The Journals of Lewis & Clark: July 25, 1806
July 25, 1806
Friday July 25th 1806. The weather still continues cold cloudy and rainy, the wind also has blown all day with more than usual violence from the N. W. this morning we eat the last of our birds and cows, I therefore directed Drewyer and J. Fields to take a couple of the horses and proceed to the S. E. as far as the main branch of Maria's river which I expected was at no great distance and indeavour to kill some meat; they set out immediately and I remained in camp with R. Fields to avail myself of every opportunity to make my observations should any offer, but it continued to rain and I did not see the sun through the whole course of the day R. Fields and myself killed nine pigeons which lit in the trees near our camp on these we dined. late in the evening Drewyer and J. Fields returned the former had killed a fine buck on which we now fared sumptuously. they informed me that it was about 10 miles to the main branch of Maria's River, that the vally formed by the river in that quarter was wide extensive and level with a considerable quantity timber; here they found some wintering camps of the natives and a great number of others of a more recent date or that had from appearance been evacuated about 6 weeks; we consider ourselves extreemly fortunate in not having met with these people. I determined that if tomorrow continued cloudy to set out as I now begin to be apprehensive that I shall not reach the United States within this season unless I make every exertion in my power which I shall certainly not omit when once I leave this place which I shall do with much reluctance without having obtained the necessary data to establish it's longitude-as if the fates were against me my chronometer from some unknown cause stoped today, when I set her to going she went as usual.
Friday 25th July 1806. We Set out at Sunrise and proceeded on very well for three hours. Saw a large gange of Buffalow on the Lard Bank. I concluded to halt and kill a fat one, dureing which time Some brackfast was ordered to be Cooked. we killed 2 Buffalow and took as much of their flesh as I wished. Shields killed two fat deer and after a delay of one hour and a half we again proceeded on. and had not proceeded far before a heavy shower of rain pored down upon us, and the wind blew hard from the S W. the wind increased and the rain continued to fall. I halted on the Stard. Side had Some logs set up on end close together and Covered with deerskins to keep off the rain, and a large fire made to dry ourselves.
the rain continued moderately untill near twelve oClock when it Cleared away and become fair. the wind Contined high untill 2 P M. I proceeded on after the rain lay a little and at 4 P M arived at a remarkable rock Situated in an extensive bottom on the Stard. Side of the river & 250 paces from it. this rock I ascended and from it's top had a most extensive view in every direction. This rock which I shall Call Pompy's Tower is 200 feet high and 400 paces in secumphrance and only axcessable on one Side which is from the N. E the other parts of it being a perpendicular Clift of lightish Coloured gritty rock on the top there is a tolerable Soil of about 5 or 6 feet thick Covered with Short grass. The Indians have made 2 piles of Stone on the top of this Tower. The nativs have ingraved on the face of this rock the figures of animals &c. near which I marked my name and the day of the month & year. From the top of this Tower I Could discover two low Mountains & the Rocky Mts. covered with Snow S W. one of them appeard to be extencive and bore S. 15° E. about 40 miles. the other I take to be what the indians Call the Little wolf Mtn. I can only see the Southern extremity of it which bears N 55° W about 35 Miles. The plains to the South rise from the distance of about 6 miles the width of the bottom gradually to the mountains in that derection. a large Creek with an extencive Vally the direction of which is S. 25° E. meanders boutifully through this plain. a range of high land Covered with pine appears to run in a N. & S. direction approaching the river below. on the Northerly Side of the river high romantic Clifts approach &jut over the water for Some distance both above and below. a large Brooks which at this time has Some running muddy water falls in to the Rochejhone imediately opposit Pompys Tower. back from the river for Some distance on that Side the hills are ruged & some pine back the plains are open and extensive. after Satisfying my Self Sufficiently in this delightfull prospect of the extensive Country around, and the emence herds of Buffalow, Elk and wolves in which it abounded, I decended and proceeded on a fiew miles, Saw a gang of about 40 Big horn animals fired at them and killed 2 on the Sides of the rocks which we did not get. I directed the Canoes to land, and I walked up through a crevis in the rocks almost inaxcessiable and killed 2 of those animals one a large doe and the other a yearlin Buck. I wished very much to kill a large buck, had there been one with the gang I Should have killd. him. dureing the time the men were getting the two big horns which I had killed to the river I employed my Self in getting pieces of the rib of a fish which was Semented within the face of the rock this rib is about 3 inchs in Secumpherance about the middle it is 3 feet in length tho a part of the end appears to have been broken off I have Several peces of this rib the bone is neither decayed nor petrified but very rotten. the part which I could not get out may be Seen, it is about 6 or 7 Miles below Pompys Tower in the face of the Lard. Clift about 20 feet above the water. after getting the big horn on board &c I proceeded on a Short distance and encamped, an earlyer than I intended on accout of a heavy cloud which was comeing up from the S. S W. and Some appearance of a Violent wind. I walked out and killed a Small Buck for his Skin which the party are in want of for Clothes. about Sunset the wind blew hard from the W. and Some little rain. I encamped on the Stard. Side imediately below the enteranc Shannons River about 22 Yards wide, and at this time discharges a great portion of water which is very Muddy. emence herds of Buffalow about our as it is now running time with those animals the bulls keep Such a grunting nois which is very loud and disagreeable Sound that we are compelled to Scear them away before we can Sleep. the men fire Several Shot at them and Scear them away.