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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The boats paddle through the Gates of the Rockies, a narrow canyon with tall rocks and cliffs rising from the Missouri River water. Clark encounters Prickly pear thorns and mosquitoes as he scouts ahead in search of the Shoshone.

the river appears to have forced it's way through this immence body of solid rock for the distance of 5¾ miles and where it makes it's exit below has thrown on either side vast collumns of rocks mountains high.

Meriwether Lewis

Gates of the Rockies

Blue water reflecting rock cliffs

this evening we entered much the most remarkable clifts that we have yet seen.

Meriwether Lewis

Entrance to the Gates of the Rockies

Missouri River flowing through a small opening in the mountains

these clifts rise from the waters edge on either side perpendicularly to the hight of 1200 feet.

Meriwether Lewis

Gates of the Rockies

River surrounded by rock cliffs

every object here wears a dark and gloomy aspect.

Meriwether Lewis

Gates of the Rockies

Blue river surrounded by rock cliffs

the tow[er]ing and projecting rocks in many places seem ready to tumble on us.

Meriwether Lewis

Gates of the Rockies

Rock cliff reflecting in blue water

from the singular appeaerance of this place I called it the gates of the rocky mountains.

Meriwether Lewis

Gates of the Rockies

Painting of the Gates of the Rockies

Painting previously located in Southern Hills Mall, Sioux City, Iowa and created by by Split Rock Studios.

nor wer the prickly pear of the leveler part of the rout much less painfull; they have now become so abundant in the open uplands that it is impossible to avoid them and their thorns are so keen and stif that they pearce a double thickness of dressed deers skin with ease.

Meriwether Lewis

Plains prickly pear, Opuntia macrorhiza

Sharp prickly pear spines