Lewis, July 13, 1805
Saturday July 13th 1805.
This morning being calm and Clear I had the remainder of our baggage embarked in the six small canoes and maned them with two men each. I now bid a cheerfull adue to my camp and passed over to the opposite shore. Baptiest La Page one of the men whom I had reserved to man the canoes being sick I sent Charbono in his stead by water and the sick man and Indian woman accompanyed me by land. from the head of the white bear Islands I passed in a S. W. direction and struck the Missouri at 3 miles and continued up it to Capt. Clark's camp where I arrived about 9 A.M. and found them busily engaged with their canoes Meat &c. in my way I passed a very extraordinary Indian lodge, or at least the fraim of one; it was formed of sixteen large cottonwood poles each about fifty feet long and at their larger end which rested on the ground as thick as a man's body; these were arranged in a circular manner at bottom and equally distributed except the omission of one on the East side which I suppose was the entrance to the lodge; the upper part of the poles are united in a common point above and secured with large wyths of willow brush. in the center of this fabric there was the remains of a large fire; and about the place the marks of about 80 leather lodges. I know not what was the intention or design of such a lodge but certain I am that it was not designed for a dwelling of anyone family. it was 216 feet in circumpherence at the base. it was most probably designed for some great feast, or a council house on some great national concern. I never saw a similar one nor do the nations lower down the Missouri construct such. The canoes and party with Sergt. Ordway poceeded up the river about 5 miles when the wind became so violent that two of the canoes shiped a considerable quanty of water and they were compelled to put too take out the baggage to dry and clense the canoes of the water. about 5 P.M. the wind abated and they came on about 8 miles further and encamped. I saw a number of turtledoves and some pigeons today. of the latter I shot one; they are the same common to the United States, or the wild pigeon as they are called. nothing remarkable in the appearance of the country; the timber entirely confined to the river and the country back on either side as far as the eye can reach entirely destitute of trees or brush. the timber is larger and more abundant in the bottom in which we now are than I have seen it on the Missouri for many hundred miles. the current of the river is still extreemly gentle. The hunters killed three buffaloe today which were in good order. the flesh was brought in dryed the skins wer also streached for covering our baggage. we eat an emensity of meat; it requires 4 deer, an Elk and a deer, or one buffaloe, to supply us plentifully 24 hours. meat now forms our food prinsipally as we reserve our flour parched meal and corn as much as possible for the rocky mountains which we are shortly to enter, and where from the indhan account game is not very abundant. I preserved specemines of several small plants to day which I have never before seen. The Musquetoes and knats are more troublesome here if possible than they were at the White bear Islands. I sent a man to the canoes for my musquetoe bier which I had neglected to bring with me, as it is impossible to sleep a moment without being defended against the attacks of these most tormenting of all insects; the man returned with it a little after dark.