The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, July 10, 1806

Lewis, July 10, 1806

July 10th 1806. Set out early and continued down the S W bank of the river N 75 E 24 m. to our encampment in a grove of cottonwood timber. the latter part of this course for 7 miles there is no timber in the river bottom, the other parts of the river possesses bottoms of the wide leafed cottonwood. much the greater part of the bottom is untimbered. the bottoms are wide and level the high praries or plains are also beautiful level and smooth. great quantities of prickly pear of two kinds on the plains. the ground is renderd so miry by the rain which fell yesterday that it is excessively fatiegueing to the horses to travel. we came 10 miles and halted for dinner the wind blowing down the river in the fore part of the day was unfavourable to the hunters they saw several gangs of Elk but they having the wind of them ran off. in the evening the wind set from the West and we fell in with a few elk of which R. Fields and myself killed 3 one of which swam the river and fell on the opposite so we therefore lost it's skin I sent the packhorses on with Sergt. Gass directing them to halt and encamp at the first timber which proved to be about 7 ms. I retained frazier to assist in skining the Elk. we wer about this time joined by drewer. a large brown bear swam the river near where we were and drewyer shot and killed it. by the time we butchered thes 2 elk and bar it was nearly dark we loaded our horses with the best of the meat and pursud the party and found them encamped as they had been directed in the first timber. we did not reach them until 9 P.M. they informed us that they had seen a very large bear in the plains which had pursued Sergt. Gass and Thomson some distance but their horses enabled them to keep out of it's reach. they were affraid to fire on the bear least their horses should throw them as they were unaccustomed to the gun. we killed five deer 3 Elk and a bear today saw vast herds of buffaloe in the evening below us on the river. we hered them bellowing about us all night. vast assemblages of wolves. saw a large herd of Elk making down the river. passed a considerable rapid in medicine river after dark. the river about a hundred yards wide is deep and in many parts rappid and today has been much crouded with islands. from our encampment down we know the river and there is no rapids and scarcely any courant. goosberries are very abundant of the common red kind and are begining to ripen. no currants on this river. both species of the prickly pears just in blume.