|May 30, 1805
many circumstances indicate our near approach to a country whos climate differs
considerably from that in which we have been for many months. the air of the open country
is asstonishingly dry as well as pure. I found by several experiments that a table spoon
full of water exposed to the air in a saucer would evaporate in 36 hours when the mercury
did not stand higher than the temperate point at the greatest heat of the day; my inkstand
so frequently becoming dry put me on this experiment. I also observed the well seasoned
case of my sextant shrunk considerably and the joints opened.
May 30, 1805
... one man assended the high countrey and it was raining & snowing on those hills,
the day has proved to be raw and cold.
May 30, 1805
the rain commenced yesterday evening & continued moderately through the course of
the night. more rain has now fllen than we have experenced Since the 15th of
September last, the rain continued this morning, and the wind too high for us to proceed,
untill abt. 11 oClock at which time we Set out & proceeded on with great labour
we ere obliged to make use of the tow rope & the banks were So muddy
& Slippery that the men could Scarsely walk notwithstanding we proceeded as well as we
Could, wind hard from the N.W. in attempting to assend a rapid our toe cord
broke of the white perogue, they turned without injury. those rapids are
Shallow points & are numerous & difficult one being at the mouth of every dreen.
Some little rain at times all day. one man ascended the high country
& it was raining & Snowing on those high hills, the day has proved to be raw and
cold back from the river is tollarably level. no timber of
any kind on the hills, & only a fiew Scatering trees of cotton willows &.C.
we discover in many places old encampments of large bands of Indians, a fiew
weeks past & appear to be makeing up the River. those Indians we believe
to be the Blackfoot Indians or Manetare who Inhabit the Country on the heads of the
Saskashoarr North of this place & trade in litto [little] in the Fort Deprare
establishments. [The Saskatchewan River, and the North West Company post of Fort
Des Prairies. Both Indian groups traded at these posts. Ordway is still copying from
Clark.] we Camped in a handsome grove of cotton trees on the Stard.
Side. [Nearly opposite Sheep /shed Coulee.] River rise 1 1/2. Came
8 miles to day
May 30, 1805
The forenoon was cloudy, with some rain. We did not set out till late in the day.
The hills came in close on the river again, but are not so high. Some of them
are as black as coal and some white as chalk. [The expedition is entering the
White Cliffs area of the Missouri River.] We see a great many fresh Indian
tracks or signs as we pass along. It rained a little all day; we went on slow and
encamped early on the North side [Nearly opposite the mouth of Sheep Shed Coulee.],
in a small bottom with some cotton wood, having proceeded on eight miles. There are
no pines to be seen on the hills.
May 30, 1805
Cloudy & rain, the wind high from the N.W. we delayed untill about 10 oC. then Set
off, though disagreeable working. passed white Straight range of Clifts on the
S.S. [The White Cliffs area of the Missouri River Breaks.]
proceeded on with the towing lines about 5 miles & halted to dine on the
N.S. Some of the hunters Shot an Elk. cold chilly wind & rain.
passed a Camp wher 29 lodges of the blackfoot Indians had lately been &
left piles of mussel Shells at each fire. Came 8 miles. Camped at a handsom
narrow bottom covered with thin c. Wood timber [Opposite the mouth of Sheep Shed
Coulee.], where 50 or 60 lodges of Indians had lately been Camped.
they were gone as we expect up the river. they left Several lodge
poles & considerable of fire wood gathered. 2 of the hunters went across the
river on the hill & killed 2 buffaloe.--
May 30, 1805
This morning we had the weather Cloudy and Rainey; & the wind blowing hard from the
North west, We delayed setting off till 10 oClock A.M. the weather still being very
disagreeable, & band to Tow the Crafts; we then proceeded on our Voyage, and passed a
white strait range of Clifts, lying on the South side of the River, we proceed still on,
towing our Crafts about 5 Miles, when we halted to dine on the North side of the River;
One of our hunters Shot an Elk, which was brought to us.-- the weather still
continued Cold & Chilly with some rain,-- We set off about 2 o'Clock P.M. from
the place that we dined at; and passed an Old Camp of 20 lodges, which the black foot
Indians we supposed had lately left. they had left, piles of Muscle shells, at
each fire, We came 8 Miles, and encamped at a handsome Narrow bottom, thinly covered with
Cotton wood; where we found 60 lodges, that some Indians had lately left, and we expected
had gone up the River Mesouri, Those Indians left several lodge poles, and a considerable
quantity of fire Wood, which they had gather'd; 2 of our hunters went across the River to
a hill, where they dilled 2 Buffalo, which they brought to our Campe.--