The Journals of Lewis & Clark: July 31, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
July 30, 1805
August 1, 1805

July 31, 1805

Wednesday July 31st 1805.

This morning I waited at my camp very impatiently for the arrival of Capt. Clark and party; I observed by my watch that it was 7 A.M. and they had not come in sight. I now became very uneasy and determined to wait until 8 and if they did not arrive by that time to proceed on up the river taking it as a fact that they had passed my camp some miles last evening. just as I set out to pursue my plan I discovered Charbono walking up shore some distance below me and waited untill arrived I now learnt that the canoes were behind, they arrived shortly after. their detention had been caused by the rapidity of the water and the circuitous rout of the river. they halted and breakfasted after which we all set out again and I continued my walk on the Stard. shore the river now becomes more collected the islands tho numerous ar generally small. the river continues rapid and is from 90 to 120 yd. wide has a considerable quantity of timber in it's bottoms. towards evening the bottoms became much narrower and the timber much more scant. high hills set in close on the Lard. and the plain high waivy or reather broken on the Stard. and approach the river closely for a shot distance vally above 11/2 M wd. About one mile above Capt. Clark's encampment of the last evening the principall entrance of a considerable river discharges itself into Jefferson's river. this stream is a little upwards of 30 yd. wide discharges a large quantity of very clear water it's bed like that of Jefferson's river is pebble and gravel. it takes it's rise in the snowclad mountains between Jefferson's and Madison's Rivers to the S. W. and discharges itself into the former by seven mouths it has some timber in it's bottoms and vas numbers of beaver and Otter. this stream we call River Philosophy. the rock of the clifts this evening is a hard black grannite like that of the clifts of most parts of the river below the limestone clifts at the 3 forks of the Missouri this evening just before we encamped Drewyer discovered a brown bear enter a small cops of bushes on the Lard. side; we surrounded the place an surched the brush but he had escaped in some manner unperceived but how we could not discover. nothing killed today and our fresh meat is out. when we have a plenty of fresh meat I find it impossible to make the men take any care of it, or use it with the least frugallity. tho I expect that necessity will shortly teach them this art. the mountiains on both sides of the river at no great distance are very lofty. we have a lame crew just now, two with turners or bad boils on various parts of them, one with a bad stone bruise, one with his arm accedently dislocated but fortunately well replaced, and a fifth has streigned his back by sliping and falling backwards on the gunwall of the canoe. the latter is Sergt. Gass. it gives him great pain to work in the canoe in his present situation, but he thinks he can walk with convenience, I therefore scelected him as one of the party to accompany me tomorrow, being determined to go in quest of the Snake Indians. I also directed Drewyer and Charbono to hold themselves in readiness. Charbono thinks that his ankle is sufficiently recovered to stand the march but I entertain my doubts of the fact; he is very anxious to accompany me and I therefore indulge him. There is some pine on the hills on both sides of the river opposite to our encampment which is on the Lard. side upon a small island just above a run. the bull rush & Cat-tail flag grow in great abundance in the moist parts of the bottoms the dryer situations are covered with fine grass, tanzy, thistles, onions and flax. the bottom land fertile and of a black rich loam. the uplands poor sterile and of a light yellow clay with a mixture of small smooth pebble and gravel, poducing prickley pears, sedge and the bearded grass in great abundance; this grass is now so dry that it would birn like tinder.- we saw one bighorn today a few antelopes and deer.-

July 31st Tuesday 1805

a fair Morning Capt Lewis out all night, we arrived at his Camp to brackfast, he was without a blanket, & he killed a Duck whiche Suped on &c. the river as yesterday Sholey & rapid, passed the lower mouth of a Small river on the Lard. in the morning & the upper mouth a ____ Miles above, this little river is the one I camped on the 26th & heads in the Snow mountains to the S W. proceeded on verry well and Camped on a Small Island a little above the place I Camped the 25th instant at the mouth of a run on the Lard Side, the bottoms from the Mouth of the river extend to 21/2 Miles & enter a Short & high hill which is about 1 mile thro and, the river then passes thro a 2d value of about 11/2 Miles wide, Some Islands. below this Knobe the river is Crouded with Islands, we are out of fresh meet, & nothing killed to day The Mountains on either Side is high & rough we have two men with toumers and unable to work.

Capt Lewis deturmin to proceed on with three men in Serch of the Snake Indians, tomorrow