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September 7, 1803

Lewis reaches Wheeling, in present West Virginia, a common port of departure for boats heading down the Ohio River. He receives the cargo that had come by wagon over the Braddock Road, and finds it is in good order.

reached Wheeling 16 miles distant at 5 in the evening
this town is remarkable for being the point of embarkation for merchants and Emegrants who are about to descend the river, particularly if they are late in getting on and the water gets low as it most commonly is from the begining of July to the last of September; the water from hence being much deeper and the navigation better than it is from Pittsburgh or any point above it—

Meriwether Lewis
Snippet from a book used by Meriwether Lewis to help navigate the Ohio River

September 7, 1804

Near present Old Baldy in South Dakota, the Expedition encounters their first village of prairie dogs. They pour barrels of water down their holes eventually catching one as a specimen. Shannon is still missing.

Having understood that the village of those small dogs was at a short distance from our camp, Captain Lewis and Captain Clarke with all the party, except the guard, went to it; and took with them all the kettles and other vessels for holding water; in order to drive the animals out of their holes by pouring in water; but though they worked at the business till night they only caught one of them.

Patrick Gass
Painting of the Lewis and Clark expedition attempting to flood a prairie dog hole

September 7, 1805

The day is cloudy, dark, and drizzly as the Expedition makes its way north through the broadening Bitterroot valley. The mountains on either side are covered in snow. A good camping place along the Bitterroot River is not found until dark.

The Vallie from 1 to 2 miles wide the Snow top mountains to our left, open hilley countrey on the right.

William Clark
Sage brush, river, trees, and mountain range

September 7, 1806

Before departing, arrangements are made to find the Field brothers. They are found 8 miles down the Missouri River. Progress is slowed by wind, and they make 44 miles. At camp near present Blair, Nebraska, the mosquitoes are bothersome.

the evaperation on this portion of the Missouri has been noticed as we assended this river, and it now appears to be greater than it was at that time. I am obliged to replenish my ink Stand every day with fresh ink at least 9/10 of which must evaperate.

William Clark
Redware ink stand and quill pens