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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

Lewis heads west up the Marias River. On the Yellowstone River, Clark finds large timber and sets up a canoe making camp near present Park City, Montana. Ordway arrives with the canoes at Upper Portage Camp.

we set out, ascended the river hills having passed the river and proceeded through the open plains up the N. side of the river 20 miles and encamped.

Meriwether Lewis

Marias River near Bootlegger Trail

River cutting through wide open prairie

Drewyer and J. Fields set out early this morning in conformity to my instructions last evening. they returned at ½ after 12 OCk. and informed me that they had proceeded down the river to the place from which I had returned on the [blank] of June last and that it was 6 miles distant. they passed the entrance of buffaloe Creek at 2 ms. the course of the river from hence downwards as far as they were is N. 80 E.

Meriwether Lewis

Marias River below Tiber Dam

Small Montana river running through barren hills

the river bottoms are usually about ½ a mile wide and possess a considerable quantity of timber entirely cottonwood; the underbrush is honeysuckle rose bushes the narrow leafed willow and the bush which bears the acid red berry called by the french engages grease de buff.

Meriwether Lewis

Buffaloberry, Shepherdia argentea

Large bush with large red berries

Photo ©2007 SriMesh. Permission via the GNU Free Documentation License.

the plains are beautifull and level but the soil is but thin. in many parts of the plains there are great quantities of prickly pears.

Meriwether Lewis

Prickly pear, Opuntia polyacantha

Cactus-like plant with long, sharp barbs

found some large timber near which the grass was tolerably good    I Encamped under a thick grove of those trees which was not Sufficiently large for my purpose, tho' two of them would mak small Canoes.

William Clark

Small cottonwood trees

Small grove of cottonwood trees in a grassy meadow

I proceeded on about 9 miles, and halted to let the horses graze and let Gibson rest. his leg become So numed from remaining in one position, as to render extreemly painful to him. I derected Shields to keep through the thick timber and examine for a tree sufficently large & Sound to make a Canoe, and also hunt for Some Wild Ginger for a Poltice for Gibsons wound.

William Clark

Wild ginger, Asarum caudatum

Low plant with three elegant purple leaves

Photo ©2008 Walter Sigmund. Permission via the GNU Free Documentation License.

the timber which cotton wood principally Scattered on the borders of the river is larger than above. I have Seen Some trees which would make very Small Canoes.

William Clark

Cottonwood tree

Cottonwood tree in the early morning light

about 3 P. M. we arived at the white bear Camp at the head of the portage. Sergt. Gass and five more of the party were Camped here.

John Ordway

Missouri River near White Bear Islands

A beautiful day on the Missouri River south of Great Falls