Jefferson River

Jefferson River

August 4th, Sunday, 1805

“Proceeded on verry early and Brackfast at the Camp Capt Lewis left yesterday morning; at this Camp he left a note informing that he discovered no fresh Sign of Indian &c.  The river continued to be crouded with Islands, Sholey rapid & clear; I could not walk on shore to day as my ankle was Sore from a tumer on that part.  The method we are compelled to take to get on is fatigueing & laborious in the extreen, haul the Canoes over the rapids, which Suckceed each other every two or three hundred yards and between the water rapid oblige [us] to towe & walke on stones the whole day except when we have poleing; men wet all day, Sore feet, &c, &c.”

———————William Clark


Monday August 5th 1805

The river today [Capt Clark] found streighter and more rapid even than yesterday, and the labour and difficulty of the navigation was proportionably increased; they therefore proceeded but slowly and with great pain as the men had become very languid from working in the water and many of their feet swolen and so painfull that they could scarcely walk. At 4 p.m. they arrived at the confluence of the two rivers where I had left [another] note. This note had unfortunately been placed on a green pole which the beaver had cut and carried off together with the note; the possibility of such an occurrence never onc occurred to me when I placed it on the green pole.  This accedent deprived Capt Clark of any information with ripect to the country, and supposing that the rapid fork was most in the direction which it was proper we should pursue, or West, he took that stream and asscended it with much difficulty about a mile and encamped on an islandthat had been lately overflown and was yet damp; they were therefore compelled to make beds of brush to keep themselves out of the mud.  in ascending this stream for about a quarter of a mile, it scattered in such a manner that they were obliged to cut a passage through willow brush which leant over the little channels and united their tops.”

———————-Meriwether Lewis

From The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition


“Above its junction with the Madison, the Jefferson wanders, staggers, and crankles, flushing half its waters askew, the other awry, and throughout its upper and lower miles manifests little urge to go anywhere other than sideways; when it’s not hunting a new route or sending one channel off in search of two others, it will flow properly just long enough to fool a boatman.  In short, it is the little Jefferson that puts the mischief into the big Missouri, and, like its descendant, it seems always to ask ‘Where am I?’ although it stays not for an answer.”

———————William Least Heat-Moon, “River-Horse”  c1999

About icefogger

Just a basic, down to Earth, laid back type of guy here, who loves the outdoors, the indoors, jazz on the turntable, a fire in the woodstove, the northern lights blazing across the sky, and the company of good friends. View all posts by icefogger

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: