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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

Lewis crosses the Missouri and Sun rivers and camps under a ledge near the Great Falls. In the rocky plains of the Yellowstone River, Clark makes moccasins for the horses' sore feet. Ordway is taking canoes towards the Great Falls.

having arrived safely below Medicine river we immediately sadled our horses and proceeded down the river to the handsom fall of 47 feet where I halted about 2 hours and took a haisty sketch of these falls; in the mean time we had some meat cooked and took dinner

Meriwether Lewis

Rainbow Falls

Historical photograph of Rainbow Falls before dams

Photo courtesy of Cascade County Historical Society Catalog Number 98.2.4 (altered).

here we encamped and the evening having the appearance of rain made our beds and slept under a shelving rock.

Meriwether Lewis

Great Falls

Rock cliffs below the Great Falls

these falls have abated much of their grandure since I first arrived at them in June 1805, the water being much lower at preset than it was at that moment, however they are still a sublimely grand object.

Meriwether Lewis

Great Falls

we see a number of goats or antilopes always in passing through the plains of the Missouri above the Mandans.
at this season they are thinly scattered over the plains but seem universally distributed in every part;
they appear very inquisitive usually to learn what we are as we pass, and frequently accompany us at no great distance for miles, frequently halting and giving a loud whistle through their nostrils, they are a very pretty animal and astonishingly fleet and active.

Meriwether Lewis

Pronghorn, Antilocapra americana

Pronghorn on the green plain

Photo by James C. Leupold of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

I saw both yesterday and today the Cookkoo or as it is sometimes called the rain craw. this bird is not met with west of the Rocky Mountains nor within them.—

Meriwether Lewis

Yellow-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus

Perching bird with yellow bill

hoto ©2005 Mdf. Permission via the GNU Free Documentation License.

observe the Silkgrass Sunflower & Wild indigo all in blume. but fiew other flowers are to be seen in those plains.

William Clark

Indian dogbane, Apocynum cannabinum

Woody stalks with large green leaves and small white blossoms

Photo ©SB Johnny. Permission via the Creative Commons 3.0 License.

The river and Creek bottoms abound in Cotton wood trees, tho' none of them Sufficiently large for Canoes. and the current of the Rochejhone is too rapid to depend on Skinn canoes. no other alternetive for me but to proceed on down untill I can find a tree Sufficently large &c. to make a Canoe.

William Clark

Yellowstone River at Sheep Mountain

about 3 P. M. the wind abated a little and we proced. on thro the gates of the mn

John Ordway

Gates of the Rockies

Rocky crag rising from the river