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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

Near present Townsend, Montana, Lewis takes the canoes past red bluffs and many islands. Clark continues ahead. As he nears the Three Forks of the Missouri, he notes the striking diagonal layers created by the Lombard thrust fault.

the mountains on either Side appear like the hills had fallen half down & turned Side up-wards the bottoms narrow and no timber a fiew bushes only.

William Clark

Missouri River below Toston Dam

Slanted rocks on a steep hill above the Missouri River

the valley through which the river passed today is much as that of yesterday nor is there any difference in the appearance of the mountains, they still continue high and seem to rise in some places like an amphatheater one rang above another as they receede from the river untill the most distant and lofty have their tops clad with snow.

Meriwether Lewis

Missouri River at Townsend, Montana

Channeled river in a broad valley

I fear every day that we shall meet with some considerable falls or obstruction in the river notwithstanding the information of the Indian woman to the contrary who assures us that the river continues much as we see it. I can scarcely form an idea of a river runing to great extent through such a rough mountainous country without having it's stream intersepted by some difficult and gangerous rappids or falls.

Meriwether Lewis

Missouri River at York Islands

Smooth river with rocky shore

our trio of pests still invade and obstruct us on all occasions, these are the Musquetoes eye knats and prickley pears, equal to any three curses that ever poor Egypt laiboured under, except the Mahometant yoke.

Meriwether Lewis

Mosquito, black fly, and plains prickly pear

Mosquito, black fly, and prickly pear needles

Mosquito photo by US Centers for Disease Control.
Black fly photo by Christian Thompson of the US Department of Agriculture.