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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The Expedition makes 17 miles up a crooked Missouri River while avoiding crumbling banks. Bratton is chased by a wounded Grizzly bear. The canoes go ashore, and the hunters chase the bear from which eight gallons of cooking oil is rendered.

there is another growth that begins now to make it's appearance in the bottom lands and is becoming extreemly troublesome; it is a shrub which rises to the hight of from two to four feet, much branched, the bark of the trunk somewhat rough hard and of light grey colour; the wood is firm and stif, the branches beset with a great number of long, shap, strong, wooddy looking thorns;

Meriwether Lewis

Greasewood, Sarcobatus vermiculatus

Green sage surrounded by Big sagebrush

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

the banks are falling in very fast; I sometimes wonder that some of our canoes or perogues are not swallowed up by means of these immence masses of earth which are eternally precipitating themselves into the river; we have had many hair breadth escapes from them but providence seems so to have ordered it that we have as yet sustained no loss in consequence of them.

Meriwether Lewis

Missouri River bank

Steep sandy bank of the Missouri River

Photo created by the U.S. Geological Service.

the tops of these hills which produce the pine and cedar is of a different soil from that just described; it is a light coloured poor sterile sandy soil, the base usually a yellow or white clay;it produces scarcely any grass, some scattering tuffts of sedge constitutes the greater part of it's grass.

Meriwether Lewis

Thread-leaved sedge, Carex filifolia

Scrubby tuft of golden grass on barren and rock soil

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

a smaller variety of it grows on the hills, the leaves of which differ considerably being more deeply indented near it's extremity.

Meriwether Lewis

Black sagebrush, Artemisia nova

Spring growth of a Black sagebrus

Photo © Stan Shebs. Permission via the GNU Free Documentation License.

Bratton...arrived so much out of breath that it was several minutes before he could tell what had happened; he had shot a brown bear which immediately turned on him and pursued him a considerable distance,
these bear being so hard to die reather intimedates us all; I must confess that I do not like the gentlemen and had reather fight two Indians than one bear;

Meriwether Lewis

Grizzly bear, Ursus arctos horribilis

Large bear

Photo created by Harry Watson of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.