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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For September 18:
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Captain Clark set out this morning to go ahead with six hunters. There being no game in these mountains, we concluded it would be better for one of us to take the hunters and hurry on to the level country ahead and there hunt and provide some provisions, while the other remained with and brought on the party. The latter of these was my part. Accordingly, I directed the horses to be gotten up early, being determined to force my march as much as the abilities of our horses would permit. The negligence of one of the party (Willard), who had a spare horse, in not attending to him and bringing him up last evening, was the cause of our detention this morning until 1/2 after eight A.M., when we set out. I sent Willard back to search for his horse, and proceeded on with the party. At four in the evening, he overtook us without the horse. We marched 18 miles this day and encamped on the side of a steep mountain.
We suffered for water this day, passing one rivulet only. We were fortunate in finding water in a steep ravine about 1/2 mile from our camp. This morning we finished the remainder of our last colt. We dined and supped on a scant proportion of portable soup, a few canisters of which, a little bear's oil, and about 20 pounds of candles form our stock of provision, the only resources being our guns and pack horses. The first is but a poor dependence in our present situation, where there is nothing upon earth except ourselves and a few small pheasants, small gray squirrels, and a blue bird of the vulture kind about the size of a turtledove or jaybird. Our route lay along the ridge of a high mountain. Course S. 20 W. 18 miles. Used the snow for cooking.
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.