July 18, 1806
Meriwether Lewis

We set out this morning a little before sunrise  ascended the river hills and continued our rout as yesterday through the open plains  at about 6 miles we reached the top of an elivated plain which divides the waters of the rose river from those of Maria's river.  from hence the North mountains, the South mountains, the falls mountains and the Tower Mountain [These are names which the captains had given in 1805. The "North mountains" are the Bears Paw Mountains. The "South mountains" would be either the Highwood or the Judith mountains, however, the latter could not be seen from this location. The "falls mountains" may be either the Little or Big Belt mountains. The "Tower Mountain" is the Sweetgrass Hills. See May 24 & 25, 1805, and June 5, 1806.] and those arround and to the East of the latter were visible.  our course led us nearly parrallel with a creek of Maria's river which takes it's rise in these high plains at the place we passed them; at noon we struck this creek about 6 ms. from its junction with Maria's river [Lewis's Buffalo Creek, now Dugout Coulee, flowing north toward the Marias.] where we found some cottonwood timber; here we halted to dine and graize our horses.  the bed of this creek is about 25 yds. wide at this place but is nearly dry at present, the water being confined to little pools in the deeper parts of it's bed.  from hence downwards there is considerable quantity of timber in it's bottom.  we passed immence herds of buffaloe on our way in short for about 12 miles it appeared as one herd only the whole plains and vally of this creek being covered with them; saw a number of wolves of both speceis [The Coyote, Canis latrans, and the Gray Wolf, C. lupis.], also Antelopes and some horses.  after dinner we proceeded about 5 miles across the plain to Maria's river where we arrived at 6 P.M.  we killed a couple of buffaloe in the bottom of this river and encamped on it's west side in a grove of cottonwood some miles above the entrance of the creek. [Lewis camped on Marias River a few miles above the mouth of Dugout Coulee.] being now convinced that we were above the point to which I had formerly ascended this river and faring that a fork of this stream might fall in on the Northside between this place and the point to which I had ascended it, I directed Drewyer who was with me on my former excurtion, and Joseph Fields to decend the river early in the morning to the place from whence I had returned, and examine whether any stream fell inn or not.  I keep a strict lookout every night, I take my tour of watch with the men.

Courses and distances of July 18th 1806.

N. 25 W.   7 ms. to the source of Buffaloe Creek passing the dividing ridge between the waters of Maria's and rose river at 6 ms. praries more hilly than yesterday.  many prickly pears now in blume.
N. 15 W   12 ms. down buffaloe Creek to the place at which we dined.  here timber commences on this stream.  25 yds wide no running water.
North   5 ms. to Maria's River 130 yds. wide 3 feet deep   encamped on South side.--



July 18, 1806
Patrick Gass

There was another pleasant day, and I went down with three of the men to the lower end of the portage [Below the mouth of Belt Creek; See captains' entries for June 16, 1805.] to examine the periogue and deposit there, and found all safe. We took some tobacco out of the deposit, covered up all again, until the party should arrive with the canoes, and returned to camp.

July 18, 1806
William Clark

East   3 miles to a Stard Bend passing under a high pine hill on Lard Side  Several Islands--  4 1/2
N. 62o E   4 1/2 miles to the enterance of a Small Creek on a bend to Lard Side opposit to 3 Islands [These islands were at the mouth of present White Beaver Creek.]  passed Several Small Islands high lands on Std. a narrow bottom on the Lard side. Saw a great Smoke in the R mts. S 20o W. [To the southwest would lie the Absaroka range, the Beartooth Mountains, the Granite Range, and others in the vicinity of the Yellowstone Plateau. The mountians to the east at a long distance wold be the Pryor Mountains.]  the rock mts. termonate S 30o W.  a mtn. not So high at a long distance is S. 80o E.--  7 <6> m
S. 78o E   2 1/2 Miles to a bend to the Stard. Side passing Several Islands.  river pass under a high ruged hill on the Lard side  bad road--  4 ms.
East   3 1/2 miles to a Stard Bend passing a High point at 2 miles on the Lard Side  a narrow bottom on the Stard Side  High hills on each Side partially Covered with pine. Country ruged and Stoney. halted in a bottom to dine.   6 ms.
N. 20o E.   2 Miles to a Lard. Bend  river passing under the high land on the Stard Side  at 1 mile the bottom on Lard Side 1/4 of a mile wide.  3 1/2 ms.
N. 72o E   3 1/2 miles to a bend [Part of this page in the first draft is missing, resulting in gaps in the courses for this day and for July 19, 1806.] [tear] <passd.> enterance  a large dr[tear] [illegible, crossed out] [tear] <S 45o> to an Indian fort on [tear] an Island divided [tear] by a narrow Chann [tear] under the Stard. Hills
S. 45o E   6 miles to a high pine hill <at> [tear]   Side at the foot of which the riv[er] [pass]es haveing made Several shot bends in which there is Several Islands  Bottoms 1/2 m. wide on the Lard Side  a good propotion of Cotton & Willow on the borders of the river--  10 m
S. 82o E   1 miles to the head of a Small Isld. Close to the Lard Shore and incamped  river makeing a bend to the right and passing under high lands on the Stard. Side. Killed a Buffalow--  2 <1/2>

July 18, 1806
William Clark

as we were about Setting out this morning two Buffalow Bulls came near our Camp   Several of the men Shot at one of them.  their being near the river plunged in and Swam across to the opposit Side and there died.  Shabono was thrown from his horse to day in pursute of a Buffaloe, the ho[r]se unfortunately Steping into a Braroe [Badger, Taxidea taxus; Clark's term is from the French blaireau; See July 30, 1804.] hole fell and threw him over his head.  he is a good deel brused on his hip sholder & face.  after brackfast I proceeded on as usial, passd. over points of ridges So as to cut off bends of the [NB: river]   crossed a Small Muddy brook [After passing Monument Butte, he reached White Beaver Creek.] on which I found great quantities of the Purple, yellow & black currents [The purple and yellow currants are genetic variants of Golden Currant. The black currant is probably the Wild Black Currant, Ribes americanus. See April 30, 1805.] ripe.  they were of an excellent flavour.  I think the purple Superior to any I have ever tasted.  The river here is about 200 yards wide  rapid as usial and the water gliding over corse gravel and round Stones of various sizes of an excellent grite for whetestones.  the bottoms of the river are narrow.  the hills are not exceeding 200 feet in hight  the sides of them are generally rocky and composed of rocks of the same texture of a dark Colour of Grit well Calculated for grindstones &c.  The high bottoms is composed of gravel and Stone like those in the Chanel of the river, with a mixture of earth of a dark brown colour    The Country back from the river on each Side is generally open wavering plains.  some pine is to be Seen in every direction in those plains on the Sides of hills &c.  at 11 A.M. I observed a Smoke rise to the S.S.E in the plains towards the termonation of the rocky mountains in that direction (which is Covered with Snow) this Smoke must be raisd. by the Crow Indians in that direction as a Signal for us, or other bands.  I think it most probable that they have discovered our trail and takeing us to be Shoshone &c. in Serch of them the Crow Indians [WC: now at peace with them] to trade as is their Custom, have made this Smoke to Shew where they are--or otherwise takeing us to be their Enemy made this Signal for other bands to be on their guard.  I halted in a bottom of fine grass to let the horses graze.   Shields killed a fat Buck on which we all Dined.  after dinner and a delay of 3 hours to allow the horses time to feed, we Set out at 4 P.M. I set out and proceeded down the river through a butifull bottom, passing a Indian fort on the head of a Small island near the Lard Shore and Encamped on a Small Island Seperated from the Lard Shore by a very narrow Chanel. [Approximately three miles west of Columbus, MT and the mouth of the Stillwater River (Clark's "Rose bud R"). A mile of so below the camp is mouth of Huntley Creek. The "Indian fort" appears on Clark's map a little above a dry brook which is apparently present Berry Creek.]  Shields killed a Buffalow this evening which Caused me to halt sooner than Common to Save Some of the flesh which was So rank and Strong that we took but very little.  Gibson in attempting to mount his horse after Shooting a deer this evening fell and on a Snag and sent it nearly [NB: two] inches into the Muskeler part of his thy. he informs me this Snag was about 1 inch in diamuter burnt at the end.  this is a very bad wound and pains him exceedingly. I dressed the wound.

Course Distance & remarks July 18th 1806

Ms. by water

East   3 Miles to a Stard. Bend passing at the foot of a high pine hill rocky and Steep on the Lard. Side.  passed several Islds.   4 1/2
N. 62o E   4 1/2 Miles on the course to the enterance of a Small Creek in a Lard Bend opposit to three Islands passing Several Small Islands, high lands on the Stard. Side  bottoms narrow on the Lard Side (Saw a smoke S. 30o W.[)]  discover the Big horn mountain which is low at S. 80o E.   7
S. 78o E.   2 1/2 Miles on the Course to a bend on the Stard Side passed Several Islands.  river wahing the base of a high ruged Stoney hill on the Lard Side   4
East   3 1/2 Miles on the course to a Stard. Bend passing a high point at 2 Miles on the Lard. Side  a narrow bottom on the Stard. Side.   the hills are high on each Side partially covered with pine.  Country ruged and Stoney emence qtty of Prickley pears [The species that Lewis noticed on July 10; Brittle Prickly Pear and Plains Prickly Pear.]   6
N. 20o E.   2 Miles on the Course to a Lard Bend.  river washing the base of the high land on the Starboard Side at one mile. the bottoms on the Larboard side a quarter of a mile wide--   3 1/2
N. 72o E.   3 1/2 Miles on the Course to a lard Bend  passd. the enterance of a large dry Creek & 3 islands an old indian fort on an Island close to the Lard Shore.  river washing the foot of the Stard. Hills   5
S. 45o E.   6 Miles on the course to a high hill on the Stard. Side at the foot of which the river passes, haveing made Several Short bends in which there is Several islands.  The bottoms 1/2 a mile wide on the Stard Side.  a good proportion of Cotton wood and willow on the borders of the river on each Side.   11
S. 82o E.   1  Mile to the head of a Small island close to the Lard Shore.  river makeing a bend to the Stard. under the high lands which is ruged and Stoney encamped on the Island  Gibson Snaged his thye   2 



by water   Ms. 


July 18, 1806
John Ordway

a clear cool windy morning.   we set off as usal and proceeded on down the gentle current   Saw large gangues of buffaloe out in the plains    about noon Collins killed three deer. Saw great numbers of beaver and otter &C.   towards evening we passed the mouth of Smiths River     a Short distance below Some of the hunters went out after some gangues of buffaloe and we Camped   it being late the hunters did not kill any this evening but Saw great numbers in the plains.   the Musquetoes and Small flyes are verry troublesome.   my face and eyes are Swelled by the poison of those insects which bite verry Severe indeed.