July 06, 1806
Meriwether Lewis

Set out a little after sunrise  passed the creek a little above our encampment. [Apparently Monture Creek, Lewis's Seaman's Creek.]

East   14 M. to the point at which the river leaves the extensive plains and enters the mountains  these plains I called <the knob plains> the prarie of the knobs [Nevada Valley.] from <the> a number of knobs being irregularly scattered through it.  passed the N. fork 1 of the Cokahlarishkit River [North Fork Blackfoot River, which meets the Blackfoot River south of Ovando, MT.] at 7 M.  it is 45 yds. wide deep and rapid.  had some difficulty in passing it.  passed a large crooked pond [There are numerous lakes in this area east of the North Fork of the Blackfoot River. The largest are Kleinschmidt Lake and Browns Lake. One of these, most likely the former, is probably represented by a crescent shape marked "Pond" in the appropriate location in Lewis's notes.] at 4 ms. further.  great Number of the burrowing squirrls in this prarie of the speceis common to the plains of Columbia. [Likely the Columbian Ground Squirrel.]  saw some goats and deer.  the hunters killed one of the latter.  the trail which we take to be a returning war-party of the Minnetares of Fort de prarie becomes much fresher.  they have a large pasel of horses.  saw some Curloos [Longed-billed Curlew, Numenius americanus.], bee martains woodpeckers plover robins, doves, ravens, hawks and a variety of sparows common to the plains also some ducks.  the North fork is terbid as is also the main branch which is about 50 yds wide  the other streams are clear.  these plains continue their course S 75 E. and are wide where the river leaves them.  up this valley and creek a road passes to Dearbourn's river and thence to the Missouri.--
N. 60 E   1 1/2 up the river.  here we halted and dine and our hunters overtook us with a deer which they had killed.  river bottoms narrow and country thickly timbered.  Cottonwood and pine grow intermixed in the river bottoms musquitoes extreemely troublesome.  we expect to meet with the Minnetares and are therefore much on our guard both day and night.  the bois rague [The French bois rouge, "red wood," referring to the red, woody stems of Red Osier Dogwood, Cornus sericea or C. stolonifers.] in blume.--  saw the common small blue flag [Western Blue Flag, Iris missouriensis, a new species.] and peppergrass. [Peppergrasses are small, generally weedy, herbs of the mustard genus Lepidium. Lewis may have seen one of several native species such as Tall Peppergrass, L. virginicum. It is equally likely that he was using this common name for one of the many other mustards of the region, many of which are very simlar in appearance.]   the southern wood and two other speceis of shrub are common in the prarie of knobs.  preserved specemines of them. [Big, or Common Sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata. The other two species of shrubs collected on this day are Antelope Bush, Bitter Brush, Purshia tridentata and Silverberry, Elaeagnus commutata.]  passed several old indian encampments of <stick> brush lodges.--
S 80 E   2 m. to two nearly equal forks of the river [Possibly the junction of Poorman Creek from the south and Blackfoot River. At this fork Clark has made a dotted line representing the Indian trail going southeasterly, while Lewis's trail goes northeast. It is also possible that Lewis has misplaced this course and that it should go as the second course of July 7, since Lewis's camp was more than one mile below the entrance of Poorman Creek. The two forks would then be Landers Fork and Blackfoot River.  These two streams more nearly fit the captain's description here.]    here the road forks  also one leading up each branch  these are the forks of which I presume the indians made mention.  passed a creek on N. side 12 yds wide shallow and clear. [Probably Arrastra Creek flowing into Blackfoot River.]
N 75 E.   8 m.  to our encampment of this evening over a steep high balld toped hill for 2 m. thence through and to the left of a large low bottom 2 M.  thence three miles through a thick wood along the hill side bottoms narrow. thence 1 m. to our encampment [On Beaver Creek two miles west of present Lincoln, MT.] on a large creek some little distance above it's mouth through a beatifull plain on the border of which we passed the remains of 32 old lodges.  they appear to be those of the Minnetares as are all those we have seen today.  killed <another> five deer and a beaver today. [Beaver, Castor canadensis.]   encamped on the creek  much sign of beaver in this extensive bottom.



July 06, 1806
Patrick Gass

We had a fine clear morning with some white frost, and renewed our journey early; saw a great many service berries, not yet ripe, and some flax which grows on these plains. having gone about seven miles we crossed a north branch of the Co-qual-la-isquet [North Fork Blackfoot River, joining the Blackfoot River south of Ovando, MT.], which is 40 yards wide and was mid-rip deep on our horses, with a rapid current. About seven miles up the valley we passed a beautiful small lake [Possibly Kleinschmidt Lake.]; where the river and road leaves the valley, and bears towards the northeast between two hills not very large. We kept up the river, through a small burshy valley about the eighth of a mile wide, for a mile and an half, and then halted for dinner. Here our two hunters came to us, and had killed a deer. We keep two men out every day hunting. In this small valley there is a considerable quantity of cotton wood timber; and the musketoes are very troublesome. At 1 o'clock we proceeded on, passed a number of handsome streams which fall into the river, and a number of old Indian lodges. As we advance the valley becomes more extensive, and is all plain. At night we encamped on a beautiful creek, having travelled twenty five miles. Our hunters killed four deer to day.

July 06, 1806
William Clark

Some frost this morning  the last night was so cold that I could not Sleep. we Collected our horses which were much scattered which detained us untill 9 A.M. at which time we Set out and proceeded up the Creek on which we camped 3 Miles [Camp Creek, parallel to U.S. Highway 93.] and left the road which we came on last fall to our right and assended a ridge with a gentle Slope to the dividing mountain which Seperates the waters from the Middle fork of Clarks river from this [blank] [NB: of Wisdom] and Lewis's river and passed over prossueing the rout of the Oat lash shute band which we met last fall to the head of [NB: Glade Cr:] a branch of Wisdom R and down the Said branch crossing it frequently [Clark's party crossed the Continental Divide by way of Gibbons Pass, then went down Trail Creek (Clark's Glade Creek) toward the valley of the Big Hole River (his Wisdom River).] on each Side of this handsom glades in which I observe great quantities of quawmash just beginning to blume on each side of those glades the timber is small and a great proportion of it Killed by the fires.  I observe the appearance of old buffalow roads and some heads on this part of the mountain. [NB: proving that formerly Buffs. roved there & also that this is the best route, for the Buffs. and the Indians always have the best route & here both were joined] [These may have been Mountain Bison, Bison bison athobascae, rather than plains Bison, Bison bison bison who had wandered into the mountains. The mountain Indians, since acquiring the horse and thus increasing their hunting efficiency, had greatly reduced the number of this animal by Lewis and Clark's time. See Clark's entry for July 14, 1806.]  The Snow appears to lying in considerable masses on the mountain from which we decended on the 2th of Septr. last. [Probably Saddle Mountain from which the party descended on the date Clark mentions toward Ross's Hole.]  I observe great numbers of the whistling Squirel [Columbian Ground Squirrel.] which burrows their holes Scattered on each Side of the glades through which we passed.  Shields killed a hare of the large mountain species. [Possibly Nuttall's Cottontail, Sylvilagus nuttallii; if so a new species.]  the after part of the day we passed on the hill Side N of the Creek for 6 Ms. Creek [NB: down glade Cr] and entered an extensive open Leavel plain in which the Indian trail Scattered in Such a maner that we Could not pursue it.   the Indian woman wife to Shabono informed me that she had been in this plain frequently and knew it well that the creek which we decended was a branch of Wisdom river [Big Hole River.] and when we assended the higher part of the plain we would discover a gap in the mountains in our direction to the canoes [Big Hole Pass, at the upper end of the Big Hole Valley through which Highway 278 passes.  It was on the way to Camp Fortunate, at which place the canoes had been cached in August 1805.],  and when we arived at that gap we would See a high point of a mountain covered with snow in our direction to the canoes. [Possibly the Tendoy Mountains, south of Camp Fortunate; they were apparently not visible from this point but came into view in a few miles.]   we proceeded on 1 mile and Crossd. a large Creek [Ruby Creek which runs northeasterly to join Trail Creek and form the North Fork Big Hole River.  A few miles to the east is the Big Hole Battlefield National Monument, site of an engagement between the Nez Perce and the U.S. Army on August 9-10, 1877. Both the Indains and the soldiers who attacked them reached the site by Clark's route through Gibbons Pass, named for the army commander in the battle.]  from the right which heads in a Snow Mountain and Fish Creek over which there was a road thro' a gap. [Ruby Creek heads in the Beaerhead Mountains of the Bitterroot Range near the heads of some of the tributaries of the North Fork Salmon river (Lewis and Clark's Fish Creek.) The gap is another Big Hole Pass, east of Gibbonsville, ID.] we assended a Small rise and beheld an open boutifull Leavel Vally or plain of about 20 [NB: 15] Miles wide and near 60 [NB: 30] long extending N & S. in every direction around which I could see high points of Mountains Covered with Snow. [The valley of the Big Hole River in its east central part lies the present town of Wisdom, bearing the name which Lewis & Clark gave to the river.]  I discovered one at a distance very high covered with Snow which bore S. 80o E. [There are numerous high peaks in the Pioneer Mountains east of Clark's position. He used the word "mountain" often to describe an entire range. In this case he may be referring to Tweedy Mountain in Beaverhead National Forest.]   The Squar pointed to the gap through which she said we must pass which was S. 56o E. She said we would pass the river before we reached the gap.  we had not proceeded more than 2 Miles in the last Creek, before a violent Storm of wind accompand. with hard rain from the S.W. imediately from off the Snow Mountains this rain was Cold and lasted 1 1/2 hours. I discovd. the rain wind as it approached and halted and formd. a solid column to protect our Selves from the Violency of the gust. after it was over I proceeded on about 5 Miles to Some Small dry timber on a Small Creek and encampd. [Probably on Moose Creek in the western part of the Big Hole Valley approximately seven miles southwest of Wisdom, MT.] made large fires and dryed our Selves.  here I observed Some fresh Indian Signs where they had been gathering quawmash. [NB: This is the great plain where Shoshonees gather quawmash & cows &C.  our woman had done so.   many beaver]

Courses and distance &C.

on the course which we had decended the branch of Clark's river to the first Flat heads or Oat lashshoot band the 4th of Septr. 1805--   3 1/2
Thence up a jintle Slope of the dividing mountain which seperates the waters of the [blank] from those of Lewis's & Clark's rivers leaveing the old rout on which we Came out to the right on a course nearly S.E.--   3--
Thence N. 80o E. through a leavel piney Country on the top of the mountain to a glade at the head of a branch which runs towards the Missouri   2 1/2
Thence S. 50o E. down the branch Crossing it frequently & through small glades on either Side of the branch the glades at Some places a mile wide with Several Small Streams falling in on either Side up which there is Small glades to the narrows N E.   7--
Thence N. 68d E. keeping down the North Side of the Creek on the Side of the hill.  the bottoms of the Creek Small open and much fallen timber to an extensive bottom S. Side   4--
Thence S. 56o E. through an open Leavle plain passing a large Creek from the right at one mile to a quawmash flatt through which a Small Creek runs scattered through the bottom, and Encamped--   6--


July 06, 1806
John Ordway

a fair morning.   we were dtained a while hunting up our horses.    then proceed. on as usal up the branch to the mount. and crossed over to the left in an Indian trail.   at about 5 or 6 miles we got over on a branch running South [They folowed Camp Creek crossing the Continental Divide by way of Gibbons Pass. Here they picked up Trail Creek and began their descent to the Big Hole Valley.]    Shields killed a hair [Possibly Nuttall's Cottontail, Sylvilagus nuttallii] of a different discription of any we have seen before.  our Intrepters wife tells us that we She knows the country & that this branch is the head waters of jeffesons river &C.   we proceeded on down the branch.  large glades covred with Commass & fine grass   about noon we halted at one of the glades to dine and proceeded on down the creek   late in the afternooon we came to a large extensive plain   continued our course about South in this plain    got 5 or 6 miles out in the open plain   came up a hard Thunder shower of hail rain and hard wind.  we halted a short time in the midst of it    then proceed. on a t dark we Campd. [The party followed Trail Creek to near its junction with North Fork Big Hole River then moved southeasterly and camped on Moose Creek, in the western part of the Big Hole Valley, approximately seven miles southwest of Wisdom.] at a branch   Saw Indn. signs    abundance of Commass on this branch--