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Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

May 6, 1805


Monday May 6th 1805.

The morning being fair and pleasant and wind favourable we set sale at an early hour, and proceeded on very well the great part of the day; the country still continues level fertile and beautifull, the bottoms wide and well timbered comparitively speaking with other parts of the river; no appearance of birnt hills pumice stone or coal, the salts of tartar or vegitable salts continues to appear on the river banks, sand bars and in many parts of the plains most generally in the little revines at the base of the low hills. [1]    passed three streames today which discharged themselves on the Lard. side; the first of these we call little dry creek    it contained some water in standing pools but discharged none, the 2ed 50 yards wide no Water, we called it Big dry Creek, the 3rd is bed of a conspicuous river 200 yards wide which we called little dry river; [2] the banks of these streams are low and bottoms wide with but little timber, their beds are almost entirely formed of a fine brown sand intermixed with a small proportion of little pebbles, which were either transparent, white, green, red, yellow or brown.    these streams appeared to continue their width without diminution as far as we could perceive them, which with rispect to the river was many miles, they had recenly discharged their waters.    from the appearance of these streams, and the country through which they passed, we concluded that they had their sources in level low dry plains, which probably is the character of the country for a great distance west of this, or to the vicinity of the black hills, that the country being low on the same leve[l] nearly and in the same parallel of latitude, that the rains in the spring of the year 〈in a few days〉 suddonly melts the snow at the same time and causes for a few days a vast quantity of water which finds it's way to the Missouri through those channels; by reference to the diary of the weather &c it will be percieved that there is scarcely any rain during the summer Autumn and winter in this open country distant from the mountains. Fields still continues unwell.    saw a brown bear swim the river above us, he disappeared before we can get in reach of him; I find that the curiossity of our party is pretty well satisfyed with rispect to this anamal, the formidable appearance of the male bear killed on the 5th added to the difficulty with which they die when even shot through the vital parts, has staggered the resolution several of them, others however seem keen for action with the bear; I expect these gentlemen will give us some amusement shotly as they soon begin now to coppolate.    saw a great quantity of game of every species common here. Capt Clark walked on shore and killed two Elk, they were not in very good order, we therefore took a part of the meat only; it is now only amusement for Capt. C. and myself to kill as much meat as the party can consum; I hope it may continue thus through our whole rout, but this I do not much expect.    two beaver were taken in traps this morning and one since shot by one of the party.    saw numbers of these anamals peeping at us as we passed out of their wholes which they form of a cilindric shape, by burrowing in the face of the abbrupt banks of the river.

Courses and distances May 6th 1805. [3] miles
S. 30° W. to a Stard. point opposite a low bluf, just above which
little dry creek falls in on Lard.
  1 ½
N. 45° W. to a point of high timber in a bend on Stard. side at the
mouth of Lackwater creek 25 yds. wide
  1 ½
N. 40° W. [4] to a point of high timber on Stard. side.   3
S. 55° W. to a point of woodland on the Lard. side   3
S. 70° W [5] to a point of woodland Stard. side, passing Big dry Creek
at ½ m. on Lard.
  2 ½
S. 55° W. to a point of woodland on the Lard. the river making a
deep bend to N. W.
S. 50° W. to a point of woodland Stard side opposite a low bluf on
Lard. side
  1 ¼
S. 60° W. to the entrance of a river 200 yds. wide on Lard. Side in a
bend, this we called little dry river it having no water
North to an object in center of a Stard. bend, a large sand Island
on Lard. side
S. 40° W. to a willow point on the Stard. side opposite to a bluff on
Lard. side
S. 80° W. to a clump of high trees on the Stard. side passing a point
on Lard. at 2 m. on which we encamped for the night [6]
Miles 25

May 6th 1805.
Point of observation No. 10. [7]

On the Stard. side, at the extremity of the 3rd course of this day observed Equal altitudes of ☉ with Sextant.

h m  s
A. M. 8 59 57 } lost by
} Altd. by sext
71° 16' 15"
9   1 35
"   3 15

At noon the sun being obscured by clouds I was unable to observe his Altitude; it continued cloudy the ballance of the day and prevented all further observation.

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Summary | 1 Annotation
it is now only amusement for Capt. C. and myself to kill as much meat as the party can consum;
2020/07/16 15:30