The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, July 15, 1806
Clark, July 15, 1806
Tuesday 15th July 1806
we collected our horses and after an early brackft at 8 A M Set out and proceeded up the branch to the head thence over a low gap in the mountain thence across the heads of the N E. branch of the fork of Gallitins river which we Camped near last night passing over a low dividing ridge to the head of a water Course which runs into the Rochejhone, prosueing an old buffalow road which enlargenes by one which joins it from the most Easterly branch of the East fork of Galetins R. proceeding down the branch a little to the N. of East keeping on the North Side of the branch to the River rochejhone at which place I arrived at 2 P M. The Distance from the three forks of the Easterly fork of Galletines river (from whence it may be navigated down with Small Canoes) to the river Rochejhone is 18 miles on an excellent high dry firm road with very incoiderable hills. from this river to the nearest part of the main fork of Gallitine is 29 miles mostly through a leavel plain. from the head of the Missouri at the 3 forks 48 miles through a leavel plain the most of the way as may be seen by the remarks in the evening after the usial delay of 3 hours to give the horses time to feed and rest and allowing our Selves time also to Cook and eate Dinner, I proceeded on down the river on an old buffalow road at the distance of 9 miles below the mountains Shield River discharges itself into the Rochejhone on it's N W. side above a high rocky Clift, this river is 35 yards wide deep and affords a great quantity of water it heads in those Snowey Mountains to the N W with Howards Creek, it contains some Timber Such as Cotton & willow in it's bottoms, and Great numbers of beaver the river also abounds in those animals as far as I have Seen.
passed the creek and over a high rocky hill and encamped in the upper part of a large bottom. The horses feet are very sore many of them Can Scercely proceed on over the Stone and gravel in every other respect they are Sound and in good Sperits. I saw two black bear on the side of the mountains this morning. Several gangs of Elk from 100 to 200 in a gangue on the river, great numbers of Antelopes. one Elk only killed to day.
The Roche passes out of a high rugid mountain covered with Snow. the bottoms are narrow within the mountains but widen from 1/2 a m. to 2 ms. in the Vally below, those bottoms are Subject to over flow, they contain Some tall Cotton wood, and willow rose bushes & rushes Honey suckle &c. a Second bottom on the N E. Side which rises to about 20 feet higher the first & is 1 m. wide this bottom is coars gravel pebils & Sand with Some earth on which the grass grow very Short and at this time is quit dry this 2d bottom over flows in high floods on the opposit Side of the river the plain is much higher and extendes quite to the foot of the mountain. The mountains to the S. S. E on the East side of the river is rocky rugid and on them are great quantities of Snow. a bold Snow mountain which bears East & is imediately at & N W of the 3 forks of the East fork of Gallitins river may be Seen, there is also a high rugid Mtn. on which is Snow bearing North 15 or 20 miles . but fiew flowers to be Seen in those plains. low grass in the high plains, and the Common corse grass, rushes and a species of rye is the growth of the low bottoms. the mountains have Some scattering pine on them, and on the Spurs and hill Sides there is some scrubby pine. I can See no timber Sufficient large for a Canoe which will Carry more than 3 men and Such a one would be too Small to answer my purpose