The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, July 26, 1806
Clark, July 26, 1806
Saturday 26th July 1806. Set out this morning very early proceeded on Passed Creeks very well. the Current of the river reagulilarly Swift much divided by Stoney islands and bars also handsome Islands Covered with Cotton wood the bottoms extensive on the Stard. Side on the Lard. the Clifts of high land border the river, those clifts are composed of a whitish rock of an excellent grit for Grindstones. The Country back on each Side is wavering lands with Scattering pine. passed 2 Small Brooks on the Stard. Side and two large ones on the Lard. Side. I shot a Buck from the Canoe and killed one other on a Small Island. and late in the evening passed a part of the river which was rock under the Lard. Clifts fortunately for us we found an excellent Chanel to pass down on the right of a Stony Island half a mile below this bad place, we arived at the enterance of Big Horn River on the Stard. Side here I landed imediately in the point which is a Sof mud mixed with the Sand and Subject to overflow for Some distance back in between the two rivers. I walked up the big horn 1/2 a mile and crossed over to the lower Side, and formed a Camp on a high point. I with one of my men Labeech walked up the N E Side of Big horn river 7 miles to th enterance of a Creek which falls in on the N E. Side and is 28 yds wide Some running water which is very muddy this Creek I call Muddy Creek Some fiew miles above this Creek the river bent around to the East of South. The Courses as I assended it as follows Viz:
The bottoms of the Big Horn river are extencive and Covered with timber principally Cotton. it's Current is regularly Swift, like the Missouri, it washes away its banks on one Side while it forms extensive Sand bars on the other. Contains much less portion of large gravel than the R. Rochjhone and its water more mudy and of a brownish colour, while that of the rochejhone is of a lightish Colour. the width of those two rivers are very nearly the Same imediately at their enterances the river Rochejhone much the deepest and contain most water. I measured the debth of the bighorn quit across a 1/2 a mile above its junction and found it from 5 to 7 feet only while that of the River is in the deepest part 10 or 12 feet water on the lower Side of the bighorn is extencive boutifull and leavil bottom thinly covered with Cotton wood under which there grows great quantities of rose bushes. I am informed by the Menetarres Indians and others that this River takes its rise in the Rocky mountains with the heads of the river plate and at no great distance from the river Rochejhone and passes between the Coat Nor or Black Mountains and the most Easterly range of Rocky Mountains. it is very long and Contains a great perpotion of timber on which there is a variety of wild animals, perticularly the big horn which are to be found in great numbers on this river. Buffalow, Elk, Deer and Antelopes are plenty and the river is Said to abound in beaver. it is inhabited by a great number of roveing Indians of the Crow Nation, the paunch Nation and the Castahanas all of those nations who are Subdivided rove and prosue the Buffalow of which they make their principal food, their Skins together with those of the Big horn and Antilope Serve them for Clothes. This river is Said to be navagable a long way for perogus without falls and waters a fine rich open Country. it is 200 yds water & 1/4 of a Me. wd. I returned to Camp a little after dark, haveing killed one deer, finding my Self fatigued went to bead without my Supper. Shields killed 2 Bull & 3 Elk.