The Journals of Lewis & Clark: July 31, 1806

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
July 30, 1806
August 1, 1806

July 31, 1806

Thursday July 31st 1806. The rain still continuing I set out early and proceeded on as fast as possible. at 9 A.M. we fell in with a large herd of Elk of which we killed 15 and took their skins. the bottoms in the latter part of the day became wider better timbered and abound in game. the party killed 14 deer in the course of the day without attempting to hunt but little for them. we also killed 2 bighorns and 1 beaver; saw but few buffaloe. the river is still rising and excessively muddy more so I think than I ever saw it. we experienced some very heavy showers of rain today. we have been passing high pine hills all day. late in the evening we came too on the N. E. side of the river and took sheter in some indian lodges built of sticks, about 8 ms. below the entrance of North mountain creek. these lodges appeared to have been built in the course of the last winter. these lodges with the addition of some Elk skins afforded us a good shelter from the rain which continued to fall powerfully all night. I think it probable that the minnetares of Fort de Prarie visit this part of the river; we meet with their old lodges in every bottom.-

Saturday 31st of July 1806

I was much disturbed last night by the noise of the buffalow which were about me. one gang Swam the river near our Camp which alarmed me a little for fear of their Crossing our Canoes and Splitting them to pieces. Set out as usial about Sun rise passed a rapid which I call wolf rapid from the Circumstance of one of those animals being at the rapid. here the river approaches the high mountanious Country on the N W. Side those hills appear to be composed of various Coloured earth and Coal without much rock I observe Several Conical mounds which appear to have been burnt. this high Country is washed into Curious formed mounds & hills and is cut much with reveens. the Country again opens and at the distance of 23 miles below the Redston or War-har-sah River I landed in the enterance of a Small river on the Stard. Side 40 yards wid Shallow and muddy. it has lately been very high. haveing passed the Enterance of a River on the Lard Side 100 yards wide which has running water this river I take to be the one the Menetarries Call little wolf or Sa-a-shah River The high Country is entirely bar of timber. great quantities of Coal or carbonated wood is to be seen in every Bluff and in the high hills at a distance on each Side. Saw more Buffalow and Elk and antilopes this evening than usial. 18 Miles below the last river on the Stard. Side, I passed one 60 yards wide which had running water. this Stream I call oak-tar-pon-er or Coal River has very steep banks on each side of it. passed Several large Brooks Some of them had a little running water, also Several Islands Some high black looking Bluffs and encamped on the Stard. Side on a low point. the country like that of yesterday is open extencive plains. as I was about landing this evening Saw a white bear and the largest I ever Saw eating a dead buffalow on a Sand bar. we fired two Shot into him, he Swam to the main Shore and walked down the bank. I landed and fired 2 more Shot into this tremendious animal without killing him. night comeing on we Could not pursue him he bled profusely. Showers all this day