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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The Expedition enters the Missouri River Breaks camping near present Power Plant Road in Montana. They collect their first bighorn sheep which Lewis describes in detail. Clark ascends the river hills and sees several mountain ranges.

The hills here are very high and steep. One of our men in an attempt to climb one had his shoulder dislocated; it was however replaced without much difficulty. These hills are very much washed in general: they appear like great heaps of clay, washing away with every shower; with scarcely any herbs or grass on any of them.

Patrick Gass

Cow Island, Missouri River

Steep hills on the Missouri River

Photo ©2009 Montana Geographic Society. Permission via the GNU Free Documentation License.

In my walk of this day I saw mountts. on either side of the river at no great distance, those mountains appeared to be detached, and not ranges as laid down by the Minetarrees, I also think I saw a range of high mounts. at a great distance to the S S W. but am not certain as the horozon was not clear enough to view it with Certainty. The country on either side is high broken and rockey a dark brown hard rugid Stone intermixed with a Soft white Sand Stone.

William Clark

Little Rocky Mountains

Mountain range in the distance

this animel is of a blackish colour or dark duskey colour over the body. they have great resemblance of the deer kind, especally the leggs, but the head & huffs resemble a Sheep. they are verry active & keep freequently on the Sides of Steep bluffs & places where wolves & bears cannot hurt them.

John Ordway

Bighorn sheep, Ovis canadensis

Large Bighorn Sheep

Photo 2006 by Jon Sullivan who has released it to the public domain.

this horn is used by the natives in constructing their bows; I have no doubt but it would eligant and ucefull hair combs, and might probably answer as many valuable purposes to civilized man, as it dose to the savages, who form their watercups spoons and platters of it.

Meriwether Lewis

Bighorn horn spoons

Carved spoons and ladels

Photo courtesy of Nez Perce National Historical Park, NEPE 1990.