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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

Clark looks for a route to portage the pirogues and finds two large ravines that must be navigated. He camps at Rainbow Falls. Below present Belt Creek, Lewis builds carts to carry the pirogues, and he attends to the ill Sacagawea.

a fine morning wind as usial Capt. Lewis with the party unloaded the Perogue & he determined to keep the party employed in getting the loading to the Creek about 1 mile over a low hill in my absence on the Portage.

William Clark

Hill below Lower Portage Camp

Trail on a hill above the Missouri River

we were fortunate enough to find one cottonwood tree just below the entrance of portage creek that was large enough to make our carrage wheels about 22 Inches in diameter; fortunate I say because I do not beleive that we could find another of the same size perfectly sound within 20 miles of us.

Meriwether Lewis

Cottonwood Tree at the mouth of Belt Creek

Lone cottonwood tree on the bank of a creek

I set six men at work to pepare four sets of truck wheels with couplings, toungs and bodies, that they might either be used without the bodies for transporting our canoes, or with them in transporting our baggage

Meriwether Lewis

Building carts to haul the pirogues

Painting of the men cutting wheels and working on a wagon

Painting on an interpretive sign at Sulpher Spring, Montana.

from this place ther is a gradual ascent to the top of the high plain to which we can now take them with ease; the bluffs of this creek below and those of the river above it's entrance are so steep that it would be almost impracticable to have gotten them on the plain.

Meriwether Lewis

Portage Hill

Barren hill gradually climbing to the plain

we found much difficulty in geting the canoes up this creek to the distance we were compelled to take them, in consequence of the rappids and rocks which obstruct the channel of the creek.

William Clark

Belt Creek downstream from Portage Hill

A small creek with many rocks and rapids

just above the canoes the creek has a perpendicular fall of 5 feet and the cliffts again become very steep and high.

Meriwether Lewis

Belt Creek upstream from Portage Hill

Small creek with rocks and cliffs

I beheld those Cateracts with astonishment

William Clark

Great Falls of the Missouri

Great Falls: Historic photograph from the south bank

Photo courtesy of Cascade County Historical Society, CCHS Catalog Number 92.66.63.

this fall is diaguanally across the river from the Lard Side, forming an angle of ¾ of the width from the Lard. from which Side it pitches for 2/3 of that distance. on the Stard Side is a rapid decline

William Clark

Crooked Falls

Historic photo of Crooked Falls

Photo courtesy of Montana Historical Society, MHS Catalog Number 949-579.