The Journals of Lewis & Clark: June 18, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
June 17, 1805
June 19, 1805

June 18, 1805

Tuesday June 18th 1805.

This morning I employed all hands in drawing the perogue on shore in a thick bunch of willow bushes some little distance below our camp; fastened her securely, drove out the plugs of the gage holes of her bottom and covered her with bushes and driftwood to shelter her from the sun. I now scelected a place for a cash and set tree men at work to complete it, and employed all others except those about the waggons, in overhawling airing and repacking our indian goods ammunition, provision and stores of every discription which required inspection. examined the frame of my Iron boat and found all the parts complete except one screw, which the ingenuity of Sheilds can readily replace, a resource which we have very frequent occasion for. about 12 O'Clk. the hunters returned; they had killed 10 deer but no Elk. I begin to fear that we shall have some difficulty in procuring skins for the boat. I wold prefer those of the Elk because I beleive them more durable and strong than those of the Buffaloe, and that they will not shrink so much in drying. we saw a herd of buffaloe come down to water at the sulpher spring this evening, I dispatched some hunters to kill some of them, and a man also for a cask of mineral water. the hunters soon killed two of them in fine order and returned with a good quantity of the flesh, having left the remainder in a situation that it will not spoil provided the wolves do not visit it. The waggons are completed this evening, and appear as if they would answer the purpose very well if the axetrees prove sufficiently strong. the wind blew violently this evening, as they frequently do in this open country where there is not a tree to brake or oppose their force. The Indian woman is recovering fast she set up the greater part of the day and walked out for the fist time since she arrived here; she eats hartily and is free from fever or pain. I continue same course of medecine and regimen except that I added one doze of 15 drops of the oil of vitriol today about noon.

There is a species of goosberry which grows very common about here in open situations among the rocks on the sides of the clifts. they are now ripe of a pale red colour, about the size of a common goosberry. and like it is an ovate pericarp of soft pulp invelloping a number of smal whitish coloured seeds; the pulp is a yelloish slimy muselaginous substance of a sweetish and pinelike tast, not agreeable to me. the surface of the berry is covered with a glutinous adhesive matter, and the frut altho ripe retains it's withered corollar. this shrub seldom rises more than two feet high and is much branched, the leaves resemble those of the common goosberry only not so large; it has no thorns. the berry is supported by seperate peduncles or footstalks of half an inch in length. immence quantities of small grasshoppers of a brown colour in the plains, they no doubt contribute much to keep the grass as low as we find it which is not generally more than three inches, the grass is a narrow leaf, soft, and affords a fine pasture for the Buffaloe.-

June 18th Tuesday 1805

we Set out early and arrived at the second great Cataract at about 200 yds above the last of 19 feet pitch- this is one of the grandest views in nature and by far exceeds any thing I ever Saw, the Missouri falling over a Shelveing rock for 47 feet 8 Inches with a Cascade &c of 14 feet 7 Inches above the Shoot for a 1/4 mile I decended the Clift below this Cateract with ease measured the hight of the purpendicular fall of 47 feet 8 Inches at which place the river is 473 yards wide as also the hight of the Cascade &c. a continuel mist quite across this fall* after which we proceeded on up the river a little more than a mile to the largest fountain or Spring I ever Saw, and doubt if it is not the largest in America Known, this water boils up from under th rocks near the edge of the river and falls imediately into the river 8 feet and keeps its Colour for 1/2 a mile which is emencely Clear and of a bluish Cast, proceeded on up the river passed a Succession of rapids to the next great fall of 26 Ft. 5 I. river 580 yards wide this fall is not intirely perpdincular a Short bench gives a Curve to the water as it falls a butifull Small Island at the foot of this fall near the Center of the Channel Covered with trees, the Missouri at this fall is 36 yards wide, a Considerable mist rises at this fall ocasionally, from this pitch to the head of the rapids is one mile & has a fall of 20 feet, this is also a handsome Scenery a fall in an open leavel plain, after takeing the hight & measureing the river proceeded on, Saw a gange of Buffalow Swiming the river above the falls, Several of which was drawn in to the rapids and with dificuelty mad Shore half drowned, we killed one of those Cows & took as much meat as we wished. emence herds of those animals in every direction, passed 2 groves in the Point just above the rapids & dined in one opposit the mouth of Medison River, which fails in on the Stard. Side and is 137 yards wide at its mouth the Missouri above is 800 yards wide, as the river Missouri appears to bear S Easterley I assended about 4 miles high to a Creek which appeared to head in South mountains passed a Island of ____ and a little timber in an Easterly bend at 1 mile, passed Some timber in a point at 2 mile at or near the lower point of a large Island on which we Shot at a large white bear. passed a Small Island in the middle and one close on the Lard Shore at 3 miles behind the head of which we Camped. those 3 Islands are all opposit, Soon after we Camped two ganges of Buffalow crossed one above & the other below we killed 7 of them & a calf and Saved as much of the best of the meat as we could this evening, one man A Willard going for a load of meat at 170 yards distance on an Island was attact by a white bear and verry near being Caught, prosued within 40 yards of Camp where I was with one man I collected 3 others of the party and prosued the bear (who had prosued my track from a buffalow I had killed on the Island at about 300 yards distance and chance to meet Willard) for fear of his attacking one man Colter at the lower point of the Island, before we had got down the bear had allarmed the man and prosued him into the water, at our approach he retreated, and we relieved the man in the water, I Saw the bear but the bushes was So thick that I could not Shoot him and it was nearly dark, the wind from the S W & Cool killed a beaver & an elk for their Skins this evening