The Journals of Lewis & Clark: July 2, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
July 1, 1805
July 3, 1805

July 2, 1805

Tuesday July 2cd 1805

A shower of rain fell very early this morning after which we dispatched the men for the remaining baggage at the 6 mile stake. Shields and Bratton seting their tarkiln, Sergts. Pryor and Gass at work on the waystrips and myself and all other hands engaged in puting the boat together which we accomplished in about 3 hours and I then set four men at work sewing the leather over the cross bars of Iron on the inner side of the boat, which form the ends of the sections. about 2 P.M. the party returned with the baggage, all well pleased that they had completed the laborious task of the portage. The Musquetoes uncommonly troublesome the wind hard from the S. W. all day I think it possible that these almost perpetual S. W. winds proceede from the agency of the Snowey Mountains and the wide level and untimbered plains which streach themselves along their bases for an immence distance (i e) that the air comeing in contact with the snow is suddonly chilled and condenced, thus becoming heaver than the air beneath in the plains, it glides down the sides of these mountains & decends to the plains, where by the constant action of the sun on the face of an untimbered country there is a partial vacuum formed for it's reception. I have observed that the winds from this quarter are always the coldest and most violent which we experience, yet I am far from giving full credit to my own hypothesis on this subject; if hoever I find on the opposite side of these mountains that the winds take a contrary direction I shall then have more faith. After I had completed my observation of Equal Altitudes today Capt. Clark Myself and 12 men passed over to the large Island to hunt bear. the brush in that part of it where the bear frequent is an almost impenetrable thicket of the broad leafed willow; this brush we entered in small parties of 3 or four together and surched in every part. we found one only which made at Drewyer and he shot him in the brest at the distance of about 20 feet, the ball fortunately passed through his heart, the stroke knocked the bear down and gave Drewyer time to get out of his sight; the bear changed his course we pursued him about a hundred yards by the blood and found him dead; we surched the thicket in every part but found no other, and therefore returned. this was a young male and would weigh about 400 lbs. the water of the Missouri here is in most places about 10 feet deep. after our return, in moving some of the baggage we caught a large rata it was somewhat larger than the common European rat, of lighter colour; the body and outer part of the legs and head of a light lead colour, the belly and inner side of the legs white as were also the feet and years. the toes were longer and the ears much larger than the common rat; the ears uncovered with hair. the eyes were black and prominent the whiskers very long and full. the tail was reather longer than the body and covered with fine fur or poil of the same length and colour of the back. the fur was very silkey close and short. I have frequently seen the nests of these rats in clifts of rocks and hollow trees but never before saw one of them. they feed very much on the fruit and seed of the prickly pear; or at least I have seen large quantities of the hulls of that fruit lying about their holes and in their nests.

July 2nd Tuesday 1805

Some rain at day light this morning. dispatched the party for the remaining baggage left at the 6 mile Stake, they returned in the evening and we Crossed to a large Island nearly opposit to us to kill bear which has been Seen frequently in the Island, we killed one bear & returned at Sun Set. The Roreing of the falls for maney miles above us

July 2nd Tuesday 1805

Some rain at day light this morn'g after which a fair morning, dispatched the men for the Kegs &c. left at the Six mile Stake, others to get timber for the boat &c. Musquetors verry troublesom to day, day worm, after the return of the men with the articles left at the 6 mile Stake Capt. Lewis my Self & 12 men Crossed to an Island on which we Saw a bear the evening before, & Several had been Seen by the party at this place, we killed one of the bear and returned. The river at this place is ____ yards wide and about 10 feet water Cought a rat in our Stores, which had done some mischief, this rat was about the Sise of a Comn. large rat, larger ears, long whiskers & toes, with a tail long & hairey like a ground Squirel, verry fine fur and lighter than the Common rat. Wind to day as usial from the S. W. and hard all the after part of the day, those winds are also Cool and generally verry hard.