The Journals of Lewis & Clark: May 28, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
May 27, 1805
May 29, 1805

May 28, 1805

Tuesday May 28th 1805.

This morning we set forward at an early hour; the weather dark and cloudy, the are smokey, had a few drops of rain; we employed the chord generally to which we also gave the assistance of the pole at the riffles and rocky points; these are as numerous and many of them much worse than those we passed yesterday; arround those points the water drives with great force, and we are obliged in many instaces to steer our vessels through the appertures formed by the points of large sharp rocks which reach a few inches above the surface of the water, here sould our chord give way the bough is instantly drivin outwards by the stream and the vessel thrown with her side on the rocks where she must inevitably overset or perhaps be dashed to peices; our ropes are but slender, all of them except one being made of Elk's skin and much woarn, frequently wet and exposed to the heat of the weather are weak and rotten; they have given way several times in the course of the day but happily at such places that the vessel had room to wheel free of the rocks and therefore escaped injury; with every precaution we can take it is with much labour and infinite risk that we are enabled to get around these points. found a new indian lodge pole today which had been brought down by the stream, it was woarn at one end as if draged by dogs or horses; a football also, and several other articles were found, which have been recently brought down by the courant; these are strong evedences of Indians being on the river above us, and probably at no great distance; the football is such as I have seen among the Minetaries and therefore think it most probable that they are a band of the Minetaries of Fort de Prarie. the river country &c continued much as yesterday untill late in the evening when we arrived at the entrance of a large Creek discharges itself on the Stard. side, is 35 Yd. wide and contains runing water; here the hills recede from the river on both sides, the bottoms extensive particularly on the Stard. side where the hills are comparitively low and open into three large vallies which extend for a considerable distance in a Northwardly direction; here also the river spreads to more than 3 times it's former width and is filled with a number of small and handsome Islands covered with cottonwood some timber also in the bottoms, the land again fertile. These appearances were quite reviving after the drairy country through which we had been passing. Capt. C. walked on shore in the early part of the day and killed a big horned anamal; he saw a great number of them as well as ourselves in the broken country. at 10 A.M. a few drops of rain again fell and were attended with distant thunder which is the first we have heated since we left the Mandans.- This evening we encamped on Stard. opposite to the entrance of a small Creek. I beleive the bighorn have their young at a very early season, say early in March for they appear now to be half grown. One of the party saw a very large bear today but being some distance from the river and no timber to conceal him he did not think proper to fire on him.

May 28th Tuesday 1805

a Cloudy morning Some fiew drops of rain and verry Smokey wind from the S. W. we Set out at an early hour, the Shoaley places are verry numerous and Some bad to get around we have to make use of the Cord & Poles, and our tow. ropes are all except one of Elkskin, & Stretch and Sometimes brake which indanger the Perogues or Canoe, as it imedeately turns and if any rock Should chance to be below, the rapidity of the current would turn her over, She Should chance to Strike the rock we observe great Caution at those places.

I walked on Shore found the Countrey ruged and as described yesterday, I Saw great numbers of the Big horned animals, one of which I killed their fauns are nearly half grown- one of the Party Saw a verry large bear, picked up on the Shore a pole which had been made use of by the Nativs for lodge poles, & haul'd by dogs it is new and is a Certain Sign of the Indians being on the river above a foot ball and Several other articles are also found to Substantiate this oppinion-. at 1 oClock we had a few drops of rain and Some thunder whic is the first thunder we have had Sinc we Set out from Fort Mandan; at 10 miles the the hills begin to widen & the river Spreds & is crouded with Islands the bottoms Contain Some Scattering Cotton wood the Islands also Contain timber- passed a Creek of running water on the Stard Side about 35 yards wide and camped imedeately opposit to a Small Creek on the Lard. Side we call Bull Creek from the Circumstance of a Buffalow Bull swiming from the opposit Side and comeing out of the river imedeately across one of the Perogues without Sinking or injureing any thing in the Perogue, and passing with great violence thro our Camp in the night makeing 3 angles without hurting a man, altho they lay in every direction, and it was very dark The Creek below 35 yards wide I call Thompsons Creek after a valuable member of our party- this Creek contains a Greater preportion of running water than Common.