The Journals of Lewis & Clark: May 22, 1805

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

May 22, 1805

Wednesday May 22cd 1805.

The wind blew so violently this morning that we did not think it prudent to set out untill it had in some measure abated; this did not happen untill 10 A.M. when we proceeded principally by the toe lines the bottoms somewhat wider than usual, the lands fertile or apparently so tho the short grass and the scantey proportion of it on the hills would indicate no great fertility. passed Windy Island on Lard. at 1 M. 51/2 miles above passed a large Island in a bend on Stard. side, and three miles further on the same side passed the entrance of grows Creek 20 yds wide, affords but little water. this creek we named from seeing a number of the pointed tail praire hen near it's mouth, these are the fist we have seen in such numbers for some days. I walked on shore this morning the country is not so broken as yesterday tho still high and roling or wavy; the hills on Lard. side possess more pine than usual; some also on the Stard. hills. Salts and other mineral appearances as usual. the river continues about the same width or from 200 to 250 yds. wide, fewer sandbars and the courant more gentle and regular; game not so abundant as below the Muscle Shell river. I killed a deer in the course of my walk today. Capt. C. also walked out this evening and took a view of the country from a conspicuous point and found it the same as has been discribed. we have caught but few fish since we left the Mandans, they do not bite freely, what we took were the white cat of 2 to 5 lbs. I presume that fish are scarce in this part of the river. We encamped earlyer this evening than usual in order render the oil of a bear which we killed. I do not believe that the Black bear common to the lower part of this river and the Atlantic States, exists in this quarter; we have neither seen one of them nor their tracks which would be easily distinguished by it's shortness of tallons when compared with the brown grizly or white bear. I believe that it is the same species or family of bears which assumes all those colours at different ages and seasons of the year.

May 22nd Wednesday 1805

The wind Continued to blow So violently hard we did not think it prudent to Set out untill it luled a little, about 10 oClock we Set out the morning Cold, passed a Small Island in the bend to the Lard Side, & proceeded on at 5 miles higher passed a Island in a bend to the Stard Side, and a Creek a Short distance above on the Stard Side 20 yds. w Capt Lewis walked out before dinner & Killed a Deer, I walked out after dinner and assended & but a few miles to view the Countrey, which I found roleing & of a verry rich Stickey Soil produceing but little vegitation of any kind except the prickley-piar, but little grass & that verry low. a great deal of Scattering Pine on the Lard Side & Some fur on the Stard. Sd. The mineral productions as described in the proceeding days, game not So abundant as below, the river Continue about the Same width, fewer Sand bars & current more regular, river falls about an inch a day We camped on the Stard. Side, earlier than we intend on account of Saveing the oil of a bear which the party killed late this afternoon.

Maney of the Creeks which appear to have no water near ther mouths have Streams of running water higher up which rise & waste in the Sand or gravel. the water of those Creeks are So much impregnated with the Salt Substance that it cannot be Drank with pleasure.