The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, August 4, 1805

Lewis, August 4, 1805

Sunday August 4th 1805.

Set out very early this morning and Steered S. E. by E. 4 M. when we pased a bold runing Creek 12 yds. wide, the water of which was clear and very cold. it appears to be formed by four dranes from the snowey mountains to our left. after passing this creek we changed our direction to S. E. passing obliquely across a valley which boar E leaving the valley we had pursued for the two peceeding days. at the distance of 3 Ms. we passed a handsome little river which meanders through this valley; it is about 30 yds wide, affords a considerable quantity of water and appears as if it might be navigated some miles. the currant is not rapid nor the water very clear; the banks are low and the bed formed of stone and gravel. I now changed my rout to S. W. passed a high plain which lies betwen the valleies and returned to the South valley, in passing which I fell in with a river about 45 yds. wide gravley bottom gentle currant waist deep and water of a whitish blue tinge. this stream we waded and continued our rout down it to the entrance of the river just mentioned about 3/4 of a mile. still continuing down we passed the entrance of the creek about 2 miles lower down; and at the distance of three miles further arrived at it's junction with a river 50 yds. wide which Comes from the S. W. and falling into the South valley runs parallel with the middle fork about 12 miles before it forms a junction. I now found that our encampment of the last evening was about 11/2 miles above the entrance of this large river on Stard. this is a bold rappid and Clear Stream, it's bed so much broken and obstructed by gravley bars and it's waters so much subdivided by Islands that it appears to me utterly impossible to navigate it with safety. the middle fork is gentle and possesses about 2/3rds as much water as this stream. it's course so far as I can observe it is about S. W., and from the opening of the valley I beleive it still bears more to the West above it may be safely navigated. it's water is much warmer then the rapid fork and it's water more turbid; from which I conjecture that it has it's sources at a greater distance in the mountains and passes through an opener country than the other. under this impression I wrote a note to Capt Clark, recommending his taking the middle fork povided he should arrive at this place before my return, which I expect will be the day after tomorrow. this note I left on a pole at the forks of the river, and having refreshed ourselves and eat heartily of some venison which we killed this morning we continued our rout up the rapid fork on the Stard side, resolving to pursue this stream untill noon tomorrow and then pass over to the middle fork and come down it to their junction or untill I meet Capt Clark. I have seen no recent Indian sign in the course of my rout as yet. Charbono complains much of his leg, and is the cause of considerable detention to us. we encamped on the river bank near the place at which it leaves the valley and enters the mountain having traveled about 23 miles. we saw some Antelopes deer Grains, gees, and ducks of the two species common to this country. the summer duck has ceased to appear, nor do I beleive it is an inhabitant of this part of the country. the timber &c is as heretofore tho there is more in this valley on the rapid fork than we have seen in the same extent on the river since we entered this valley. the Indians appear on some parts of the river to have distroyed a great proportion of the little timber which there is by seting fire to the bottoms. This morning Capt. Clark set out at sunrise, and sent two hunters ahead to kill some meat. at 8 A.M. he arrived at my camp of the 2ed inst. where he breakfasted; here he found a note which I had left for him at that place informing him of the occurences of my rout &c. the river continued to be crouded with Islands, rapid and shoaly. these shoals or riffles succeeded each other every 3 or four hundred yards; at those places they are obliged to drag the canoes over the stone there not being water enough to float them, and betwen the riffles the current is so strong that they are compelled to have cecourse to the cord; and being unable to walk on the shore for the brush wade in the river along the shore and hawl them by the cord; this has increased the pain and labour extreemly; their feet soon get tender and soar by wading and walking over the stones. these are also so slipry that they frequently get severe falls. being constantly wet soon makes them feble also. their hunters killed 2 deer today and some gees and ducks wer killed by those who navigated the canoes. they saw deer antelopes Grains beaver Otter &c. Capt. Clark's ancle became so painfull to him that he was unable to walk.- This evening they encamped on the Stard. side in a bottom of cottonwood timber all much fatiegued.