The Journals of Lewis & Clark: July 4, 1806

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
July 3, 1806
July 5, 1806

July 4, 1806

July 4th 1806. An Indian arrived alone from the West side of the mountains. he had pursued and overtook us here. sent out the hunters early to kill some meat to give the indians as they would not go with us further and I was unwilling after they service they had rendered to send them away without a good store of provision. they are going down Clark's River in surch of the Shalees their friends, and from thence intend returning by this rout home again, they fleesed their meat informed us that they should dry it and leave it for their homeward journey.- Set out at 12. had killed no deer.

Friday July 4th 1806. I arrose early this morning and sent out Drewyer and the Fieldses to hunt. at 6. A.M. a man of the Pallote pellows arrived from the West side of the Rocky mountains; he had pursued us a few days after our departure and overtook us at this place; he proved to be the same young man who had first attempted to pass the rocky mountains early in June last when we lay on the Kooskooske and was obliged to relinquish the enterprize in consequence of the debth and softness of the snow. I gave a shirt a handkercheif and a small quantity of ammunition to the indians. at half after eleven the hunters returned from the chase unsuccessfull. I now ordered the horses saddled smoked a pipe with these friendly people and at noon bid them adieu. they had cut the meat which I gave them last evening thin and exposed it in the sun to dry informing me that they should leave it in this neighbourhood untill they returned as a store for their homeward journey. it is worthy of remark that these people were about to return by the same pass by which they had conducted us through the difficult part of the Rocky Mountains, altho they were about to decend Clark's river several days journey in surch of the Shale's their relations, a circumstance which to my mind furnishes sufficient evidence that there is not so near or so good a rout to the plains of Columbia by land along that river as that which we came. the several war routs of the Minetarees which fall into this vally of Clark's river concenter at traveller's rest beyond which point they have never yet dared to venture in pursuit of the nations beyond the mountains. all the nations also on the west side of the mountain with whom we are acquainted inhabiting the waters of Lewis's river & who visit the plains of the Missouri pass by this rout. these affectionate people our guides betrayed every emmotion of unfeigned regret at seperating from us; they said that they were confidint that the Pahkees, (the appellation they give the Minnetares) would cut us off. the first 5 miles of our rout was through a part of the extensive plain in which we were encamped, we then entered the mountains with the East fork of Clark's river through a narrow confined pass on it's N. side continuing up that river five ms. further to the entrance of the Cokahlahishkit R which falls in on the N. E. side, is 60 yds. wide deep and rapid. the banks bold not very high but never overflow. the East fork below its junction with this stream is 100 yds. wide and above it about 90. the water of boath are terbid but the East branch much the most so; their beds are composed of sand and gravel; the East fork possesses a large portion of the former. neither of those streams are navigable in consequence of the rapids and shoals which obstruct their currents. thus far a plain or untimbered country bordered the river which near the junction of these streams spread into a handsome level plain of no great extent; the hills were covered with long leafed pine and fir. I now continued my rout up the N. side of the Cokahlahishkit river through a timbered country for 8 miles and encamped in a handsom bottom on the river where there was an abundance of excelence grass for our horses. the evening was fine, air pleasent and no musquetoes. a few miles before we encamped I killed a squirrel of the speceis common to the Rocky Mountains and a ground squirrel of a speceis which I had never before seen, I preserved the skins of both of these animals.

Friday July 4th 1806

I order three hunters to Set out early this morning to hunt & kill Some meat and by 7 A.M. we Collected our horses took braekfast and Set out proceeded on up the Vally on the West Side of Clarks river crossing three large deep and rapid Creeks, and two of a Smaller Size to a Small branch in the Spurs of the mountain and dined. the last Creek or river which we pass'd was So deep and the water So rapid that Several of the horses were Sweped down Some distance and the Water run over Several others which wet Several articles. after Crossing this little river, I observed in the road the tracks of two men whome I prosume is of the Shoshone nation. our hunters joined us with 2 deer in tolerable order. on the Side of the Hill near the place we dined Saw a gange of Ibex or big horn Animals I Shot at them running and missed. This being the day of the decleration of Independence of the United States and a Day commonly Scelebrated by my Country I had every disposition to Selebrate this day and therefore halted early and partook of a Sumptious Dinner of a fat Saddle of Venison and Mush of Cows (roots) after Dinner we proceeded on about one mile to a very large Creek which we assended Some distance to find a foard to cross in crossing this creek Several articles got wet, the water was So Strong, alto the debth was not much above the horses belly, the water passed over the backs and loads of the horses. those Creeks are emensely rapid has great decnt the bottoms of the Creek as well as the low lands on each Side is thickly covered with large Stone after passing this Creek I inclined to the left and fell into the road on which we had passed down last fall near the place we had dined on the 7th of Sept. and continued on the road passing up on the W. Side of Clarks river 13 miles to the West fork of Sd. river and Encamped on an arm of the same I Sent out 2 men to hunt, and 3 in Serch of a foard to pass the river. at dark they all returned and reported that they had found a place that the river might be passed but with Some risque of the loads getting wet I order them to get up their horses and accompany me to those places &c. our hunters killed 4 deer to day. we made 30 ms. to day on a course nearly South Vally from 8 to 10 mes. wide. contains a good portion of Pitch pine. we passed three large deep rapid Creeks this after noon