Clark, July 24, 1806
Thursday 24th July 1806. had all our baggage put on board of the two Small Canoes which when lashed together is very Study and I am Convinced will the party I intend takeing down with me. at 8 A M. we Set out and proceeded on very well to a riffle about 1 mile above the enterance of Clarks fork or big horn river at this riffle the Small Canoes took in a good deel of water which obliged us to land a little above the enterance of this river which the ____ has called Clarks fork to dry our articles and bail the Canoes. I also had Buffalow Skin tacked on So as to prevent the waters flacking in between the Two canoes. This last River is 150 yards wide at it's Mouth and 100 a Short destance up the water of a light Muddy Colour and much Colder than that of the Rochejhone a Small Island is Situated imediately in its mouth, the direction of this river is South and East of that part of the rocky mountains which Can be seen from its enterance and which Seem to termonate in that direction.- I thought it probable that this might be the big horn river, and as the Rochejhone appeared to make a great bend to the N. I deturmined to Set the horses across on S. Side. one Chanel of the river passes under a high black bluff from one mile below the place we built the Canoes to within 3 miles of the enterance of Clarks fork when the bottoms widen on each side those on the Stard Side from 1/2 to a mile in width. river much divided by Islands. at 6 ms. below the fork I halted on a large Island Seperated from the Stard. Shore by a narrow Channel, on this This being a good place to Cross the river I deturmined to wait for Sergt. pryor and put him across the river at this place. on this Island I observd a large lodge the Same which Shannon informed me of a fiew days past. this Lodge a council lodge, it is of a Conocil form 60 feet diamuter at its base built of 20 poles each pole 21/2 feet in Secumpheranc and 45 feet Long built in the form of a lodge & covered with bushes. in this Lodge I observed a Cedar bush Sticking up on the opposit side of the lodge fronting the dore, on one side was a Buffalow head, and on the other Several Sticks bent and Stuck in the ground. a Stuffed Buffalow skin was Suspended from the Center with the back down. the top of those poles were deckerated with feathers of the Eagle & Calumet Eagle also Several Curious pieces of wood bent in Circleler form with sticks across them in form of a Griddle hung on tops of the lodge poles others in form of a large Sturrip. This Lodge was errected last Summer. It is Situated in the Center of a butifull Island thinly Covered with Cotton wood under which the earth which is rich is Covered with wild rye and a Species of grass resembling the bluegrass, and a mixture of Sweet grass which the Indian plat and ware around their necks for its cent which is of a Strong sent like that of the Vinella after Dinner I proceeded on passed the enterance of a Small Creek and Some wood on the Stard. Side where I met with Sergt. Pryor, Shannon & Windser with the horses they had but just arived at that place. Sergt. Pryor informed me that it would be impossible for the two men with him to drive on the horses after him without tireing all the good ones in pursute of the more indifferent to keep them on the Course. that in passing every gangue of buffalow Several of which he had met with, the loos horses as Soon as they Saw the Buffalow would imediately pursue them and run around them. All those that Speed suffient would head the buffalow and those of less Speed would pursue on as fast as they Could. he at length found that the only practiacable method would be for one of them to proceed on and when ever they Saw a gang of Buffalow to Scear them off before the horses got up. This disposition in the horses is no doubt owing to their being frequently exercised in chasing different animals by their former owners the Indians as it is their Custom to chase every Speces of wild animal with horses, for which purpose they train all their horses. I had the horses drove across the river and Set Sergt. Pryor and his party across. H. Hall who cannot Swim expressed a Wiliness to proceed on with Sergt. Pryor by land, and as another man was necessary to assist in driveing on the horses, but observed he was necked, I gave him one of my two remaining Shirts a par of Leather Legins and 3 pr. of mockersons which equipt him Completely and Sent him on with the party by land to the Mandans. I proceeded on the river much better than above the enterance of the Clarks fork deep and the Current regularly rapid from 2 to 300 yards in width where it is all together, much divided by islands maney of which are large and well Supplyed with Cotton wood trees, Some of them large, Saw emenc number of Deer Elk and buffalow on the banks. Some beaver. I landed on the Lard Side walked out into the bottom and Killd the fatest Buck I every Saw, Shields killed a deer and my man York killed a Buffalow Bull, as he informed me for his tongue and marrow bones. for me to mention or give an estimate of the differant Spcies of wild animals on this river particularly Buffalow, Elk Antelopes & Wolves would be increditable. I shall therefore be silent on the Subject further. So it is we have a great abundance of the best of meat. we made 70 ms. to day Current rapid and much divided by islands. Campd a little below Pryers river of 35 yds. on S E.