The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, July 3, 1806
Lewis, July 3, 1806
Thursday July 3rd 1806. All arrangements being now compleated for carrying into effect the several scheemes we had planed for execution on our return, we saddled our horses and set out I took leave of my worthy friend and companion Capt. Clark and the party that accompanyed him. I could not avoid feeling much concern on this occasion although I hoped this seperation was only momentary. I proceeded down Clark's river seven miles with my party of nine men and five indians. here the Indians recommended our passing the river which was rapid and 150 yds. wide. 2 miles above this place I passed the entrance of the East branch of Clark's River which discharges itself by two channels; the water of this river is more terbid than the main stream and is from 90 to 120 yds. wide. as we had no other means of passing the river we busied ourselves collecting dry timber for the purpose of constructing rafts; timber being scarce we found considerable difficulty in procuring as much as made three small rafts. we arrived at 11 A.M. and had our rafts completed by 3 P.M. when we dined and began to take over our baggage which we effected in the course of 3 hours the rafts being obliged to return several times. the Indians swam over their horses and drew over their baggage in little basons of deer skins which they constructed in a very few minutes for that purpose. we drove our horses in after them and they followed to the opposite shore. I remained myself with two men who could scarcely swim untill the last; by this time the raft by passing so frequently had fallen a considerable distance down the river to a rapid and difficult part of it crouded with several small Islands and willow bars which were now overflown; with these men I set out on the raft and was soon hurried down with the current a mile and a half before we made shore, on our approach to the shore the raft sunk and I was drawn off the raft by a bush and swam on shore the two men remained on the raft and fortunately effected a landing at some little distance below. I wet the chronometer by this accedent which I had placed in my fob as I conceived for greater security. I now joined the party and we proceeded with the indians about 3 Ms. to a small Creek and encamped at sunset. I sent out the hunters who soon returned with three very fine deer of which I gave the indians half These people now informed me that the road which they shewed me at no great distance from our Camp would lead us up the East branch of Clark's river and a river they called Cokahlarishkit or the river of the road to buffaloe and thence to medicine river and the falls of the Missouri where we wished to go. they alledged that as the road was a well beaten track we could not now miss our way and as they were affraid of meeting with their enimies the Minnetares they could not think of continuing with us any longer, that they wished now to proceed down Clark's river in surch of their friends the Shalees. they informed us that not far from the dividing ridge between the waters of this and the Missouri rivers the roads forked they recommended the left hand as the best rout but said they would both lead us to the falls of the Missouri. I directed the hunters to turn out early in the morning and indeavour to kill some more meat for these people whom I was unwilling to leave without giving them a good supply of provision after their having been so obliging as to conduct us through those tremendious mountains. the musquetoes were so excessively troublesome this evening that we were obliged to kindle large fires for our horses these insects tortured them in such manner untill they placed themselves in the smoke of the fires that I realy thought they would become frantic. about an hour after dark the air become so coald that the musquetoes disappeared.
We saw the fresh track of a horse this evening in the road near our camp which the indians supposed to be a Shale spye. we killed a prarie hen with the short and pointed tail she had a number of young which could just fly.