Lewis, July 23, 1806

Wednesdy July 23rd 1806

I dispatched Drewyer an Joseph fields this morning to hunt. I directed Drewyer who went up the river to observe it's bearings and the point at which it entered the mountains, this he did and on his return I observed the point at which the river entered to bear S 50° W. distant about ten miles the river making a considerable bend to the West just above us.

both these hunters returned unsuccessful and reported that there was no game nor the appearance of any in this quarter. we now rendered the grease from our tainted meat and made some mush of cows with a part of it, reserving as much meal of cows and grease as would afford us one more meal tomorrow. Drewyer informed us that there was an indian camp of eleven leather lodges which appeared to have been abandoned about 10 days, the poles only of the lodges remained. we are confident that these are the Minnetares of fort de prarie and suspect that they are probably at this time somewhere on the main branch of Maria's river on the borders of the buffaloe, under this impression I shall not strike that river on my return untill about the mouth of the North branch. near this place I observe a number of the whistleing squirrel of the speceis common to the plains and country watered by the Columbia river, this is the first instance in which I have found this squirrel in the plains of the Missouri. the Cottonwood of this place is also of the speceis common to the Columbia. we have a delightfull pasture for our horses where we are.

The clouds obscured the moon and put an end to further observation. the rok which makes its appearance on this part of the river is of a white colour fine grit and makes excellet whetstones; it lies in horizontal stratas and makes it's appearance in the bluffs of the river near their base. we indeavoured to take some fish but took only one small trout. Musquetoes uncommonly large and reather troublesome.