The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, July 23, 1805
Lewis, July 23, 1805
Tuesday July 23rd 1805.
Set out early as usual; Capt. Clark left us with his little party of 4 men and continued his rout on the Stard. side of the river. about 10 OCk. A M. we came up with Drewyer who had seperated from us yesterday evening and lay out all night not being able to find where we had encamped. he had killed 5 deer which we took on board and continued our rout. the river is still divided by a great number of islands, it channels sometimes seperating to the distance of 3 miles; the current very rapid with a number of riffles; the bed gravel and smooth stones; the banks low and of rich loam in the bottoms; some low bluffs of yellow and red clay with a hard red slate stone intermixed. the bottoms are wide and but scantily timbered; the underbrush very thick consisting of the narrow & broad leafed willow rose and Currant bushes principally. high plains succeeds the river bottoms and extend back on either side to the base of the mountains which are from 8 to 12 miles assunder, high, rocky, some small pine and Cedar on them and ly parallel with the river. passed a large creek on Lard. side 20 yds. wide which after meandering through a beautifull and extensive bottom for several miles nearly parallel with the river discharges itself opposite to a large cluster of islands which from their number I called the 10 islands and the creek Whitehous's Creek, after Josph. Whitehouse one of the party. saw a great abundance of the common thistles; also a number of the wild onions of which we collected a further supply. there is a species of garlic also which grows on the high lands with a flat leaf now green and in bloe but is strong tough and disagreeable. found some seed of the wild flax ripe which I preserved; this plant grows in great abundance in these bottoms. I halted rearther early for dinner today than usual in order to dry some articles which had gotten wet in several of the canoes. I ordered the canoes to hoist their small flags in order that should the indians see us they might discover that we were not Indians, nor their enemies. we made great uce of our seting poles and cords the uce of both which the river and banks favored. most of our small sockets were lost, and the stones were so smooth that the points of their poles sliped in such manner that it increased the labour of navigating the canoes very considerably, I recollected a parsel of giggs which I had brought on, and made the men each atatch one of these to the lower ends of their poles with strong wire, which answered the desired purpose. we saw Antelopes Crain gees ducks beaver and Otter. we took up four deer which Capt. Clark & party had killed and left near the river. he pursued his rout untill late in the evening and encamped on the bank of the river 25 ms. above our encampment of the last evening; he followed an old indian road which lyes along the river on the stard side Capt. saw a number of Antelopes, and one herd of Elk. also much sign of the indians but all of ancient date. I saw the bull rush and Cattail flag today.
I saw a black snake today about two feet long the Belly of which was as black as any other part or as jet itself. it had 128 scuta on the belley 63 on the tail.