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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For June 5:
Captain Clark (current)
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Some little rain and snow last night. The mountains to our S.E. covered with snow this morning. Air very cold and raining a little. We saw 8 buffalo opposite. They made two attempts to cross, the water being so swift they could not. About the time we were setting out, three white bear approached our camp. We killed the three and ate part of one; and set out, and proceeded on N. 20 W., 11 miles. Struck the river at many places in this distance, to a ridge on the N. side from the top of which I could plainly see a mountain to the south and west covered with snow, at a long distance. The mountains opposite to us, to the S.E., are also covered with snow this morning. A high ridge from those mountains approaches the river on the S.E. side, forming some cliffs of hard dark stone. From the ridge at which place I struck the river last, I could discover that the river ran west of south a long distance, and has a strong rapid current. As this river continued its width, depth, and rapidity, and the course west of south, going up further would be useless. I determined to return. I accordingly set out through the plain on a course N. 30 E. on my return and struck the little river, at 20 miles, passing through a level plain. At the little river we killed 2 buck elk and dined on their marrowbones. Proceeded on a few miles and camped, having killed 2 deer which were very fat. Some few drops of rain today, the evening fair, wind hard from the N.E. I saw great numbers of elk and white-tailed deer, some beaver, antelope, mule deer, and wolves, and one bear on this little river. Marked my name in a tree N. side near the ridge where the little river breaks through.
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.