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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

Lewis draws the Great Falls and sets out towards the Marias River. Clark continues by horse down the Yellowstone River in search of trees to make canoes. Ordway paddles down the Missouri towards Gass who is at the Great Falls portage.

the grass is naturally but short and at present has been rendered much more so by the graizing of the buffaloe, the whole face of the country as far as the eye can reach looks like a well shaved bowlinggreen, in which immence and numerous herds of buffaloe were seen feeding attended by their scarcely less numerous sheepherds the wolves.

Meriwether Lewis

Buck Bridge Ridge

Montana prairie with short, brown grass

I arrose early this morning and made a drawing of the falls. after which we took breakfast and departed.

Meriwether Lewis

Great Falls of the Missouri River

Historic sketch of the Great Falls

Engraving by John James Barralet in 1807. Meriwether Lewis hired the artist to make this sketch so that it could be included in his journal.

the land is not fertile, at least far less so, than the plains of the Columbia or those lower down this river, it is a light coloured soil intermixed with a considerable proportion of coarse gravel without sand, when dry it cracks and appears thursty and is very hard, in it's wet state, it is as soft and slipry as so much soft soap.

Meriwether Lewis

Near the Teton River

Dry, whitish, cracked soil

the party coloured plover with the brick red head and neck; this bird remains about the little ponds which are distributed over the face of these plains and here raise their young.

Meriwether Lewis

Avocet, Recurvirostra americana

Two large birds with long beaks and legs

Photo created by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

the bush which bears the red berry is here in great plenty in the river bottoms

Meriwether Lewis

Buffaloberry, Shepherdia argentea

Tall bush with large, red berries

Photo created by the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Near the Falls of Missouri Jul. 17th 1806.

Pursh (Meriwether Lewis)

Evening gumbo primrose, Oenothera cespitosa

Small plant with large pink and white blossoms

The high lands approach the river on either side much nearer than it does above and their Sides are partially covered with low pine & Cedar, none of which are Sufficently large for Canoes

William Clark

Limber pine, Pinus flexilis

Smaller, gnarly pine trees

Photo by Dave Powell of the U.S. Forest Service.

I Saw in one of those Small bottoms which I passed this evening an Indian fort which appears to have been built last Summer. this fort was built of logs and bark.
the Squaw informs me that when the war parties find themselves pursued they make those forts to defend themselves in from the pursuers whose Superior numbers might other wise over power them and cut them off without receiveing much injurey on hors back &c.

William Clark

Yellowstone River at Work Creek

A dark cloud passing over the Yellowstone River

we Incamped opposit a Small Island.

William Clark

Yellowstone River near Work Creek

An island in the Yellowstone River

We had a pleasant day, and high wind; which drives away the musquitoes and relieves us from those tormenting insects

Patrick Gass

White Bear Islands on the Missouri River

Missouri River and island

a clear morning. we took an eairly breakfast and proceeded on
Camped about 5 miles below Sd. rapids at a bottom in groves of cotten timber.—

John Ordway

Ordway passing Tower Rock

Pencil sketch of three men in a dugout canoe

Photo: Interpretive sign at Tower Rock State Park.