July 24, 1806
Meriwether Lewis

At 8 A.M. the sun made it's appearance for a few minutes and I took it's altitude but it shortly after clouded up again and continued to rain the ballance of the day.  I was therefore unable to complete the observations I wished to take at this place.  I determined to remain another day in the hope of it's being fair.  we ahve still a little bread of cows remaining of which we made a kettle of mush which together with a few pigeons that we were fortunate enought to kill served us with food for this day.  I sent the hunters out but they shortly returned without having killed anything and declared that it was useless to hunt within 6 or 8 miles of this place that there was no appearance of game within that distance.  the air has become extreemly cold which in additon to the wind and rain renders our situation extreemly unpleasant.  severa wolves visited our camp today, I fired on and wounded one of them very badly.  the small speceis of wolf [Coyote.] barks like a dog, they frequently salute us with this not as we pass through the plains.

July 24, 1806
William Clark

Set out July 24 1806 at 8 a. m in a 2 Canoes tied togethe.

S E.   1 mile to a Bluff on Std. bend
N. 70o E.   2 ms. under a bluff on Std. Side  psd. an Island on the Lard.
N. 20o E.   4 m. to a Lard Bend  passed <an> 4 Island on Stard. Side high bluff on Std.  low prarie on Lard Side
<N.> East   1/2 m to a large Island in the river of wood
N. 20o E.   1/2 m. to main Lard Shore
S. 18o E.   1/2 m. to an Island on Std. <pass lower pt. of one in the>
N. 40o E.   1 1/2 m. to a Lard. Bend, timber on both sides
S. 75o   2 ms  passed the lower pt. of the large island  upper pt. I and 2 other Islands.
North   1 1/2 ms. to a bluff bank on the St. Side  passed Some high waves  river 200 yds wide
N. 12o E.   1 1/2 mile to a bend on the Lard.  passed a Small Island  low bottom on Stard Side
East   2 miles to a high black bluff on Stard.
N. 20o E   3 m. to a bend on the Lard.  psd. 2 Islds. St. to the lower part of a Isd. Close to Lard. at Some high waves
N. 60o E   2 1/2 (25) ms. to the upper part of Timber in a bottom Lard Bend passed a Small Isd.
East   <2> 4 miles to the enteranc of Big horn R 100 yds wide & muddy on the Stard Side  Passed a riffle at 3 mile a Small Isd. in the mouth of the river.  passd. 5 Isds.
N.   2 mile to a Lard. bend  river 300 yds wide
N. 58o E   <2> 4 ms. to a Stard. bend  passed <4> 5 Small islands  Some prarie on each Side.  and large Island on the Lard. Seperated from the main Shore by a narrow Channel on which there is a large lodge.   halted & Dined.
N 46o E   3 ms. to a bluffs in a Stard bends opposite to an Island passed one in the middle of the rive
N. 36o E   1 1/2 mile to a large Brook in a bend to the Stard. Side.  passed a gravely riv
N. 25o W.   1 1/2 s to the enteranc of a [blank] in a bend to the Larbed. passed the lower point of 2 Islands near Ld.
N. 60o W.   3 1/2 m. to a wood in the Std bend   passed 4 Islands.
North   1 1/2          21 m. to open Plain in Lard bend  Some large timber in the bottom on the [tear] [starboard side?]
N. 60o E   3 1/2 m. to a point on the Lard Side opposit a large Island in the middle of the river  passed Several Small Is.
North   1 m. to a Bend below  Som wood on the Lard Side
N. 64o E   2 1/2 m. to a Lard point  passed an Island and the lower part of the large Island
N E.   1 me. to the lowe part of a timbered bottom on the Lard Side  Crossed horss
East   2 miles to a high black bluff in a Stard. Bend   passed an Island Close under the Stard. Shore
N. 20o E   2 mile under a black bluff to the enterans of Brook on the Stard Sid under a high Clift of yellowish [rock?]
N.W.   2 miles to a bend on the Lard. passd. 2 Small Islands. High yellow bluff of excellent grit on the Stard Side  round rocks of various Sizes
North   4                 18 miles to a Clif <in a bend> point on Lard Side  high Clifts on Stard. under which there is a Cave  passed the Clift on the Stard. Side at 2 miles  Clifts low Lard Side--  rock dark brown
N. 12o E   1 1/2 miles to a low black low bluff on the Lard. Side opsd. a low bottom  pd. 2 Small Island of corse gravel
N. 55o E.   3 1/2 miles to the upper point of an island in the Std. Bend passed a Creek at 3 miles on the Std Side

July 24, 1806
William Clark

had all our baggage put on board of the two Small Canoes which when lashed together is very Study and I am Convinced will the party I intend takeing down with me.  at 8 A M. we Set out and proceeded on very well to a riffle about 1 mile above the enterance of Clarks fork or big horn river [Clarks Fork Yellowstone River still bears the name from the expedition. Clark first took it to be the Bighorn River. It reaches the Yellowstone a few miles southeast of Laurel, MT. It rises in the Beartooth Mountains.] [NB: a river 150 yds. wide comes in from South, we thought it the B.H. but aftds when we found the B.H. we called it Clarks fork, a bold river washing plain. The Indians call this--or "The lodge where all danc"]  at this riffle the Small Canoes took in a good deel of water which obliged us to land a little above the enterance of this river which the [blank] has called Clarks fork to dry our articles and bail the Canoes.  I also had Buffalow Skin tacked on So as to prevent the waters flacking in between the Two canoes. This last River is 150 yards wide at it's Mouth and 100 a Short destance up the water of a light Muddy Colour and much Colder than that of the Rochejhone   a Small Island is Situated imediately in its mouth, the direction of this river is South and East of that part of the rocky mountains which Can be seen from its enterance and which Seem to termonate in the direction.-- [The Absaroka and Beartooth ranges.]  [NB: good place for fort &c-- here <inds> the beaver country begins--best between this & Rochejhaune.]   I thought it probable that this might be the big horn river, and as the Rochejhone appeared to make a great bend to the N. I deturmined to Set the horses across on S. Side.   on Chanel of the river passes under a high black bluff from one mile below the place we built the Canoes to within 3 miles of the enterance of Clarks fork when the bottoms widen on each side those on the Stard Side from 1/2 to a mile in width.  river much divided by Islands.  at 6 ms. below the fork I halted on a large Island [The island and lodge, which Shannon reported on July 21, 1806, is approximately five miles east of Laurel, MT.] Seperated from the Stard. Shore by a narrow Channel, on this   This being a good place to Cross the river I deturmined to wait for Sergt. pryor and put him across the river at this place.  on this Island I observed a large lodge the Same which Shannon informed me of a fiew days past.  this Lodge is council lodge, it is of a Conocil form 60 feet diamuter at its base built of 20 poles each pole 2 1/2 feet in Secumpheranc and 45 feet Long built in the form of a lodge & covered with bushes.  in this Lodge I observed a Cedar bush Sticking up on the opposit side of the lodge fronting the dore, on one side was a Buffalow head, and on the other Several Sticks bent and Stuck in the ground.  a Stuffed Buffalow skin was Suspended from the Center with the back down.  <on> top of those poles were deckerated with feathers of the Eagle & Calumet Eagle also Several Curious pieces of wood bent in Circleler form with sticks across them in form of a Griddle hung on tops of the lodge poles others in form of a large Sturrip.  This Lodge was erected last Summer.  It is Situated in the Center of a butifull Island thinly Covered with Cotton wood under which the earth which is rich is Covered with wild rye [The "wild rye" is either the western species, Basin Wildrye, or the more common eastern species, Canada Wildrye, Elymus canadensis.] and a Species of grass resembling the bluegrass [Possibly Fowl Bluegrass, Poa palustris.], and a mixture of Sweet grass [Sweetgrass, Hierochloe odorata.] which the Indians plat and ware around their necks for its cent which is of a Strong sent like that of the Vinella after Dinner I proceeded on  passed the enterance of a Small Creek [Possibly Blue Creek reaching the Yellowstone River south of Billings, MT.; "Horse Creek" & "Horse Brook" on two of Clark's maps.] and Some wood on the Stard. Side where I met with Sergt. Pryor, Shannon & Windser with the horses  they had but just arived at that place.  Sergt. Pryor informed me that it would be impossible for the two men with him to drive on the horses after him without tireing all the good ones in pursute of the more indifferent to keep them on the Course.   that in passing every gangue of buffalow Several of which he had met with, the loos horses as Soon as they saw the Buffalow would imediately pursue them and run around them. All those that [had] Speed sufficient would head the buffalow and those of less Speed would pursue on as fast as they Could. he at length found that the only practiacable method would be for one of them to proceed on and when ever they Saw a gang of Buffalow to Scear them off before the horses got up.  This disposition in the horses is no doubt owing to their being frequently exercised in chasing different animals by their former owners the Indians as it is their Custom to chase every Species of wild animal with horses, for which purpose they train all their horses. I had the horses drove across the river and Set Sergt. Pryor and his party across. [The horses crossed the Yellowstone south of Billings a mile or two below the mouth of Blue Creek (Clark's Horse Creek).]  H. Hall who cannot Swim expressed a Willness to proceed on with Sergt. Pryor by land, and as another man was necessary to assist in driveing the horses, but observed he was necked, I gave him one of my two remaining Shirts a par of Leather Legins and 3 pr. of mockersons which equipt him Completely and Sent him on with the party by land to the Mandans.   I proceeded on the river much better than above the enterance of the Clarks fork deep and [NB: more navigable] the Curent regularly rapid from 2 to 200 yards in width where it is all together, much divided by islands maney of which are large and well Supplyed with Cotton wood trees, Some of them large, Saw emenc number of Deer Elk and buffalow on the banks. Some beaver.  I landed on the Lard Side walked out into the bottom and Killed the fatest Buck I every saw; Shields killed a deer and my man York killed a Buffalow Bull, as he informed me for his tongue and marrow bones.  for me to mention or give an estimate of the differant Spcies of wild animals on this river particularly Buffalow, Elk Antelopes & Wolves would be increditable.  I shall therefore be silent on the Subject further.  So it is we have a great abundance of the best of meat. we made 70 Ms. to day  Current rapid and much divided by islands.   Campd. a little below Pryers river of 35 yds. on S E. [Named after Sergeant Nathaniel Pryor of the party; present Dry Creek. It should not be confused with "Pryors Creek" of July 25. The camp of July 24 was just below the mouth of Dry Creek and on the opposite side of the river. Clark has greatly exaggerated the bend of the Yellowstone on all his maps.]

Course Distance & remarks July 24th 1806


S E. to a Bluff in a Stard Bend  passed Lower point of an Isld.   1
S. 70o E under the Stard. Bluff  passed an Island on the lard Side [There is a discrepancy in this course and the next with the draft copy courses of this day. The first version appears to be correct.]   2
S. 20o E. to a Lard Bend  pasd. 4 Islands near the Lard Side.  a high bluff on the Stard Side  Low leavel plain on Lard Side   4
East to a large Island Civered with wood  middle of river   1/2
N. 20o E to the main larboard Shore passing on the left of the Island   1/2
S. 18o E. to a abend on the left Side of the island   1/2
N. 40o E to a Lard. Bend.  timber on both Sides of the river   1 1/2
S. 75o E Passing the lower point of an island at 2 miles opposit to the upper point of another island   2
North to the main Lard Shore  passed the island   1 1/2
N. 65o E. to a Bluff bank on the Stard. Side.  passed Some rough waves.  the river about 200 yards wide   2 1 2
N. 12o E to a Lard Bend.  passing a small island.   low bottoms on Std.   1 1/2
East to a high bluff on the Stard. Side   2
N. 20o E. to a Lard Bend.  passed 2 islands, near the Stard shore <pass> to the lower point of an Island close on Lard. small rapid   3
N. 60o E. to the upper part of a wood in a lard Bend.   low bottoms passed a Small Stoney Island   2 1/2
East to the enterance of Clarks fork 100 yds wide.   passing a bad rapid at 3 miles.  passed 5 Small islands   4 
North to a lard Bend.  river near 300 yards wide   2
N. 58o E to a Stard Bend passing 5 Small islands.   passed an old indian fort of logs and bark on a Island Close to Lard Side   4
N. 46o E to a Bluff in a Stard. Bend opsd. an Isld.   passed one in Midl. R.   3
N. 36o E. to a large brook in a Stard. Bend opposit a Stoney bar [Duck Creek a few miles southwest of Billings. Not identified on Clark's maps.]   1 1/2
N. 25o W. to a Lard. Bend  passed the lower point of 2 islands   1 1/2
N. 60o W. to a wood in the Stard Bend  passed 4 islands   3 1/2
North to a lard Bend opposit some large timber on Stard. Side   1 1/2
N. 60o E. to a point on the Lard Side opposit to a large island in the middle of the river.  passed Several small islands   3 1/2
North to a bend below Some wood in the Lard Bend & low bottoms on either Side  Horse Creek falls in on Std.   1
N. 64o E. to a Lard. pooint passing an Island and the lower point of a large Island.   2 1/2
N. 45o E to the lower part of a timbered bottom on the Lard Side (here I had the horses Crossed 26 in number &c.)   1
East to a high Bluff bank in a Stard. Bend   passed an Isld.   2
N. 20o E. to the enterance of a brook [Bitter Creek, entering the Yellowstone just opposite Billings.] on the Stard. Side. passing at the foot of a high black bluff bank on the Stard. Side   2
N.W. to a bend on the Lard.  passed 2 small islands.  a high clift of yellowish Gritty Stone on the Stard Side [The Virgelle Member of the Eagle Sandstone at Sacrifice Cliff, directly east of and opposite Billings.]   2
North to a low clift if dark rock on the Lard. Side.   the high clift continue on the Stard. for 2 miles   4
N. 12o E. to a low black Bluff on the Lard. Side opsd. to a low bottom.  2 Small Stoney islands   1 1/2
N. 55o E to the upper point of an island in a Stard Bend <opposd.>  passed a Creek on the Stard side at 3 miles Pryors river   3 1/2 
Miles 69

July 24, 1806
John Ordway

a clear morng.   we returnd. with the waggons to the head of the portage and took on the other Small canoes   we load the other large canoe as our wheels not bear it.   took in the Small one the baggage and proceeded on 8 miles    halted to baite our horses.   had a hard Shower of rain which rendred the plains verry muddy.   we procd. to willow Creek and Camped.    one waggon went with one canoe to the foot of the portage &c.--

July 24, 1806
Patrick Gass

This was a cloudy morning. I was very much indisposed last night and am yet vey unwell. I therefore staid at this camp, and the party went back for two more canoes. About 3 o'clock one of the waggons with a canoe arrived; and the party with it; having let the horses feed a while, and taken dinner, they proceeded on to Portage river. [Belt Creek.]  About an hour after they started a very heavy shower of rain, accompanied with thunder and lightning, came on, and lasted about an hour and an half.  After this we had a fine evening, and a little before sunset the other waggon with a canoe arrived; when we encamped for the night. The man who cut his leg is still very lame and continues at this camp.