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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For July 24:
Captain Lewis (current)
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The valley through which the river passed today is much as that of yesterday, nor is there any difference in the appearance of the mountains. They still continue high and seem to rise in some places like an amphitheater, one range above another, as they recede from the river, until the most distant and lofty have their tops clad with snow. The adjacent mountains commonly rise so high as to conceal the more distant and lofty mountains from our view.
I fear every day that we shall meet with some considerable falls or obstruction in the river notwithstanding the information of the Indian woman to the contrary, who assures us that the river continues much as we see it. I can scarcely form an idea of a river running to great extent through such a rough, mountainous country without having its stream intercepted by some difficult and dangerous rapids or falls. We daily pass a great number of small rapids or riffles, which descend one, two, or three feet in 150 yards, but we are rarely incommoded with fixed or standing rocks, and although strong rapid water, they are nevertheless quite practicable and by no means dangerous.
This morning Captain Clark set out early and pursued the Indian road, which took him up a creek some miles. About 10 A.M., he discovered a horse about six miles distant, on his left. He changed his route toward the horse. On approaching him, he found the horse in fine order but so wild he could not get within less than several hundred paces of him. He still saw much Indian sign, but none of recent date. From this horse he directed his course obliquely to the river, where, on his arrival, he killed a deer and dined.
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.