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May 21, 1804

At 4 pm, the swivel gun is fired and the Expedition leaves St. Charles in present Missouri state. After 3¼ miles, they encamp on the north shore.

a number of the Inhabitants had assembled to see us set off) we fired our Swivel, from the Bow of our boat; and gave them three Cheers, which they returned; we then proceeded up the River

Joseph Whitehouse
Historical painting of the Lewis and Clark Expedition leaving St. Charles

May 21, 1805

The Expedition tows the boats against the strong Missouri current heading north through present UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge. In the evening, a sudden dust storm forces the Captains to move their shelter from the river sandbar.

the bends of the river are short and suddon, the points covered with some cottonwood, larger willow, or broadleafed willow with an abundance of the wild rose and some small honeysuckle bushes constitute the undergrowth, the redwood is also found in small quantities.

Meriwether Lewis
Gentle bend of the Missouri River

May 21, 1806

The Captains have a bower made from willow poles and grass to keep them and the most important baggage dry. The remaining Indian goods are divided between the men so that they can trade for food.

as our tent was not sufficient to shelter us from the rain we had a lodge constructed of willow poles and grass...

Meriwether Lewis

we Set 5 Men at work to build a Canoe for the purpose of takeing fish and passing the river

William Clark
Nez Perce man in a dugout canoe on the rocky shore