The Journals of Lewis & Clark: June 5, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
June 4, 1805
June 6, 1805

June 5, 1805

Wednesday June 5th 1805.

This morning was cloudy and so could that I was obleged to have recourse to a blanket coat in order to keep myself comfortable altho walking. the rain continued during the greater part of last night. the wind hard from N. W. we set out at sunrise and proceded up the river eight miles on the course last taken yesterday evening, at the extremity of which a large creek falls in on the Stard. 25 yards. wide at it's entrance, some timber but no water, notwithstanding the rain; it's course upwards is N. E. it is astonishing what a quantity of water it takes to saturate the soil of this country, the earth of the plains are now opened in large crivices in many places and yet looks like a rich loam from the entrance of this Creek (which I called Lark C.) the river boar N. 50. W. 4 m. at the entrance of this creek the bluffs were very steep and approached the river so near on the Stard. side that we ascended the hills and passed through the plains; at the extremity of this course we returned to the river which then boar North 2 rues. from the same point, I discovered a lofty single mountain which appeard to be at a great distance, perhaps 80 or more miles it boar N. 52 W. from it's conic figure I called it tower Mountain. we now passed through the river bottoms to the extremity of the last course thence with the river S 60° W 11/2 m. S 10 W. 3 m N 50 W 11/2 at the extremity of which I again ascended the bluffs and took a course to a point of the Lard. bluffs of the river which boar West 10 m. the river making a deep bend to the south that is of at least five miles from the center of the chord line to the center of the bend. on this course we passed through the plains found the plains as yesterday extreemly leavel and beautifull, great quanties of Buffaloe, some wolves foxes and Antelopes seen. near the river the plain is cut by deep ravines in this plain and from one to nine miles from the river or any water, we saw the largest collection of the burrowing or barking squirrels that we had ever yet seen; we passed through a skirt of the territory of this community for about 7 miles. I saw a flock of the mountain cock, or a large species of heath hen with a long pointed tail which the Indians informed us were common to the Rockey Mountains, I sent Shields to kill one of them but he was obliged to fire a long distance at them and missed his aim. as we had not killed or eat anything today we each killed a burrowing squrrel as we passed them in order to make shure of our suppers. we again intersepted the river at the expiration of the last course or the lard. bluffs, from whence it now boar N 80° W. 2 mes. from this point saw some other lofty mountains to the N. W. of Tower Mtn. which boar N. 65°W. 80 or 100 mes. distant at the expiration of this course we killed five Elk and a blacktailed or mule deer and encamped on Stard. side of the river in a handsome well timbered bottom where there were several old stick lodges. in the forepart of the day there was but little timber in the river bottoms but the quantity is now greater than usual. the river is about 80 yds. wide with a strong steady courant and from 6 to 10 feet water. I had the burrowing squirrels roasted by way of experiment and found the flesh well flavored and tender; some of them were very fat.

June 5th Wednesday 1805

Some little rain & Snow last night the mountains to our S E. covered with Snow this morning air verry Cold & raining a little, we Saw 8 buffalow opposit, they made 2 attempts to Cross, the water being So Swift they Could not, about the time we were Setting out three white bear approached our Camp we killed the three & eate part of one & Set out & proceeded on N. 20° W 11 miles. -k the river at maney places in this distance to a ridge on the N. Side t m the top of which I could plainly See a mountain to the South & W. covered with Snow at a long distance, The mountains opposit to us to the S. E. is also Covered with Snow this morning.- a high ridge from those mountains approach the river on the S E Side forming Some Clifts of hard dark Stone.- From the ridge at which place I Struck the river last, I could ____ discover that the river run west of South a long distance, and has a Strong rapid Current, as this river Continued its width debth & rapidity and the Course west of South, going up further would be useless, I deturmined to return, I accordingly Set out, thro the plain on a Course N. 30° E on my return & Struck the little river at 20 miles passing thro a Leavel plain, at the little river we killed 2 buck Elk & dined on their marrow, proceeded on a few miles & Camped, haveing killed 2 deer which was verry fat, Some few drops of rain to day, the evening fair wind hard from the N. E. I Saw great numbers of Elk & white tale deer, Some beaver, antelope mule deer & wolves & one bear on this little river marked my name in a tree N. Side near the ridge where the little river brakes thro