Clark, July 7, 1806
Monday 7th July 1806
This morning our horses were very much Scattered; I Sent out men in every direction in Serch of them. they brought all except 9 by 6 oClock and informed me that they could not find those 9. I then ordered 6 men to take horses and go different directions and at a greater distance those men all returned by 10 A.M. and informed me that they had circles in every direction to 6 or 8 miles around Camp and could not See any Signs of them, that they had reasons to believe that the indians had Stolen them in the course of the night, and founded their reasons on the quallity of the horses, all being the most valuable horses we had, and Several of them so attached to horses of inferior quallity which we have they could not be Seperated from each other when driveing with their loads on in the course of the day. I thought it probable that they might be stolen by Some Skulking Shoshones, but as it was yet possible that they may have taken our back rout or rambled to a greater distance I deturmined to leave a Small party and hunt for them to day, and proceed on with the main party and all the baggage to the Canoes, raise them out of the water and expose them to the sun to dry by the time this party Should overtake me. I left Sergt. Ordway, Shannon, Gibson Collins & Labeech with directions to hunt this day for the horses without they Should discover that the Inds. had taken them into the Mountains, and prosue our trail &c. at 1/2 past 10 A M I set out and proceeded on through an open rich vally crossing four large Creeks with extensive low and mirey bottoms, and a Small river keeping the Course I had set out on S. 56° E after crossing the river I kept up on the N E. side, Sometimes following an old road which frequently disappeared, at the distance of 16 miles we arived at a Boiling Spring Situated about 100 paces from a large Easterly fork of the Small river in a leavel open vally plain and nearly opposit & E. of the 3 forks of this little river which heads in the Snowey Mountains to the S E. & S W of the Springs. this Spring contains a very considerable quantity of water, and actually blubbers with heat for 20 paces below where it rises. it has every appearance of boiling, too hot for a man to endure his hand in it 3 seconds. I directt Sergt. Pryor and John Shields to put each a peice of meat in the water of different Sises. the one about the Size of my 3 fingers Cooked dun in 25 minits the other much thicker was 32 minits before it became Sufficiently dun. this water boils up through some loose hard gritty Stone. a little sulferish after takeing dininer and letting our horses graize 1 hour and a half we proceeded on Crossed this easterly branch and up on the N. Side of this middle fork 9 miles crossed it near the head of an Easterly branch and passed through a gap of a mountain on the Easterly Side of which we encamped near some butifull which fall into Willards Creek. I directed that the rambling horses should be hobbled, and the Sentinal to examine the horses after the moon rose. Emence beaver sign.
This extensive vally Surround with covered with snow is extreemly fertile covered esculent plants &c and the Creeks which pass through it contains emence numbers of beaver &c. I now take my leave of this butifull extensive vally which I call the hot spring Vally, and behold one less extensive and much more rugid on Willards Creek for near 12 miles in length. remarkable Cold night