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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For June 29:
Captain Clark (current)
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After dinner we continued our march 7 miles further to the warm springs, where we arrived early in the evening and sent out several hunters, who, as well as R. Fields and Drouilliard, returned unsuccessful. Late in the evening, Joe Fields and Cotter joined us with the lost horses and brought with them a deer, which J.F. had killed. This furnished us with a supper.
The principal spring is about the temperature of the warmest baths used at the Hot Springs in Virginia. In this bath which had been prepared by the Indians by stopping the river with stone and mud, I bathed and remained in 10 minutes. It was with difficulty I could remain this long, and it caused a profuse sweat. Two other bold springs adjacent to this are much warmer, their heat being so great as to make the hand of a person smart extremely when immersed. We think the temperature of those springs about the same as that of the hottest of the Hot Springs of Virginia.
Both the men and the Indians amused themselves with the use of the bath this evening. I observe the Indians, after remaining in the hot bath as long as they could bear it, run and plunge themselves into the creek, the water of which is now as cold as ice can make it. After remaining here a few minutes, they return again to the warm bath, repeating this transition several times, but always ending with the warm bath. Saw the tracks of two barefooted Indians.
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.