The Journals of Lewis & Clark: April 11, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
April 10, 1805
April 12, 1805

April 11, 1805

Thursday April 11th

Set out at an early hour; I proceeded with the party and Capt Clark with George Drewyer walked on shore in order to procure some fresh meat if possible. we proceeded on abot five miles, and halted for breakfast, when Capt Clark and Drewyer joined us; the latter had killed, and brought with him a deer which was at this moment excepable as we had had no fresh meat for several days. the country from fort Mandan to this place is so constantly hunted by the Minetaries that there is but little game we halted at two P.M. and made a comfortable dinner on a venison stake and beavers tales with the bisquit which got wet on the 8th inst. by the accidant of the canoe filling with water before mentioned. the powder which got wet by the same accedent, and which we had spread to dry on the baggage of the large perogue, was now examined and put up; it appears to be almost restored, and our loss is therefore not so great as we had at first apprehended.- the country much the same as yesterday. on the sides of the hills and even the banks of the rivers and sandbars, there is a white substance that appears in considerable quantities on the surface of the earth, which tastes like a mixture of common salt and glauber salts. many of the springs which flow from the base of the river hills are so strongly impregnated with this substance that the water is extreemly unpleasant to the taste and has a purgative effect.- saw some large white cranes pass up the river- these are the largest bird of that genus common to the country through which the Missouri and Mississippi pass. they are perfectly white except the large feathers of the two first joints of the wing which are black. we encamped this evening on the Stard. shore just above the point of woodland which formed to extremity of the last course of this day. there is a high bluff opposite to us, under which we saw some Indians, but the river is here so wide that we could not speake to them; suppose them to be a hunting party of Minetares.- we killed two gees today.

11th of April Thursday 1805

Set out verry early I walked on Shore, Saw fresh bear tracks, one deer & 2 beaver killed this morning in the after part of the day killed two gees; Saw great numbers of Gees Brant & Mallard Some White Cranes Swan & guls, the plains begin to have a green appearance, the hills on either side are from 5 to 7 miles asunder and in maney places have been burnt, appearing at a distance of a redish brown choler, containing Pumic Stone & lava, Some of which rolin down to the base of those hills- In maney of those hills forming bluffs to the river we procieve Several Stratums of bituminious Substance which resembles Coal; thong Some of the pieces appear to be excellent Coal it resists the fire for Some time, and consumes without emiting much flaim.

The plains are high and rich Some of them are Sandy Containing Small pebble, and on Some of the hill Sides large Stones are to be Seen- In the evening late we observed a party of Me ne tar ras on the L. S. with horses and dogs loaded going down, those are a part of the Menetarras who camped a little above this with the Ossinniboins at the mouth of the little Missouri all the latter part of the winter we Camped on the S. S. below a falling in bank. the river raise a little.