The Journals of Lewis & Clark: April 22, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
April 21, 1805
April 23, 1805

April 22, 1805

Monday April 22cd 1805.

Set out at an early hour this morning; proceeded pretty well untill breakfat, when the wind became so hard a head that we proceeded with difficulty even with the assistance of our toe lines. the party halted and Cpt. Clark and myself walked to the white earth river which approaches the Missouri very near at this place, being about 4 miles above it's entrance. we found that it contained more water than streams of it's size generally do at this season. the water is much clearer than that of the Missouri. the banks of the river are steep and not more than ten or twelve feet high; the bed seems to be composed of mud altogether. the salts which have been before mentioned as common on the Missouri, appears in great quantities along the banks of this river, which are in many places so thickly covered with it that they appear perfectly white. perhaps it has been from this white appearance of it's banks that the river has derived it's name. this river is said to be navigable nearly to it's source, which is at no great distance from the Saskashawan, and I think from it's size the direction which it seems to take, and the latitude of it's mouth, that there is very good ground to believe that it extends as far North as latitude 50°.- this stream passes through an open country generally.- the broken hills of the Missouri about this place exhibit large irregular and broken masses of rocks and stones; some of which tho 200 feet above the level of the water seem at some former period to have felt it's influence, fo they appear smoth as if woarn by the agetation of the water. this collection consists of white & grey gannite, a brittle black rock, flint, limestone, freestone, some small specimens of an excellent pebble and occasionally broken stratas of a stone which appears to be petrefyed wood, it is of a black colour, and makes excellent whetstones. Coal or carbonated wood pumice stone lava and other mineral apearances still continue. the coal appears to be of better quality; I exposed a specimen of it to the fire and found that it birnt tolerably well, it afforded but little flame or smoke, but produced a hot and lasting fire.- I asscended to the top of the cutt bluff this morning, from whence I had a most delightfull view of the country, the whole of which except the vally formed by the Missouri is void of timber or underbrush, exposing to the first glance of the spectator immence herds of Buffaloe, Elk, deer, & Antelopes feeding in one common and boundless pasture. we saw a number of bever feeding on the bark of the trees alonge the verge of the river, several of which we shot, found them large and fat. walking on shore this evening I met with a buffaloe calf which attatched itself to me and continued to follow close at my heels untill I embarked and left it. it appeared allarmed at my dog which was probably the cause of it's so readily attatching itself to me. Capt Clark informed me that he saw a large drove of buffaloe pursued by wolves today, that they at length caught a calf which was unable to keep up with the herd. the cows only defend their young so long as they are able to keep up with the herd, and seldom return any distance in surch of them.-

22nd of April Monday 1805

a verry cold morning Some frost, we Set out at an early hour and proceeded on verry well untill brackfast at which time the wind began to blow verry hard ahead, and Continued hard all day we proceeded on with much dificuelty with the assistance of the toe Ropes. Capt. Lewis & my Self walked to the ____ River which is near the Missouri four miles above its mouth, this river is 60 yards wide and contains a greater perportion of water at this time than is Common for Rivers of its Size it appears navagable as fur as any of the party was, and I am told to near its Source in morrasses in the open Plains, it passes (as far as we can See which is 6 or 7 Leagus) thro a butifull extinsive vallie, rich & fertile and at this time Covered with Buffalow, Elk & antelopes, which may be Seen also in any other direction in this quarter- this river must take its rise at no great distance Easte of the Saskashawan, and no doubt as far N. as Latd. 50°

Some of the high plains or the broken Revien of the river contains great quantity of Pebble Stones of various Sizes, The Stratum of Coal is much richer than below, the appearances of Mineral & burnt hills Still continue the river riseing a little, Saw an emence number of beaver feeding on the waters edge & Swiming Killed Several, Capt. Lewis assended a hill from the top of which he had a most inchanting prospect of the Countrey around & the meanderings of the two rivers, which is remarkable Crooked- a buffalow calf which was on the Shore alone followed Cap Lewis Some distance,- I observed a large drove of buffalow prosued by wolves the wolves cought one of their Calves in my view, those animals defend their young as long as they Can keep up with the drove