The Journals of Lewis & Clark: May 27, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
May 26, 1805
May 28, 1805

May 27, 1805

Monday May 27th 1805.

The wind blew so hard this morning that we did not sent out untill 10 A.M. we employed the chord most of the day; the river becomes more rappid and is intercepted by shoals and a greater number of rocky points at the mouths of the little gulies than we experienced yesterday. the bluffs are very high steep rugged, containing considerable quantities of stone and border the river closely on both sides; once perhaps in the course of several miles there will be a few acres of tolerably level land in which two or thre impoverished cottonwood trees will be seen. great quantities of stone also lye in the river and garnish it's borders, which appears to have tumbled from the bluffs where the rains had washed away the sand and clay in which they were imbeded. the bluffs are composed of irregular tho horizontal stratas of yellow and brown or black clay, brown and yellowish white sand, of soft yellowish white sand stone and a hard dark brown free stone, also of large round kidneyformed and irregular seperate masses of a hard black Iron stone, which is imbeded in the Clay and sand. some little pine spruce and dwarf cedar on the hills. some coal or carbonated wood still makes it's appearance in these bluffs, pumicestone and birnt hills it's concommutants also are seen. the salts and quarts are seen but not in such abundance. the country more broken and barren than yesterday if possible. about midday it was very warm to this the high bluffs and narrow channel of the river no doubt contributed greatly. we passed a small untimbered Island this morning on the Lard. side of the river just above our encampment of last evening. saw a few small herds of the Bighorned anamals and two Elk only, of the last we killed one, the river is generally about 200 yds. wide, very rappid and has a perceptable fall or declination through it's whole course.

This evening we encamped, for the benefit of wood, near two dead toped cottonwood trees on the Lard. side; the dead limbs which had fallen from these trees furnished us with a scanty supply only, and more was not to be obtained in the neighbourhood.-

May 27th Monday 1805.

The wind blew hard from the S W. which detained us untill about 10 oClock, at which time we Set out and proceeded on, passed a Small nacked Island on the Lard Side imediately above the timber in which we Camped The river is verry Shoaley and the bad places are verry numerous, i e at the mouth of every Drean the rocks which is a hard dark gritey Stone is thrown out Some distance in the river which Cause a Considerable riffle on that Side, the hills approach the river verry Close on either Side, river narrow & no timber except Some Scattering pine on the hills & hill Sides, the Salts, Coal, burn hills & Pumice Stone &c. Continue, the hills are Generally Bluffs of various Coloured earth most commonly black with different quallities stone intermixed Some Stratums of Soft Sand Stone, Some hard, Some a dark brown & yellow hard grit, those Stones are loosened by the earths washing from them into the river and ultimately role down into the river, which appears to be Crowded with them. This day is verry worm- we only Saw a fiew Small herds of the big horn animals on the hills, and two Elk one of which We killed, we Camped at 2 dead top trees on the Lard Side. The river is Genly about 200 yards wide and Current very Swift to day and has a verry perceptiable fall in all its Course- it rises a little.