Camp of July 4, 1806
Pass cursor over image to view details.
our miles from their July third campsite on Grant Creek they arrived at the mouth of the Blackfoot — "Cokahlah-ishkit" — River.1 Lewis discovered the Blackfoot to be "60 yds. wide deep and rapid." It was, he continued, "not navigable in consequence of the obstruction of rocks and rapids &c." Those impediments are but faintly discernible in this photo, which was taken early in May when the river was at its seasonal peak level.
The party proceeded eight miles along the north bank to a "handsom bottom on the river where there was an abundance of excelence grass for our horses." Remarkably, for a change there were no mosquitoes.
En route that afternoon Lewis added the skins of two squirrels to his collection. One was "of the speceis common to the Rocky Mountains," which was Richardson's ground squirrel. The identity of the other is not known.
If Lewis and his companions paid any special notice to the patriotic holiday, neither the captain nor Sergeant Gass mentioned it in their journals.
The lines on the steep mountainsides are logging roads. Most are on property owned by lumber companies, and most are permanently closed after timber harvesting is done. The mountain to the left of the river has been logged more recently than the one on the right. With a yearly average of onl 12 to 15 inches of precipitation, this is semi-arid country, so regrowth is slow in this part of the Rockies.