The Journals of Lewis & Clark: May 21, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
May 20, 1805
May 22, 1805

May 21, 1805

Tuesday May 21st 1805

A delightfull morning set out at an early hour and proceeded on very well, imployed the chord principally; the shores are abbrupt and bould and composed of a black and yellow clay; see no extensive collection of pure sand, the bars are composed black mud and a small poportion of fine sand; the courant still pretty strong. the Missouri in it's course downward makes a suddon and extensive bend to receive the Muscle shell river, the point of country thus formed tho high is still much lower than that surrounding it, thus forming a valley of wavey country which extends itself for a great distance in a Northerly direction; the soil is fertile, produces a fine turf of low grass and some herbs, also immence quantities of the Prickley pear, without a stick of timber of any discription. the country on the South side is high broken and crowned with some scrubby pines and dwarf cedar; the leaf of this pine is much longer than the common pitch or red pine of Virginia, the cone is also longer and slimer, and the imbrications wider and thicker, and the whole frequently covered with rosin. Mineral appearances as usual. the growse or praire hen are now less abundant on the river than they were below; perhaps they betake themselves to the open plains at a distance from the river at this season.-

The wind which was moderate all the fore part of the day continued to encrease in the evening, and about dark veered about to N. W. and blew a storm all night, in short we found ourselves so invelloped with clouds of dust and sand that we could neither cook, eat, nor sleep; and were finally compelled to remove our lodge about eight oClock at night to the foot of an adjacent hill where we were covered in some measure from the wind by the hills. several loose articles blown over board and lost. our first station was on a bar on Stard. opposite the lower point of a small Island, which we now called windy Island. the bends of the river are short and suddon, the points covered with some cottonwood, larger willow, or broadleafed willow with an abundance of the wild rose and some small honeysuckle bushes constitute the undergrowth, the redwood is also found in small quantities. Capt. C walked on shore today and killed 2 Elk; the party killed several deer and a buffaloe Cow.-

May 21st Tuesday 1805.

a butifull morning, wind from the West, river falling a little, we Set out at an early hour and proceed on in the usial way by the assistance of the Coard principally, but little use of the Oares & less with the poles as the bottoms are muddey, we Se no great bodies of pure Sand the bars & points are rich mud mixed with fine Sand. I walked on Shore Stard. Side the river makes a great bend to the South to receve Shell River, the boint for many miles out in a Northerley direction is a rich uneaven valley Contain Some Short grass, and Prickley pears without timber The Countrey on the South Side of the Missouri is high, Soil and mineral appearance as usial, more Scattering pine & Cedar on the hills, the wind which blew moderatly all the forepart of the day increassd and about Dark Shifted to the N W. and Stormed all night, Several loose articles were blown over board, our lodge & Camp which was on a Sand bar on the Std. Side & opposite to the lower point of an Island we were obliged to move under the hills, the dust & Sand blew in clouds. The bends of the river are Short and points Covered with Cotton wood under groth wild rose bushes I killed 2 Elk to day Several Deer Killd. & a Buffalow Cow.