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Clark, July 20, 1806

Sunday 20th July 1806

I directed Sergt. Pryor and Shields each of them good judges of timber to proceed on down the river Six or 8 miles and examine the bottoms if any larger trees than those near which we are encamped can be found and return before twelve oClock. they Set out at daylight. I also Sent Labech Shabono & hall to Skin & some of the flesh of the Elk Labeech had killed last evening they returned with one Skin the wolves haveing eaten the most of the other four Elk. I also Sent two men in Serch of wood Soutable for ax handles. they found some choke cherry which is the best wood which Can be precured in this Country. Saw a Bear on an Island opposit and Several Elk. Sergt. Pryor and Shields returned at half past 11 A M. and informed me that they had proceeded down the timbered bottoms of the river for about 12 miles without finding a tree better than those near my Camp. I deturmined to have two Canoes made out of the largest of those trees and lash them together which will Cause them to be Study and fully Sufficient to take my Small party & Self with what little baggage we have down this river. had handles put in the 3 Axes and after Sharpening them with a file fell the two trees which I intended for the two Canoes. those trees appeared tolerably Sound and will make Canoes of 28 feet in length and about 16 or 18 inches deep and from 16 to 24 inches wide. the men with the three axes Set in and worked untill dark. Sergt. Pryor dressed Some Skins to make him Clothes. Gibsons wound looks very well. I dressed it. The horses being fatigued and their feet very Sore, I Shall let them rest a fiew days. dureing which time the party intended for to take them by land to the Mandans will dress their Skins and make themselves Clothes to bare, as they are nearly naked. Shields killed a Deer & Buffalow & Shannon a faun and a Buffalow & York an Elk one of the buffalow was good meat. I had the best of him brought in and cut thin and Spread out to dry.