The Journals of Lewis and Clark

Lewis, August 4, 1805

August 4th 1805.

Set out very early this morning and steered S. E. by E. about 4 Miles when we passed a bould runing creek about 12 yards wide the water could and remarkably clear, we then changed our course to S. E. passing obliquely across a valley which boar nearly E leaving the valley which we had pursued for the 2 precedeing days. at the distance of 3 miles we passed a handsome little river which passes through this valley; it is about 30 yards wide affords a considerable quantity of water and I believe it may be navigated some miles. I then changed my rout to S. W. passed a high plain which lyes between the vallies and returned to the S. valley, in passing which I fell in with a river about 45 yards wide which I waideg and then continued my rout down to it's junction with the river just mentioned, and from thence to the entrance of the creek which falls in about 2 miles below; still continuing my rout down this stream about three miles further and about 2 M. below our encampment of the last evening this river forms a junction with a river 50 yards wide which comes from the N. W. and falling into the S. valley runs parrallel with the middle fork about 12 miles. this is a bould rappid & clear stream it's bed so broken and obstructed by gravel bars and Islands that it appeared to me impossible to navigate it with safety. the middle fork is gentle and possesses about 2/3ds as much water as this rappid stream, it's cours so far as I can observe it is about S. W. and it appears to be navigable; its water is much warmer than that of the rappid fork and somewhat turbid, from which I concluded that it had it's source at a greater distance in the mountains and passed through an opener country than the other. under this impression I wrote a note to Capt. Clark recommending his taking the middle fork provided he should arrive at this place before my return which I expect will be the day after tomorrow. the note I left on a pole at the forks of the river and having refreshed ourselves and eat heartily of some venison we killed this morning I continued my rout up the Stard side of the N. W. fork, determining to pursue it untill 12 OC. the next day and then pass over to the middle fork and return to their junction or untill I met Capt. Clark. we encamped this evening near the point where the river leaves the valley and enters the mountains, having traveled about 20 miles.-