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This morning we collected our horses and set out after an early breakfast or at 6 A.M. we passed by the same rout we had travelled on the 17th inst. to our deposit on the top of the snowey mountain to the N. E. of hungary Creek. here we necessarily halted about 2 hours to arrange our baggage and prepare our loads. we cooked and made a haisty meal of boiled venison and mush of cows. the snow has subsided near four feet since the 17th inst. we now measured it accurately and found from a mark which we had made on a tree when we were last here on the 17th that it was then 10 feet 10 inches which appeared to be about the common debth though it is deeper still in some places. it is now generally about 7 feet. on our way up this mountain about the border of the snowey region we killed 2 of the small black pheasant and a female of the large dommanicker or speckled pheasant, the former have 16 fathers in their tail and the latter 20 while the common pheasant have only 18. the indians informed us that neither of these speceis drumed; they appear to be very silent birds for I never heared either of them make a noise in any situation. the indians haistened to be off and informed us that it was a considerable distance to the place which they wished to reach this evening where there was grass for our horses. accordingly we set out with our guides who lead us over and along the steep sides of tremendious mountains entirely covered with snow except about the roots of the trees where the snow had sometimes melted and exposed a few square feet of the earth. we ascended and decended severall lofty and steep hights but keeping on the dividing ridge between the Chopunnish and Kooskooske rivers we passed no stream of water. late in the evening much to the satisfaction of ourselves and the comfort of our horses we arrived at the desired spot and encamped on the steep side of a mountain convenient to a good spring. having passed a few miles our camp of 18 Sepr 1805 here we found an abundance of fine grass for our horses. this situation was the side of an untimbered mountain with a fair southern aspect where the snows from appearance had been desolved about 10 days. the grass was young and tender of course and had much the appearance of the greenswoard. there is a great abundance of a speceis of bear-grass which grows on every part of these mountains it's growth is luxouriant and continues green all winter but the horses will not eat it. soon after we had encamped we were overtaken by a Chopunnish man who had pursued us with a view to accompany me to the falls of the Missouri. we were now informed that the two young men whom we met on the 21st and detained several days are going on a party of pleasure mearly to the Oote-lash-shoots or as they call them Sha-lees a band of the Tush-she-pah nation who reside on Clark's river in the neighbourhood of traveller's rest. one of our guides lost 2 of his horses, which he returned in surch of; he found them and rejoined us a little before dark.
Set out early this morning and passed a bad rappid where the river enters the mountain about 1 m. from our camp of last evening the Clifts high and covered with fragments of broken rocks. the current strong; we employed the toe rope principally, and also the pole as the river is not now so deep but reather wider and much more rapid our progress was therefore slow and laborious. we saw three swans this morning, which like the geese have not yet recovered the feathers of the wing and could not fly we killed two of them the third escaped by diving and passed down with the current; they had no young ones with them therefore presume they do not breed in this country these are the first we have seen on the river for a great distance. we daily see great numbers of gees with their young which are perfectly feathered except the wings which are deficient in both young and old. my dog caught several today, as he frequently dose. the young ones are very fine, but the old gees are poor and unfit for uce. saw several of the large brown or sandhill Crain today with their young. the young Crain is as large as a turkey and cannot fly they are of a bright red bey colour or that of the common deer at this season. this bird feeds on grass prinsipally and is found in the river bottoms. the grass near the river is lofty and green that of the hill sides and high open grounds is perfectly dry and appears to be scorched by the heat of the sun. the country was rough mountainous & much as that of yesterday untill towards evening when the river entered a beautifull and extensive plain country of about 10 or 12 miles wide which extended upwards further that the eye could reach this valley is bounded by two nearly parallel ranges of high mountains which have their summits partially covered with snow. below the snowey region pine succeeds and reaches down their sides in some parts to the plain but much the greater portion of their surfaces is uncovered with timber and expose either a barren sterile soil covered with dry parched grass or black and rugged rocks. the river immediately on entering this valley assumes a different aspect and character, it spreads to a mile and upwards in width crouded with Islands, some of them large, is shallow enough for the use of the seting pole in almost every part and still more rappid than before; it's bottom is smooth stones and some large rocks as it has been since we have entered the mountains. the grass in these extensive bottoms is green and fine, about 18 inches or 2 feet high. the land is a black rich loam and appears very fertile. we encamped in this beatiful valley on the Lard. side the party complain of being much fatiegued with this days travel. we killed one deer today. This morning we passed a bold creek 28 yds. wide which falls in on Stard. side. it has a handsome and an extensive valley. this we called Pryor's Creek after Sergt.
Pryor did not join me last night he has proceeded on down. the beaver was flacking in the river about us all the last night. this Morning I was detained untill 7 A M makeing Paddles and drawing the nails of the Canoe to be left at this place and the one we had before left here. after completing the paddles &c and takeing Some Brackfast I set out the Current I find much Stronger below the forks than above and the river tolerably streight as low as panther Creek when it became much more Crooked the Wind rose and blew hard off the Snowey mountains to the N. W. and renderd it very difficuelt to keep the canoes from running against the Shore at 2 P.M. the Canoe in which I was in was driven by a Suden puff of wind under a log which projected over the water from the bank, and the man in the Stern Howard was Caught in between the Canoe and the log and a little hurt after disingaging our selves from this log the canoe was driven imediately under a drift which projected over and a little abov the Water, here the Canoe was very near turning over we with much exertion after takeing out Some of the baggage hauled her out, and proceeded on without receving any damage. the men in the other Canoes Seeing our Situation landed and come with as much Speed as possible through the briers and thick brush to our assistance. but from the thickness of the brush did not get up to our assistance untill we had got Clear. at 3 P M we halted at the enterance of Fields Creek and dined here Willard and Collins over took us with two deer which they had killd. this morning and by takeing a different Side of an Island from which we Came, we had passed them. after dinner I proceeded on and Encamped a little below our encampmt. of the 31st of July last. the Musquetoes very troublesome this evening Some old buffalow Signs.