The Journals of Lewis and Clark

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
July 18, 1805
July 20, 1805

July 19, 1805

Friday July 19th 1805

The Musquetoes are very troublesome to us as usual. this morning we set out early and proceeded on very well tho the water appears to encrease in volocity as we advance. the current has been strong all day and obstructed with some rapids, tho these are but little broken by rocks and are perfectly safe. the river deep and from 100 to 150 yds. wide. I walked along shore today and killed an Antelope. whever we get a view of the lofty summits of the mountains the snow presents itself, altho we are almost suffocated in this confined vally with heat. the pine cedar and balsum fir grow on the mountains in irregular assemleages or spots mostly high up on their sides and summits. this evening we entered much the most remarkable clifts that we have yet seen. these clifts rise from the waters edge on either side perpendicularly to the hight of 1200 feet. every object here wears a dark and gloomy aspect. the towering and projecting rocks in many places seem ready to tumble on us. the river appears to have forced it's way through this immence body of solid rock for the distance of 53/4 miles and where it makes it's exit below has thown on either side vast collumns of rocks mountains high. the river appears to have woarn a passage just the width of it's channel or 150 yds. it is deep from side to side nor is ther in the 1st 3 miles of this distance a spot except one of a few yards in extent on which a man could rest the soal of his foot. several fine springs burst out at the waters edge from the interstices of the rocks. it happens fortunately that altho the current is strong it is not so much so but what it may be overcome with the oars for there is hear no possibility of using either the cord or Setting pole. it was late in the evening before I entered this place and was obliged to continue my rout untill sometime after dark before I found a place sufficiently large to encamp my small party; at length such an one occurred on the lard. side where we found plenty of lightwood and pichpine. this rock is a black grannite below and appears to be of a much lighter colour above and from the fragments I take it to be flint of a yelloish brown and light creemcolourd yellow.- from the singular appearance of this place I called it the gates of the rocky mountains. the mountains higher today than yesterday, saw some Bighorns and a few Antelopes also beaver and Otter; the latter are now very plenty one of the men killed one of them today with a setting pole. musquetoes less troublesome than usual. we had a thundershower today about 1 P.M. which continued about an hour and was attended with som hail. we have seen no buffaloe since we entered the mounts. this morning early Capt. Clark pursued his rout, saw early in the day the remains of several Indians camps formed of willow brush which appeared to have been inhabited some time this spring. saw where the natives had pealed the bark off the pine trees about this same season. this the indian woman with us informs that they do to obtain the sap and soft part of the wood and bark for food. at 11 A.M. Capt. C. feell in with a gang of Elk of which he killed 2. and not being able to obtain as much wood as would make a fire substituded the dung of the buffaloe and cooked a part of their meat on which they breakfasted and again pursueed their rout, which lay along an old indian road. this evening they passed a hansome valley watered by a large creek which extends itself with it's valley into the mountain to a considerable distance. the latter part of the evening their rout lay over a hilly and mountanous country covered with the sharp fragments of flint which cut and bruised their feet excessively; nor wer the prickly pear of the leveler part of the rout much less painfull; they have now become so abundant in the open uplands that it is impossible to avoid them and their thorns are so keen and stif that they pearce a double thickness of dressed deers skin with ease. Capt. C. informed me that he extracted 17 of these bryers from his feet this evening after he encamped by the light of the fire. I have guarded or reather fortifyed my feet against them by soaling my mockersons with the hide of the buffaloe in parchment. he encamped on the river much fortiegud having passed two mountains in the course of the day and travelled about 30 miles.-

July 19th Fryday 1805

a find morning I proceeded on in an Indian path river verry crooked passed over two mountains Saw Several Indian Camps which they have left this Spring. Saw trees Peeled & found poles &c. at 11 oC I Saw a gange of Elk as we had no provision Concluded to kill Some Killd two and dined being oblige to Substitute dry buffalow dung in place of wood, this evening passed over a Cream Coloured flint which roled down from the Clifts into the bottoms, the Clifts Contain flint a dark grey Stone & a redish brown intermixed and no one Clift is Solid rock, all the rocks of everry description is in Small pices appears to have been broken by Some Convulsion- passed a butifull Creek on the Std. Side this eveng which meanders thro a butifull Vallie of great extent, I call after Sgt Pryor the countrey on the Lard Side a high mountain Saw Several Small rapids to day the river Keep its width and appear to be deep, my feet is verry much brused & cut walking over the flint, & constantly Stuck full Prickley pear thorns, I puled out 17 by the light of the fire to night We camped on the river Same (Lard) Side Musqutors verry troublesom.