently wet and exposed to the heat of the weather are weak and rotten; they have given way several times in the course of the day but happily at such places that the vessel had room to wheel free of the rocks and therefore escaped injury; with every precaution we can take it is with much labour and infinite risk that we are enabled to get around these points. found a new indian lodge pole today which had been brought down by the stream, it was woarn at one end as if draged by dogs or horses; a football also, and several other articles were found, which have been recently brought down by the courant; these are strong evedences of Indians being on the river above us, and probably at no great distance; the football is such as I have seen among the Minetaries and therefore think it most probable that they are a band of the Minetaries of Fort de Prarie. the river country &c continued much as yesterday untill late in the evening when we arrived at the entrance of a large Creek discharges itself on the Stard. side, is 35 Yd. wide and contains runing water; here the hills recede from the river on both sides, the bottoms extensive particularly on the Stard. side where the hills are comparitively low and open into three large vallies which extend for a considerable distance in a Northwardly direction; here also the river spreads to more than 3 times it's former width and is filled with a number of small and handsome Islands covered with cottonwood some timber also in the bottoms, the land again fertile. These appearances were quite reviving after the drairy country through which we had been passing. Capt. C. walked on shore in the early part of the day and killed a big horned anamal; he saw a great number of them as well as ourselves in the broken country. at 10 A.M. a few drops of rain again fell and were attended with distant thunder which is the first we have heated since we left the Mandans.- This evening we encamped on Stard. opposite to the entrance of a small Creek. I beleive the bighorn have their young at a very early season, say early in March for they appear now to be half grown. One of the party saw a very large bear today but being some distance from the river and no timber to conceal him he did not think proper to fire on him.