On July 3, 1806, the Corps of Discovery left Travelers' Rest. Captain Lewis and nine men went to pursue a direct route to the Missouri, then explore Maria's river. Captain Clark and the rest of the party went a new route to the Jefferson River, then descended to the Three Forks and then proceeded with a detachment party to explore the Yellowstone, while Sergeant Ordway, with nine men, descended the Missouri. Map of Routes
Lewis July 25, 1806
..." late in the evening Drewyer and J. Fields returned ... they informed me that it was about 10 miles to the main branch of Maria's River, that the valley formed by the river in that quarter was wide extensive and level with a considerable quantity timber; ... I determined that if tomorrow continued cloudy to set out as I now begin to be apprehensive that I shall not reach the United States within this season unless I make every exertion in my power "...
Clark July 25, 1806 ( Map of the Area >>)
... "at 4 PM arived at a remarkable rock situated in an extensive bottom on
the Stard. Side of the river & 250 paces from it. this rock I ascended and from
it's top had a most extensive view in every direction. This rock which I shall
Call Pompy's Tower is 200 feet
high and 400 paces in secumphrance and only axcessable on one Side ... The
nativs have ingraved on the face of this rock the figures of animals & near
which I marked my name and the day of the month & year"
Lewis July 26, 1806
This morning was cloudy and continued to rain as usual.. we set out biding a lasting adieu to this place which I now call camp disappointment... discovered at a distance about 30 horses, I halted and used my spye glass of which I discovered several indians... I resolved to make the best of our situation and to approach them in a friendly manner...
Clark July 26, 1806 ( Map of the Area >>)
"proceeded on ... current of the river swift much divided by Stoney islands and bars also handsome Islands Covered with Cotton wood "...
"This morning at day light the indians got up and crouded around the fire, ... a scuffle, hollers... R Fields seized his gun stabed the indian to the heart... I hollered to the men and told them to fire on them if they attempted to drive off our horses... left the medal about the neck of the dead man that they might be informed who we were"...
Clark July 27, 1806 ( Map of the Area >>)
... "the Elk which lay on almost every point in large gang and are so jintle that we frequently pass within 20 or 30 paces of them without their being the least alarmd"...
Lewis July 28, 1806
"I awaked the men and directed the horses to be saddled, I was so soar from
my ride yesterday that I could scarcely stand, and the men complained of being
in a similar situation, I encouraged them by telling them that our own lives as
well as those of our friends and fellow travellers depended on our excertions at
On July 28, 1806 Sergeant Ordway's party reunited with Lewis' party: " about 9 am we discovred on a high bank a head Capt. Lewis & the three men who went with him on horse back comming towards us on N. side we came too shore and fied the Swivell to Salute him & party we Saluted them also with Small arms and were rejoiced to See them. Capt. Lewis took us all by the hand." Ordway
" proceeded on glideing down this smooth stream passing maney Isld and several creeks and brooks ."
Lewis July 29, 1806
"Shortly after dark last evening a violent storm came on from NW attended with rain hail Thunder and lightening which continued the greater part of the night. no having the means of making a shelter I lay in the water all night.."
Clark July 29, 1806 ( Map of the Area >>)
"a slight rain last night with hard thunder and Sharp lightening accompanied with a violent NE wind. I set out early this morning wind So hard a head that we made but little way."
Lewis July 30, 1806
"the current being strong and the men anxious to get on they plyed their oars faithfully ... the rain continued with but little intermission all day; the air is cold and extreemly disagreeable. nothing extraordinary happened today. "
Clark July 30, 1806 ( Map of the Area >>)
"after brackfast proceeded on... passed a rapid which is by no means dangerous, it has a number of large rocks in different parts of the river which Causes high waves. this rapid I call Bear rapid (Prairie County, Montana) from the Circumstance of a bears being on a rock in the Middle of this rapid. a violet Storm from the NW obliged us to land imediately below this rapid, draw up the Canoes and take shelter in an old Indian lodge.."
Lewis July 31, 1806
"The rain still continuing I set out early and proceed on as fast as possible... the river is still rising and excessively muddy more so I think than I ever saw it... took shelter in some indian lodges built of sticks... "
Clark July 31, 1806 ( Map of the Area >>)
"I was much disturbed last night by the noise of the buffalow which were about me. one gang swam the river near our camp which alarmed me a little for fear of their crossing our canoes and splitting them to pieces... "