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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The white pirogue, carrying non-swimmers and the most valuable cargo (instruments, papers, medicine, and trade goods), catches a side wind and nearly capsizes. At Shell Creek, the men find Grizzly bear tracks surrounding dead Bison.

we therefore hoisted both the sails in the White Perogue, consisting of a small squar sail, and spritsail, which carried her at a pretty good gate, untill about 2 in the afternoon when a suddon squall of wind struck us and turned the perogue so much on the side as to allarm Sharbono who was steering at the time, in this state of alarm he threw the perogue with her side to the wind, when the spritsail gibing was as near overseting the perogue as it was possible to have missed.

Meriwether Lewis

White pirogue

Crew in a large white boat

This photo is provided as a service by the U.S. Army Center of Military History.

passd. the mouth of a Creek on the S. S. on the banks of which there is an imence quantity of wild onions or garlick, I was up this Creek ½ a m. and could not See one Stick of timber of any kind on its borders

William Clark

White wild onion, Allium textile

Wild onion plant growing in sandy soil

Photo ©2009 Matt Lavin. Permission via the Creative Commons ShareAlike License.

we saw also many tracks of the white bear of enormous size, along the river shore and about the carcases of the Buffaloe, on which I presume they feed. we have not as yet seen one of these anamals, tho' their tracks are so abundant and recent. the men as well as ourselves are anxious to meet with some of these bear. the Indians give a very formidable account of the strengh and ferocity of this animal

Meriwether Lewis

Grizzly bear tracks, Ursus arctos horribilis

Grizzly bear tracks on a muddy shore

Photo created by the U.S. National Park Service.