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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For October 17:
Captain Clark (current)
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Set out early. A fine morning. The wind from the N.W. After breakfast, I walked on shore with the Indian chief and interpreters. Saw buffalo, elk, and great numbers of goats in large gangs. (I am told by Mr. G. that those animals winter in the Black Mountains to feed on timber, &c.) And this is about the season they cross from the east of the Missouri to go to that mountain. They return in the spring and pass the Missouri in great numbers, to the plains. This chief tells me of a number of their traditions about turtles, snakes, &c., and the power of a particular rock or cove on the next river, which informs of everything. None of those, I think worth while mentioning. The wind so hard ahead, the boat could not move after 10 o'clock. Captain Lewis took the altitude of the sun, Latitude 46° 23' 57". I killed 3 deer, and the hunters with me killed 3 also. The Indian shot one but could not get it. I scaffolded up the deer, and returned and met the boat after night, on the L.S., about 6 miles above the place we camped last night. One of the men saw a number of snakes. Captain Lewis saw a large beaver house S.S. I caught a whippoorwill, small and not common. The leaves are falling fast. The river wide and full of sand bars. Great numbers of very large stones on the sides of the hills, and some rock of a brownish color in the L. bend below this.
Great numbers of goats are flocking down to the S. side of the river, on their way to the Black Mountains, where they winter. Those animals return in the spring in the same way and scatter in different directions.
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.