Lewis and Clark Today Logo

On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

After Lewis leaves Camp Disappointment, he meets a small group of Blackfeet. They camp together on the Two Medicine River. Clark canoes 62 miles down the Yellowstone River. Three additional groups are moving boats or horses.

we decended a very steep bluff about 250 feet high to the river where there was a small bottom of nearly ½ a mile in length and about 250 yards wide in the widest part... in this bottom there stand tree solitary trees near one of which the indians formed a large simicircular camp of dressed buffaloe skins and invited us to partake of their shelter which Drewyer and myself accepted and the Fieldses lay near the fire in front of the sheter.

Meriwether Lewis

Two Medicine River

Small river with steep banks

Photo from a sign at the Fight Site roadside historical area.

struck a principal branch of Maria's river 65 yds. wide, not very deep

Meriwether Lewis

Two Medicine River

Small river with low shores

halted to dine and graize our horses. here I found some indian lodges which appeared to have been inhabited last winter in a large and fertile bottom well stocked with cottonwood timber. the rose honeysuckle and redberry bushes constitute the undergrowth there being but little willow in this quarter both these rivers abov their junction appeared to be well stocked with timber or comparitively so with other parts of this country.

Meriwether Lewis

Two Medicine River

Small river with cottonwoods and willows

here it is that we find the three species of cottonwood which I have remarked in my voyage assembled together that speceis common to the Columbia I have never before seen on the waters of the Missouri, also the narrow and broad leafed speceis.

Meriwether Lewis

Narrowleaf cottonwood, Populus angustifolia | Black Cottonwood, Populus trichocarpa

Narrow cottonwood leaves compared to wide cottonwood leaves

Narrowleaf cottonwood photo ©Stan Shebs. Permission via the GNU Free Documentation License.
Black cottonwood photo taken June 4, 2011 at the Columbia River Discovery Center.

Set out this morning very early    proceeded on

William Clark

Pompey's Pillar

Painting of an Indian encampment in front of a monolithic rock

The bottoms of the Big Horn river are extencive and Covered with timber principally Cotton. like the Missouri, it washes away its banks on one Side

William Clark

Bighorn River

River with low, muddy banks

It rained very hard all night, which has made the plains so muddy, that it is with the greatest difficulty we can get along with the canoe; though in the evening, after a hard day's labour, we got her safe to Portage river, and the men run her down to the lower landing place, where we encamped.

Patrick Gass

Lower Portage Camp

Muddy bank along the Missouri River