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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The Expedition heads west along the Lochsa River. They then climb up a very steep ridge to the main Lolo trail. Several horses fall and two give out. At camp, they find a bank of snow to melt for water. The evening is cold and cloudy.

we set out early.
the morning Cloudy.

William Clark

Lochsa River island, Powell, Idaho

Cloudy, early morning on the Lochsa River

proceeded on Down the right Side of River over Steep points rockey & buschey as usial for 4 miles to an old Indian fishing place

William Clark

Lochsa River

Lochsa river viewed from a steep point

Photo © by Gene Eastman.

We crossed a Creek & a small pond which lay a small distance below it. We then ascended a high mountain...

Joseph Whitehouse

Whitehouse Pond

Small pond and marsh with a forest background

4 miles up the mountain I found a Spring and halted for the rear to come up and to let our horses rest & feed, about 2 hours the rear of the party came up much fatigued & horses more So, Several horses Sliped and roled down Steep hills which hurt them verry much The one which Carried my desk & Small trunk Turned over & roled down a mountain for 40 yards & lodged against a tree, broke the Desk the horse escaped and appeared but little hurt Some others verry much hurt

William Clark

Lolo Trail at a Wendover Ridge spring

Steep grassy slope

fire & wind...has deprived the Greater part of the Southerley Sides of this mountain of its gren timber

William Clark

came over several verry high knobs where the timber had been mostly blown down.

John Ordway

Near Wendover Ridge

Burned timber along Lolo Trail

From this mountain I could observe high ruged mountains in every direction as far as I could see.

William Clark

Bitterroot Mountains

Mountains and deep valleys in every direction

Photo ©2010 by Gene Eastman. (Some modern items have been digitally obscured.)

Some places So Steep and rockey that Several of the horses fell backward

Joseph Whitehouse

we melted the Snow to drink, and Cook our horse flesh to eat.

William Clark

Steep slopes above Lochsa River

Step slope and burned trees

Photo © 2004 by Gene Eastman. Photo date: August 18, 2004.

We encamped on the top ridge of the Mountain, where we found plenty of Snow, which from appearance had lain there during the whole Year; we melted Snow to drink & make some portable Soup, which was given to all the party & they all retired to rest seemingly content.—

Joseph Whitehouse

Bitterroot Mountains

Small bank of snow in the forest

with the greatest exertion we Could only make 12 miles up the mountain and encamped on the top of the mountain near a Bank of old Snow about 3 feet deep lying on the Northern Side of the mountain and in Small banks on the top & leavel parts of the mountain, we melted the Snow to drink, and Cook our horse flesh to eat.

William Clark

Snowbank Camp

Painting of the Expedition camped in the mountains next to a snowbank

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