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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

The Expedition sets out early down the Clearwater River. They set up camp below present Orofino, Idaho to make canoes from large Ponderosa pine trees. They sharpen their axes and make handles. Several members are sick.

We proceeded on down the South side of the fork of the River, & encamped opposite to where another fork of the River came in on the North side. We formed our Camp in a narrow plain, on the bank of the Main fork, and made a Pen of Pine bushes round the Officers lodge, to put the baggage in.

Joseph Whitehouse

Mouth of the North Fork Clearwater River (Ahsahka, Idaho)

Painting of Nez Perce villages at the confluence of two rivers

Painting located at Nez Perce National Historical Park.

we purchase fresh Salmon of the Indians

William Clark

we went about helving our axes and git in readiness to begin the canoes.

Joseph Whitehouse

Clearwater River at Canoe Camp

Calm, clear waters of a wide river

We had a clear pleasant morning

Joseph Whitehouse

Clearwater River near Canoe Camp

Large, round rocks on a dry channel of the Clearwater River

I had the axes distributed and handled and men apotned. [apportioned] ready to commence building canoes on tomorrow, our axes are Small & badly Calculated to build Canoes of the large Pine

William Clark

Broad axe

Head of an broad axe

From the personal collection of Dave Benson, Hog Heaven Muzzleloaders.

There appears to be a kind of sheep in this country, besides the Ibex or mountain sheep, and which have wool on. I saw some of the skins, which the natives had, with wool four inches long, and as fine, white and soft as any I had ever seen.

Patrick Gass

Rocky Mountain sheep skin, Oreamnos americanus

Long, white fur