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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For May 12:
Captain Lewis (current)
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The weather being clear and calm, we set out early. I walked on shore this morning for the benefit of exercise which I much wanted, and also to examine the country and its productions. In these excursions I most generally went alone, armed with my rifle and espontoon. Thus equipped, I feel myself more than an equal match for a brown bear, provided I get him in open woods or near the water, but feel myself a little diffident with respect to an attack in the open plains. I have therefore come to a resolution to act on the defensive only should I meet these gentlemen in the open country.
I ascended the hills and had a view of a rough and broken country on both sides of the river. On the north side, the summits of the hills exhibit some scattering pine and cedar; on the south side, the pine has not yet commenced, though there is some cedar on the face of the hills and in the little ravines. The chokecherry also grows here in the hollow' and at the heads of the gullies. The chokecherry has been in bloom since the ninth inst. This growth has frequently made its appearance on the Missouri from the neighborhood of the Bald-pated Prairie to this place.
Reprinted by permission of the American Studies Programs at the University of Virginia.
The complete text can also be downloaded for printing from their website.