The Journals of Lewis & Clark: June 25, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
June 24, 1805
June 26, 1805

June 25, 1805

Tuesday June 25th 1805.

This morning early I sent the party back to the lower camp; dispatched Frazier down with the canoe for Drewyer and the meat he had collected, and Joseph Fields up the Missouri to hunt Elk. at eight OCIk. sent Gass and Sheilds over to the large Island for bark and timber. about noon Fields returned and informed me that he had seen two white bear near the river a few miles above and in attempting to get a shoot them had stumbled uppon a third which immediately made at him being only a few steps distant; that in runing in order to escape from the bear he had leaped down a steep bank of the river on a stony bar where he fell cut his hand bruised his knees and bent his gun. that fortunately for him the bank hid him from the bear when he fell and that by that means he had escaped. this man has been truly unfortunate with these bear, this is the second time that he has narrowly escaped from them. about 2 P. M Shields and Gass returned with but a small quantity of both bark and timber and informed me that it was all they could find on the Island; they had killed two Elk the skins of which and a part of the flesh they brought with them. in the evening Drewyer and Frazier arrivd with about 800 lbs. of excellent dryed meat and about 100 lbs of tallow. The river is about 800 yds. wide opposite to us above these islands, and has a very gentle current the bottoms are hadsome level and extensive on both sides; the bank on this side is not more than 2 feet above the level of the water; it is a pretty little grove in which our camp is situated. there is a species of wild rye which is now heading it rises to the hight of 18 or 20 inches, the beard is remarkably fine and soft it is a very handsome grass the culm is jointed and is in every rispect the wild rye in minuture. great quantities of mint also are here it resemble the pepper mint very much in taste and appearance. the young blackbirds which are almost innumerable in these islands just begin to fly. see a number of water tarripens. I have made an unsuccessfull attempt to catch fish, and do not think there are any in this part of the river. The party that returned this evening to the lower camp reached it in time to take one canoe on the plain and prepare their baggage for an early start in the morning after which such as were able to shake a foot amused themselves in dancing on the green to the music of the violin which Cruzatte plays extreemly well.

Capt. C. somewhat unwell today. he made Charbono kook for the party against their return. it is worthy of remark that the winds are sometimes so strong in these plains that the men informed me that they hoisted a sail in the canoe and it had driven her along on the truck wheels. this is really sailing on dry land.

June 25th Tuesday 1805

a fair worm morning, Clouded & a few drops of rain at 5 oClock A.M. fair I feel my Self a little unwell with a looseness &c. &c. put out the Stores to dry & Set Chabonah &c to Cook for the party against their return-he being the only man left on this Side with me I had a little Coffee for brackfast which was to me a riarity as I had not tasted any Since last winter. The wind from the N. W. & worm. This Countrey has a romantick appearance river inclosed between high and Steep hills Cut to pieces by revines but little timber and that Confined to the Rivers & Creek, the Missourie has but a fiew Scattering trees on its borders, and only one Solitary Cotton tree in sight of my Camp the wood which we burn is drift wood which is broken to pieces in passing the falls, not one large tree longer than about 8 or 10 feet to be found drifted below the falls the plains are inferior in point of Soil to those below, more Stone on the sides of the hill, grass but a few inches high and but few flowers in the Plains, great quantites of Choke Cheries, Goose burres, red & yellow berries, & red & Purple Currents on the edges of water Courses in bottoms & damp places, about my Camp the Cliffs or bluffs are a hard red or redish brown earth Containing Iron. we Catch great quantities of Trout, and a kind of mustel, flat backs & a Soft fish resembling a Shad and a few Cat. at 5 oClock the party returned, fatigued as usial, and proceeded to mend their mockersons &c. and G Shannon & R, Fds. to of the men who ware Sent up the medison river to hunt Elk, they killed no Elk, Several Buffalow & Deer, and reports that the river is 120 yds wide and about 8 feet deep Some timber on its borders- a powerfull rain fell on the party on their rout yesterday Wet Some fiew articles, and Caused the rout to be So bad wet & Deep thay Could with dificuelty proceed, Capt. Lewis & the men with him much employd with the Iron Boat in fitting it for the water, dispatched one man to George Drewyers Camp below medison river for meat &c. a fair after noon- great numbers of buffalow water opposit to my Camp everry day- it may be here worthy of remark that the Sales were hoised in the Canoes as the men were drawing them and the wind was great relief to them being Sufficeritly Strong to move the Canoes on the Trucks, this is Saleing on Dry land in every Sence of the word, Serjeant N Pryor Sick, the party amused themselves with danceing untill 10 oClock all Chearfullness and good humer, they all tied up their loads to make an early Start in the morning.