The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, July 17, 1806

Clark, July 17, 1806

Thursday 17th July 1806

The rain of last night wet us all. I had the horses all Collected early and Set out, proceeded ove the point of a ridge and through an open low bottom crossed a large Creek which heads in a high Snow toped Mountain to the N W. imediately opposit to the enterance of the Creek one Something larger falls in from the high Snow mountains to the S W. & South those Creeks I call Rivers across they contain Some timber in their Vallys at the distance of ____ Miles by water we arive at the enterance of two Small rivers or large Creeks which fall in nearly opposit to each other the one on the N E side is 30 yards wide. I call it Otter River the other Beaver R below the enterance of this Creek I halted as usial to let the Horses graze &c. I saw a Single Pelicon which is the first which I have Seen on this river. after Dinner I proceeded on Down the Rochejhone passing over a low ridge through a Small bottom and on the Side of a Stoney hill for 2 miles and through a Small bottom and again on the Side of a high hill for 11/2 M. to a bottom in which we Incamped opposit a Small Island. The high lands approach the river on either side much nearer than it does above and their Sides are partially covered with low pine & Cedar, none of which are Sufficently large for Canoes, nor have I Seen a Cotton tree in the low bottoms Sufficently large for that purpose. Buffalow is getting much more plenty than they were above. not so many Elk & more deer Shannon killed one deer. I Saw in one of those Small bottoms which I passed this evening an Indian fort which appears to have been built last Summer. this fort was built of logs and bark. the logs was put up very Closely capping on each other about 5 feet and Closely chinked. around which bark was Set up on end so as to Cover the Logs. the enterance was also guarded by a work on each Side of it and faceing the river. this work is about 50 feet Diameter & nearly round. the Squaw informs me that when the war parties find themselves pursued they make those forts to defend themselves in from the pursuers whose Superior numbers might other wise over power them and cut them off without receiveing much injurey on hors back &c.