The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, July 16, 1806

Lewis, July 16, 1806

Wednesday July 16th 1806. I dispatched a man early this morning to drive up the horses as usual, he returned at 8 A.M. with one of them only. allarmed at this occurrence I dispatched one of my best hands on horseback in surch of them he returned at 10 A.M. with them and I immediately set out. sent Drewyer and R. Fields with the horses to the lower side of Medecine river, and proceeded myself with all our baggage and J. Fields down the missouri to the mouth of Medecine river in our canoe of buffaloe skins. we were compelled to swim the horses above the whitebear island and again across medicine river as the Missouri is of great width below the mouth of that river. having arrived safely below Medicine river we immediatly sadled our horses and proceeded down the river to the handsom fall of 47 feet where I halted about 2 hours and took a haisty sketch of these falls; in the mean time we had some meat cooked and took dinner after which we proceeded to the grand falls where we arrived at sunset. on our way we saw two very large bear on the opposite side of the river. as we arrived in sight of the little wood below the falls we saw two other bear enter it; this being the only wood in the neighbourhood we were compelled of course to contend with the bear for possession, and therefore left our horses in a place of security and entered the wood which we surched in vain for the bear, they had fled. here we encamped and the evening having the appearance of rain made our beds and slept under a shelving rock. these falls have abated much of their grandure since I first arrived at them in June 1805, the water being much lower at preset than it was at that moment, however they are still a sublimely grand object. I determined to take a second drawing of it in the morning. we saw a few buffaloe as we passed today, the immence hirds which were about this place on our arrival have principally passed the river and directed their course downwards. we see a number of goats or antilopes always in passing through the plains of the Missouri above the Mandans. at this season they are thinly scattered over the plains but seem universally distributed in every part; they appear very inquisitive usually to learn what we are as we pass, and frequently accompany us at no great distance for miles, frequently halting and giving a loud whistle through their nostrils, they are a very pretty animal and astonishingly fleet and active. we spent this evening free from the torture of the Musquetoes. there are a great number of geese which usually raise their young above these falls about the entrance of Medicine river we saw them in large flocks of several hundred as we passed today. I saw both yesterday and today the Cookkoo or as it is sometimes called the rain craw. this bird is not met with west of the Rocky Mountains nor within them.