The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, August 3, 1805
Lewis, August 3, 1805
Saturday August 3rd 1805.
Set out early this morning, or before sunrise; still continued our march through the level valley on the lard. side of the river. the valley much as yesterday only reather wider; I think it 12 Miles wide, tho the plains near the mountains rise higher and are more broken with some scattering pine near the mountain. in the leaveler parts of the plain and river bottoms which are very extensive there is no timber except a scant proportion of cottonwood neat the river. the under wood consists of the narrow leafed or small willow, the small honeysuckle, rosebushes, currant, serviceberry, and goosbery bushes; also a small species of berth in but small quantities the leaf which is oval finely, indented, small and of a deep green colour. the stem is simple ascending and branching, and seldom rises higher than 10 or 12 feet. the Mountains continue high on either side of the valley, and are but scantily supplyed with timber; small pine apears to be the prevalent growth; it is of the pith kind, with a short leaf. at 11 A.M. Drewyer killed a doe and we halted about 2 hours and breakfasted, and then continued our rout untill night without halting, when we arrived at the river in a level bottom which appeared to spread to greater extent than usual. from the appearance of the timber I supposed that the river forked above us and resolved to examine this part of the river minutely tomorrow. this evening we passed through a high plain for about 8 miles covered with prickley pears and bearded grass, tho we found this even better walking than the wide bottoms of the river, which we passed in the evening; these altho apparently level, from some cause which I know not, were formed into meriads of deep holes as if rooted up by hogs these the grass covered so thick that it was impossible to walk without the risk of falling down at every step. some parts of these bottoms also possess excellent terf or peat, I beleive of many feet deep. the mineral salts also frequently mentioned on the Missouri we saw this evening in these uneven bottoms. we saw many deer, Antelopes ducks, gees, some beaver and great appearance of their work. also a small bird and the Curlooe as usual. we encamped on the river bank on Lard. side having traveled by estimate 23 Miles. The fish of this part of the river are trout and a species of scale fish of a white colour and a remarkable small long mouth which one of our men inform us are the same with the species called in the Eastern states bottlenose. the snowey region of the mountains and for some distance below has no timber or herbage of any kind; the timber is confined to the lower and middle regions. Capt. Clark set out this morning as usual. he walked on shore a small distance this morning and killed a deer. in the course of his walk he saw a track which he supposed to be that of an Indian from the circumstance of the large toes turning inward. he pursued the track and found that the person had ascended a point of a hill from which his camp of the last evening was visible; this circumstance also confirmed the beleif of it's being an Indian who had thus discovered them and ran off. they found the river as usual much crouded with islands, the currant more rapid & much more shallow than usual. in many places they were obliged to double man the canoes and drag them over the stone and gravel. this morning they passed a small creek on Stard. at the entrance of which Reubin Fields killed a large Panther. we called the creek after that animal Panther Creek. they also passed a handsome little stream on Lard. which is form of several large springs which rise in the bottoms and along the base of the mountains with some little rivulets from the melting snows. the beaver have formed many large dams on this stream. they saw some deer Antelopes and the common birds of the country. in the evening they passed a very bad rappid where the bed of the river is formed entrely of solid rock and encamped on an island just above. the Panther which Fields killed measured seven and 1/2 feet from the nose to the extremity of the tail. it is precisely the same animal common to the western part of our country. the men wer compelled to be a great proportion of their time in the water today; they have had a severe days labour and are much fortiegued.