Clark, July 5, 1806
Saturday July 5th 1806
I rose at day light this morning despatched Labeash after a Buck which he killed late last evening; and I with the three men who I had Sent in Serch of a ford across the West fork of Clarks river, and examined each ford neither of them I thought would answer to pass the fork without wetting all the loads. near one of those places pointed out by Colter I found a practiable foard and returned to Camp, ordered everything packed up and after Brackfast we Set out passed 5 Chanels of the river which is divided by Small Islands in passing the 6th & last Chanel Colter horse Swam and with Some dificuelty he made the Opposite Shore, Shannon took a different derection from Colter rained his horse up the Stream and passed over very well I derected all to follow Shannon and pass quartering up the river which they done and passed over tolerably well the water running over the back of the 2 Smaller horses only. unfortunately my trunk & portmantue Containing Sea otter Skins flags Some curiosites & necessary articles in them got wet, also an esortment of Medicine, and my roots. about 1 mile we struk the East fork which had fallen and was not higher than when we passed it last fall we had not proceeded up this fork more than 1 mile eer we struck the road by which we passed down last fall and kept it at one mile we crossed the river at a very good foard and continued up on the East Side to the foot of the Mountain nearly opposite flour Crek & halted to let our horses graze and dry our wet articles. I saw fresh Sign of 2 horses and a fire burning on the side of the road. I prosume that those indians are spies from the Shoshones. Shannon & Crusat killed each a deer this morning and J. Shields killed a female Ibex or bighorn on the side of the Mountain, this Animal was very meager. Shannon left his tomahawk at the place he killed his deer. I derect him to return for it and join me in the Vally on the East Side of this mountain. gave Shields permission to proceed on over to the 1st Vally and there hunt untill my arival this evening at that place, after drying every article which detained us untill 1/2 past 4 P.M. we packed up and Crossed the Mountain into the vally where we first met with the flatheads here I overtook Shields he had not killed any thing. I crossed the river which heads in a high peecked mountain Covered with Snow N. E. of the Vally at about 20 Miles. Shields informed me that the Flat head indians passed up the Small Creek which we came down last fall about 2 miles above our Encampment of the 4th & 5th of, Septr. I proceeded up this South branch 2 Miles and encamped on the E. side of the Creek, and Sent out several men to examine the road. Shields returned at dark and informed me that the best road turned up the hill from the creek 3 Miles higher up, and appeared to be a plain beaten parth. as this rout of the Oat lash shoots can be followed it will evidently Shorten our rout at least 2 days and as the indians informed me last fall a much better rout than the one we came out. at all events I am deturmined to make the attempt and follow their trail if possible if I can prosue it my rout will be nearer and much better than the one we Came from the Shoshones, & if I should not be able to follow their road; our rout can't possibly be much wors. The hunters killed two deer this evening. The after part of the day we only come 8 miles makeing a total of 20 Miles-. Shannon Came up about Sunset haveing found his tomahawk.