The Journals of Lewis & Clark: April 15, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
April 14, 1805
April 16, 1805

April 15, 1805

Monday April 15th 1805.

Set out at an early hour this morning. I walked on shore, and Capt. Clark continued with the party it being an invariable rule with us not to be both absent from our vessels at the same time. I passed through the bottoms of the river on the Stard. side. they were partially covered with timber & were extensive, level and beatifull. in my walk which was about 6 miles I passed a small rivulet of clear water making down from the hills, which on tasting, I discovered to be in a small degree brackish. it possessed less of the glauber salt, or alumn, than those little streams from the hills usually do.- in a little pond of water fromed by this rivulet where it entered the bottom, I heard the frogs crying for the first time this season; their note was the same with that of the small frogs which are common to the lagoons and swamps of the U States.- I saw great quantities of gees feeding in the bottoms, of which I shot one. saw some deer and Elk, but they were remarkably shy. I also met with great numbers of Grouse or prarie hens as they are called by the English traders of the N. W. these birds appeared to be mating; the note of the male is kuck, kuck, kuck, coo, coo, coo. the first part of the note both male and female use when flying. the male also dubbs something like the pheasant, but by no means as loud. after breakfast Capt. Clark walked on the Std. shore, and on his return in the evening gave me the following account of his ramble. "I ascended to the high country, about 9 miles distant from the Missouri. the country consists of beatifull, level and fertile plains, destitute of timber I saw many little dranes, which took their rise in the river hills, from whence as far as I could see they run to the N. E." these streams we suppose to be the waters of Mous river a branch of the Assinniboin which the Indians informed us approaches the Missouri very nearly, about this point. "I passed," continued he, "a Creek about 20 yards wide," which falls into the Missouri; the bottoms of this creek are wide level and extreemly fertile, but almost entirely destitute of timber. the water of this creek as well as all those creeks and rivulets which we have passed since we left Fort Mandan was so strongly impregnated with salts and other miniral substances that I was incapable of drinking it. I saw the remains of several camps of the Assinniboins; near one of which, in a small ravene, there was a park which they had formed of timber and brush, for the purpose of taking the Cabrie or Antelope. it was constructed in the following manner. a strong pound was first made of timbers, on one side of which there was a small apparture, sufficiently large to admit an Antelope; from each side of this apparture, a curtain was extended to a considerable distance, widening as they receded from the pound.- we passed a rock this evening standing in the middle of the river, and the bed of the river was formed principally of gravel. we encamped this evening on a sand point on Lard. side. a little above our encampment the river was confined to a channel of 80 yards in width.-

15th of April Monday 1805

Set out at an early hour, Captn Lewis walked on Shore and Killed a goose, passed a Island in a bend to the L. S. the wind hard from the S. E. after brackfast I walked on Shore and assended to the high Countrey on the S. S. and off from the Missouri about three miles the countrey is butifull open fertile plain the dreans take theer rise near the Clifts of the river and run from the river in a N E derection as far as I could See, this is the part of the River which Mouse river the waters of Lake Winnipec approaches within a fiew miles of Missouri, and I believe those dreans lead into that river. we passed a creek about 20 yds. wide on the S. S. the bottoms of this Creek is extensive & fertile, the water of this as also, all the Streams which head a fiew miles in the hills discharge water which is black & unfit for use (and can Safely Say that I have not Seen one drop of water fit for use above fort Mandan except Knife and the little Missouris Rivers and the Missouri, the other Streams being So much impregnated with mineral as to be verry disagreeble in its present State.) I saw the remains of Several Camps of ossinniboins, near one of those camps & at no great distance from the mouth of the aforesid Creek, in a hollow, I saw a large Strong pen made for the purpose of Catching the antelope, with wings projecting from it widining from the pen

Saw Several gangs of Buffalow and Some elk at a distance, a black bear Seen from the Perogues to day- passed a rock in the Middle of the river, Some Smaller rocks from that to the L. Shore, the dog that came to us yesterday morning continues to follow us, we camped on a Sand point to the L. S.