July 18, 1805
Meriwether Lewis

Set out early this morning.   previous to our departure saw a large herd of the Bighorned anamals on the immencely high and nearly perpendicular clift opposite to us; [Today's Eagle Rock, previously known as Big Rock.]  on the fase of this clift they walked about and bounded from rock to rock with apparent unconcern where it app[e]ared to me that no quadruped could have stood, and from which had they made one false step the[y] must have been precipitated at least a 500 feet.   this anamal appears to frequent such precepices and clifts where in fact they are perfectly secure from the pursuit of the wolf, bear, or even man himself.--   at the distance of 2 1/2 miles we passed the entrance of a considerable river on the Stard. side; about 80 yds. wide being nearly as wide as the Missouri at that place.   it's current is rapid and water extreamly transparent; the bed is formed of small smooth stones of flat rounded or other figures.  it's bottoms are narrow but possess as much timber as the Missouri.   the country is mountainous and broken through which it passes.   it appears as if it might be navigated but to what extent must be conjectural.   this handsome bold and clear stream we named in honour of the Secretary of war calling it Dearborn's river.--     as we were anxious now to meet with the Sosonees [This is the first use of the word "Sosonees" by Lewis. It is uncertain whether he wrote the entry before or after his contact with this tribe in August. It was not the word they used to describe themselves.] or snake Indians as soon as possible in order to obtain information relative to the geography of the country and also if necessary, some horses we thought it better for one of us either Capt. C. or myself to take a small party & proceed on up the river some distance before the canoes, in order to discover them, should they be on the river before the daily discharge of our guns, which was necessary in procuring subsistence for the party, should allarm and cause them to retreat to the mountains and conceal themselves, supposing us to be their enemies who visit them usually by the way of the river.  accordingly Capt. Clark set out this morning after breakfast with Joseph Fields, Pots and his servant York.   we proceeded on tolerably well; the current stonger than yesterday we employ the cord and oars principally tho' sometimes the setting pole.   in the evening we passed a large creek about 30 yds wide which disembogues on the Stard. side; it discharges a bold current of water it's banks low and bed frormed of stones altogether; this stream we called Ordway's creek after Sergt. John Ordway. [Later Little Prickly Pear Creek.]  I have observed for several days a species of flax growing in the river bottoms the leaf stem and pericarp of which resembles the common flax cultivated in the U' States. [Blue Flax, Linum perenne lewisii; Common, or, Annual Cultivated Flax is L. usitatissimun.]   the stem rises to the hight of about 2 1/2 or 3 feet high; as many as 8 or ten of which proceede from the same root.   the root appears to be perennial.   the bark of the stem is thick strong and appears as if it would make excellent flax.   the seed are not yet ripe but I hope to have an opportunity of collecting some of them after they are so   if it should on experiment prove to yeald good flax and at the same time admit of being cut without injuring the perennial root it will be a most valuable plant, and I think there is the greatest probability that it will do so, for notwithstanding the seed have not yet arrived at maturity it is putting up suckers or young shoots from the same root and would seem therefore that those which are fully grown and which are in the proper stage of vegitation to produce the best fax are not longer essencial to the preservation or support of the root.   the river somewhat wider than yesterday and the mountains more distant from the river and not so high; the bottoms are but narrow and little or no timber near the river.   some pine on the mountains which seems principally confined to their uper region.   we killed one Elk this morning and found part of the flesh and the skin of a deer this evening which had been kiled and left by Capt. Clark.    we saw several herds of the Bighorn but they were all out of our reach on inacessable clifts.--   we encamped on the Lard. side in a small grove of narrow leafed cottonwood. [Above present Holter Dam.]   there is not any of the broad leafed cottonwood on the river since it has entered the mountains.   Capt Clark ascended the river on the Stard. side. [Robert N. Bergantino believes Clark left the Missouri River near Holter Dam and continued S-SW to Falls Gulch. Clark then followed the gulch to Towhead Gulch and down that to Hilger Valley.   Clark's camp appears to be south of the summit of the pass on Towhead Gulch about two miles west of Beartooth Mountain.  A trail and power line now follow this route.]   in the early part of the day after he left me the hills were so steep that he gained but little off us; in the evening he passed over a mountain by which means he cut off many miles of the river's circuitous rout; the Indian road which he pursued over this mountain is wide and appears as if it had been cut down or dug in many places; he passed two streams of water, the branches of Ordway's creek, on which he saw a number of beaver dams succeeding each other in close order and extending as far up those streams as he could discover them in their couse towards the mountains.   he also saw many bighorn anamals on the clifts of the mountains.   not far beyond the mountain which he passed in the evening he encamped on a small stream of runing water.  having travelled about 20 m.   the water of those rivulets which make down from these mountains is extreemly cold pure and fine.   the soil near the river is of a good quality and produces a luxuriant growth of grass and weeds; among the last the sunflower holds a distinguished place.   the aspin is small but grows very commonly on the river and small streams which make down from the Mouts.

Courses and distances of July 18th 1805.

S. 15o W. 1 1/4 to a Laard. bend a high clift of the mountain on Ld. sd.
West 1 1/4 to the entrance of Dearborn's river on Stard.
S. 45o W. 2 1/2 to a Stard. bend
S. 8o E. 6 1/2 to the center of a bend on Lard. side, passing several small bends, a small creek at one mile on Lard. [Later Stickney Creek.] and an island on Stard. near the extretry of course
S. 80o W. 1/2 to a tree in the center of a Stard. bend.
S. 20o W. 1 1/2 to the center of a Stard. bend passing an Island.
S. 70o E. 1/4 to a bluff in a Stard. bend.
S. 75o W. 1 1/2 to the center of a Stard. bend, passing a small creek at 1/2 m. on Stard. side.
S. 5o W. 1/2 to the entrance of Ordway's Creek on the Stard. side in a Stard. bend 30 yds. wide.
S. 30o E. 2 1/2 to the center of a Lard. bend.   the vally widens
S. 40o W. 3/4 to the center of a Stard. bend.
S. 85o E. 2 to the center of a Lard. bend, passing 3 short bends, where we encamped for the evening.--
Miles 21

Point of observation No. 33.  

On the Lard. shore two miles above the entrance of Dearborn's River obsrved time and distance Sun's and moon's nearest limbs with Sextant; Sun East.

Time Distance
h m s
A.M 7 55 50 102o 57' 30"
" 58 33 " 57
8 00 14 " 56 30
" 2 20 " 54 45
" 5 50 " 53 45
Time Distance
h m s
A.M. 8 7 12 102 53
" 8 52 " 52 30
" 10 21 " 51 30
" 12 47 " 51 15
" 13 35 " 51 15

I also observed another species of flax today which is not so large as the first, sildome obtaining a greater hight than 9 Inches or a foot the stem and leaf resemble the other species but the steam is rarely branched, bearing a single monopetallous bellshaped blue flower which is suspended with it's limb downwards, [Roundleaf Harebell, Campanula rotundifolia.]

July 18, 1805
William Clark


July 18, 1805
John Ordway

a clear pleasant morning.   we Saw Mountain Sheep or Ibex on the top of a high Steep pricipice.   they ran along the rocks where it was all most perpentickelier and about 200 feet from the Surface of the water.   we set out at sun rise and proceeded on    about 3 miles passed the mouth of a river [Dearborn River, named by Lewis and Clark for Jefferson's secretary of war, Henry Dearborn.] on the N.S. about 100 yards wide at its mouth.   one mile further Capt. Clark killed an Elk.  Saw Several others.   we Saw a flock of mountain Rams on the Side of a hill which had large horns.  Capt. Clark his Servant and 2 other men [York, Clark's servant, Joseph Fields and John Potts.] Set out to go 1 or 2 days march a head to make discoverys &.C.   we proceeded on verry well with the canoes.    towards evening we passed a River [Ordway's Creek, by the expedition, it is Little Prickly Pear Creek.] which came in on N.S. about 60 yards wide.    the mountains continues but not So high as yesterday.   we Came 19 1/2 miles and Camped in a narrow bottom on the Larbord Side    considerable of fine flax in this bottom now going to Seed.   we found a Deer Skin and Some meat which Capt. Clark had killed.

July 18, 1805
Patrick Gass

The morning was fair and we proceeded on early: passed Clear-water river [Dearborn River, named for Henry Dearborn, Jefferson's secretary of war.] on the north side about 50 yards wide, rapid and shallow.  There are a great quantity of currants all along the river on both sides in the small bottoms.  At breakfast time Captain Clarke with three men went on ahead. [Joseph Fields, Potts and York.]   About 11 we got through the higher part of the mountains, and to where there is less timber and the rocks not so large.  In the forenoon we passed two small creeks on the north side, and in the afternoon a small river on the same side [Ordway's Creek, after expedition member Sergeant John Ordway, later Little Prickly Pear Creek.]; above the mouth of which we got a deer skin, that Captain Clarke's man [York] had hung up.  The country continues much the same.  we made 20 miles this day. [They camped above Holter Dam.]

July 18, 1805
Joseph Whitehouse

a clear pleasant morning.   we Saw Some Mountain Sheep on a verry high precipice which is nearly Steep from the river up 2 or 3 100 feet.   we Set out about Sun rise and proceded on about 3 miles passed the mouth of a river about 100 yd. wide at the mouth [Dearborn River, named for Henry Dearborn, Jefferson's secretary of war.] it came in on the N. Side and run Strong.   one mile further up Capt. Clark killed an Elk [The word "Capt." is written over "we."]   Saw a nomber more.   we Saw a flock of Mountain Rams on the Side of the mountain on S. Side with verry large horns.  Capt. Clark killd. one    we went near them before they run from us.    the mountains appear not So high ahead, but another range Seen a long distance above which appear much higher than any we See in this range and Some we allow to be 700 feet high    the pitch & yallow pine continues Scatering along these mountains &c.  Capt. Clark & his Servant york & 2 [Joseph Fields and John Potts.]  other men Set out to go up one or two days travel by land.   we proceded on with the canoes verry well.   towards evening we passed a Small River on N.S. about 60 yds wide named [blank] River. [Ordway's Creek, after expedition member Sergeant John Ordway, later Little Prickly Pear Creek.]   the mountains continue but not So high as yesterday.   we Came 19 1/2 miles and Camped in a narrow bottom on the S. Side. [They camped above Holter Dam.]  considerable of flax [Blue Flax, Linum perenne.] in this bottom half Seded.   we took on board Some deer meat & a Skin which Capt. Clark killed.

July 18, 1805
Joseph Whitehouse

This morning clear & pleasant; we saw some Mountain Sheep (Ibex) on a very high Precipice, which is nearly steep from the River, and <nearly> about 300 feet high, We set out about Sun rise, and proceeded on our way, and about 3 Miles from the place we left this morning, we passed the Mouth of a River, about 100 Yards wide at its mouth called Smiths River, it came in on the North side of the Mesouri, its stream run strong for a mile up it, Captain Clark who went ashore here, killed an Elk, and saw a number more of them.--  We saw another large flock of Mountain Sheep (Ibex[)] on the Side of a mountain; lying on the South Side of the Mesouri River--

Those animals had larger horns, than any that we had yet seen.--  Captain Clark kill'd one of them, We got near to them before they ran from us, The mountains appear not to be so high a head of us, as those we are in at present, We saw another range of Mountains a long distance further above us, Which appear to be much higher, then any that we have seen in this range, (some of which are 700 feet high)   The Pitch & Yellow pine appear to be growing, Scattering along these Mountains   Captain Clark, 3 of the party, & his black Servant, left us, and set out one days travel, up the River by land to make discoveries.--  We continued on our Voyage with our Canoes, till towards evening, and passed a small River lying on the North side 60 Yards wide at its mouth which Captain Lewis named Dearbornes River.  The Mountains continue, but not so high as they was Yesterday, We came 19 1/2 Miles this day, and encamped in a narrow bottom, lying on the South side of the River; here we found growing considerable quantity's of wild Flax, having seed about half ripe, This flax was in every appearance like the Flax, which is planted & grows in the United States.  We found hanging up at this place the Meat & Skin of a deer, that Captain Clark had killed and left for our party.--