|July 21, 1806
We set out at sunrise and proceeded a short distance up the North side of the river; we
found the ravines which made in on this side were so steep and numerous that we passed the
river in doing which the pack horse which carried my instruments missed the ford and wet
the instruments. this accident detaned us about half an hor. I took the
Instruments out wiped them and dryed their cases, they sustained no naterial injury.
we continued on the S. side of the river about 3 miles when we again passed over to
the N. side and took our course through the plains at some distance from the river.
we saw a large herd of Elk this morning. the buffaloe still become more
scarce. at 2 P.M. we struck a northern branch of Maria's river [Cut Bank
Creek, the northern fork of Marias River, Two Medicine River being the south fork.]
about 30 yds. wide at the distance of about 8 miles from it's entrance. this
stream is closely confined between clifts of freestone rocks the bottom narrow below us
and above the rocks confine it on each side; some little timber below but not any above;
the water of this stream is nearly clear. from the appearance of this rock and the
apparent hight of the bed of the streem I am induced to beleive that there are falls in
these rivers somewhere about their junction. being convinced that this stream came from
the mountains I determined to pursue it as it will lead me to the most no[r]thern
point to which the waters of Maria's river extend which I now fear will not be as far
north as I wished and expected. after dinner we set out up the North branch keeping on
it's S. side; we pursued it untill dark and not finding any timber halted and made a
fire of the dung of the buffaloe. we lay on the south side in a narrow bottom under a
Clift. our provision is nearly out, we wounded a buffaloe this evening but could not
get him.[Lewis camped on the west side of Cut Bank Creek a mile or so southwest of
Cut Bank, MT.]
Courses and distances July 21st 1806.
|S. 80o w.
||ms. with the river upward. it forks at the
extremity of this course and the main or Southern branch bears S. 75 W. about 30 ms. to
|S. 40o W.
||M. up the North branch. 30 yd. wide
confined closly between clifts of rocks, shallow rapid and not navigable
|N. 25o W.
||m. still with the N. fork upwards. we
struck the river at 2 miles from the commencement of this course, passed it and continued
on it's South side. hills broken. land poor.
July 21, 1806
This morning I was informed that Half of our horses were absent. Sent out Shannon
Bratten, and Shabono to hunt them. Shabono went up the river Shanon down and Bratten
in the bottom near Camp, Shabono and Bratten returned at 10 A M and informed me that they
Saw no Signs of the horses. Shannon proceeded on down the river about 14 miles and
did not return untill late in the evening, he was equally unsuckcessfull. shannon
informed me that he Saw a remarkable large Lodge [Possibly a Crow sun-dance
lodge. Clark's party was now well within the Crow homeland; the lodge was probably a
few miles southwest of Billings, MT. See Clark's description July 24, 1806.]
about 12 miles below, covered with bushes and the top Deckorated with Skins &c and had
the appearance of haveing been built about 2 years. I Sent out two men on hors back to
kill a fat Cow which they did and returned in 3 hours the men work very
diligiently on the Canoes one of them nearly finished ready to put in the
water. Gibsons wound is beginning to heal. I am in great hope that it will get
well in time for him to accompany Sgt. Pryor with the horses to the Mandans.
This evening late a very black Cloud from the S. E. accompanied with Thunder and Lightning
with hard winds which Shifted about and was worm and disagreeable. I am apprehensive
that the indians have Stolen our horses, and probably those who had made the Smoke a fiew
days passed towards the S.W. I deturmined to have the ballance of the horses guarded and
for that purpose sent out 3 men, on their approach near the horses were So alarmed that
they ran away and entered the woods and the men returned-- a Great number of Geese
which raise their young on this river passed down frequently Since my arival at
this place. we appear to be in the beginning of the buffalow Country. the
plains are butifull and leavel but the Soil is but thin Stoney and in maney parts of the
plains & bottoms there are great quantitiy of prickly pears. Saw Several herds
of buffalow Since I arived at this Camp also antilops, wolves, pigions, Divs, hawks,
ravins, Crows, larks, Sparrows, Eagles & bank martins [Bank Swallow, Riparia
riparia.] &c. &c. The wolves which are the constant attendants
of the Buffalow are in great numbers on the Scerts of those large gangues which are to be
Seen in every direction in those praries
July 21, 1806
a fair warm morning. the Musquetoes troubled us all last night.
one man went out at day light for the horses, but could not find them.
then Several more men went out and hunted for them all day & could not
find any of them we got two canoes Started & considerable baggage
ourselves & Camped concluded to delay tomorrow for our horses before we
give them out. the Musquetoes and Small flyes verry troublesome we
made fires of buffaloe dry dung to make Smoaks &c.
July 21, 1806
A pleasant morning. One of the men went out for the horses; and the rest of us put two
canoes on the waggons, and moved them forward by hand some distance, when the man returned
without finding the horses. Two more then went out to look for them, and at noon came back
without finding them. In the afternoon some more men went to look for them, who at night
returned also without seeing any thing of them; and we lay where the canoes were all