May 31, 1805
Meriwether Lewis

The obstructions of rocky points and riffles still continue as yesterday; at those places the men are compelled to be in the water even to their armpits, and the water is yet very could, and so frequent are those point[s] that they are one fourth of their time in the water, added to this the banks and bluffs along which they are obliged to pass are so slipperty and the mud so tenacious that they are unable to wear their mockersons, and in that situation draging the heavy burthen of a canoe and walking acasionally for several hundred yards over the sharp fragments of rocks which tumble from the clifts and garnish the borders of the river; in short their labour is incredibly painfull and great, yet those faithfull fellows bear it without a murmur. ... I fear her evil gennii will play so many pranks with her that she will go the bottomm some of those days.

The hills and river Clifts which we passed today exhibit a most romantic appearance. ... The water in the course of time in decending from those hills and plains on either side of the river has trickled down the soft sand clifts and woarn it into a thousand grotesque figures, which with the help of a little immagination and an oblique view, at a distance are made to represent eligant ranges of lofty freestone buildings, having their parapets well stocked with statuary; collumns of various sculpture both grooved and plain, are also seen supporting long galleries in front of those buildings; in other places on a much nearer approach and with the help of less immagination we see the remains or ruins of eligant buildings; some collumns standing and almost entire with their pedestals and capitals; others retaining their pedestals but deprived by time or accident of their capitals, some lying prostrate an broken othe[r]s in the form of vast pyramids of connic structure bearing a serees of other pyramids on their tops becoming less as they ascent and finally terminating in a sharp point. nitches and alcoves of various forms and sizes are seen at different hights as we pass. ... the tops of the collumns did not the less remind us of some of those large stone buildings in the U. States. ... As we passed on it seemed as if those seens of visionary inchantment would never have and [an] end; for here it is too that nature presents to the view of the traveler vast ranges of walls of tolerable workmanship, so perfect indeed are those walls that I should have thought that nature had attempted her to rival the human art of masonry had I not recollected that she had first began her work.

May 31, 1805
William Clark

in maney places of this days march we observe on either side of the river extraodanary walls of a black semented stone which appear to be regularly placed one stone on the other, ... those walls commence at the waters edge & in some places meet at right angles.

May 31, 1805
John Ordway

a Cloudy morning.   the canoes all dispached eairly to collect the meat of 2 buffalow killed last night.   the perogues proceeded on   it continued to rain moderately untill about 12 oClock when it ceased & continued cloudy.    the Stones on the edges of the river continue to form very considerable rapids.   we find them difficult to pass.   the tow rope of the white perogue which we were oblidge to make use of broke & was in Some danger of turning over.   we landed at 12 oClock    the Capts. gave the or refreshed the party with a dram    we are oblidged to undergo great labour and fatigue in ascending this part of the Missouri as they are compelled from the rapidity of the current in many places to walk in the water & on Slippery hill sides on the Sides of rocks &.c.   on gravel & thro Stiff mud, bear footed and we cannot keep on moccasons from the Stiffness of the mud & decline of the Steepp hill sides--   the hills and river cliffts of this day exhibit a most romantick appearance [Ordway copied from Clark who copied from Lewis.  The description is of the White Cliffs area of the Missouri River Breaks.]   on each Side of the river is a white Soft Sand Stone bluffs which rises to about half the hight of the hills, on the top of this Clift is a black earth.   one pooints in many places this sand Stone appears like antient ruins   Some like elegant buildings at a distance, Some like Towers &.C&.C.   in many places of this days march we observe on either Side of the river extroardanary walls of a black semented stone which appear to be regularly placed one Stone on the other.  Some of those walls rise to the hight of 100 feet.   they are from about 9 foot to 12 feet deep or thick and are perpinticular.   those walls commence at the waters edge & in some places neet at right angles.   those walls appear to continue thier course into the Sand clifts.   the Stone which for those walls are of different Sizes all Square edged.   great nombers has fallen from the walls near the river which causes the wall of unequal hite, in the hollars & gullies I Saw Some Scrubby ceddr.    the low walls Strait White & handsom, like ancient elegant buildings.    towards evening the country becomes lower and the bottoms wider.    no timaber on the uplands, except a fiew ceddr & pine on the clifts.    a fiew Scatering cottonwood trees on the points in the river bottoms.   The appearence of coal continues.  Capt. Lewis walked on Shore & observed a Species of pine [Limber Pine, Pinus flexilis.] we had never before Seen, with a Shorter leaf than common & The burr different, he also collected Some of the Stone of one of the walls which appears to be a Siment of Sun glass black earth.  we Camped on the Stard. Side in a Small timberd handsom bottom above the mouth of a creek on the Stard. Side. [The expedition's Stonewall Creek, now Eagle Creek.]   the hunters killed 2 animels with big horns.   2 buffalow an Elk & a black taild or mule deer.   we Saw a nomber of those big horned animels on the clifts.   but fiew buffalow or Elk, no antilope, a fiew mule Deer.  Saw a fox to day.   the river rises a little     it is form 150 to 250 yards wide.  Came 18 miles to day.--

May 31, 1805
Patrick Gass

We embarked early in a cloudy morning; passed through a mountainous country, but the game is more pleanty, and we killed some buffaloe in our way.  About 11 o'clock it began to rain slowly, and continued raining two hours, when it cleared up.  We passed some very curious cliffs and rocky peaks, in a long range. Some of them 200 feet high and not more than eight feet thick. They seem as if built by the hand of man, and are so numerous that they appear like the ruins of an antient city.  We went 17 1/2 miles and encamped at the mouth of a handsome creek on the North side. [Above the mouth of Eagle Creek, Stonewall Creek to the expedition.]

May 31, 1805
Joseph Whitehouse

cloudy.   we Set off as usal.   the canoes crossed the rive & the men went for the meat which was killed last night.   one of the hunters killed an Elk.   we proceeded on.   abt. 11 oC. began to rain, rained moderately for Some time.   we passed verry high clifts of rocks, halted <abt. noon> at 12 oC. to dine.   our Captains gave each man a draughm of Spirits as it was wet.  Capt. Lewis killed a fat buffaloe, & Some of the hunters killed 2 more but lost one of them in the river.   abt 1 oC. we proceeded on     passed high white clifts of rock & Some pinecles which is 100 feet high from the Surface of the water.  Some verry high black walls of Stone also on each Side of the river, which is curious to See.   we Saw a brown bear on the N.S.  Some of the hunters went out in order to kill it.   passed Straight white clifts of rocks on the S. Side.   Came 17 1/2 miles & Camped at a handsom bottom covered with c. wood timber on the N.S. [Just above the mouth of Eagle Creek, the expedition's Stonewall Creek.] which was the first timber we Saw to day except a fiew Scatering trees along the Shore and a fiew ceeders on the hills.   the current has been Swift all this day.   the hunters came in at dark had killed 1 black taild Deer 2 Ibex or mountain Sheep (rams) which had handsom large horns.    we took care of the horns in order to take them back to the U. States.   a pleasant evening.  a pleasant evening. (one man Saw a large pond or Small lake, out in the plains on South Side)

May 31, 1805
Joseph Whitehouse

We had cloudy weather this morning, one of our Hunters went out Early this morning and killed an Elk which was brought to us.--  We set off early and proceeded on our Voyage, still towing the Crafts; about 11 o'Clock A.m it began to rain, and rained moderately, for some time; We continued on, and passed some high Clifts of Rocks, lying on both sides of the River.--  About 12 o'Clock A.M. we halted to dine, Our Officers gave each Man, a dram of Spirit, they being wet and Cold; Captain Lewis went out hunting, and killed a fat buffalo; and some of the Hunters that was out hunting killed 2 More of those Animals, but lost one of them in the River; the Buffalo being brought to us, about One o'Clock P.M. we proceeded on our Voyage, and passed high white Clifts of rocks, and some high pinnacles which was 100 feet high from the Surface of the Water, and some very high black Walls of Stone, lying on each side of the River, which appeared curious, We also saw a brown Bear, on the North side of the River; and some of our hunters went out in order to kill it, We went on and passed some straight white Clifts of rocks which lay on the South side of the River, The current of the River ran very strong, the whole of this day, The hunters returned to us in the Evening, they had killed 1 black Tailed deer, & 2 Ibex or mountain Sheep, They were 2 Rams and had handsome large Horns, those Horns the Officers, had taken care of, in Order to carry them back with us, tot he United States.--   One of our hunters mention'd of his having seen a very large lake, or pond, of water, on the South side of the River.--

In the Evening, the weather cleared off, and became pleasant; and we encamped, at a handsome bottom, covered with Cotton wood, Timber lying on the North side of the River; which was the first growth of timber, that we had seen this day; excepting a few scattering Trees, along the Shores, and a few Cedar Trees, which grew on the hills, We came this day 17 1/2 Miles