April 30, 1833
30 April: Early in the morning, overcast sky, cool; brisk wind. The wood and the barrels are reloaded with great effort, and after seven o’clock the journey continues. At 7:30, 58°F [14.4°C]. At the outset we sailed first in the middle of the river, for there were numerous snags along the left bank. To the left, several islands; because of the sandbars, we moved over to the right but soon were aground again. Now the boat went out to make soundings, [and] we remained for several hours at one and the same place. Sanford and Dougherty had themselves put ashore to go hunting. About 11:30 an attempt succeeded; we came free and immediately steamed along the left bank. Sandpipers were rather numerous here. To lighten the ship, about thirty men were put ashore. Here at this place were very large wolf tracks in the wet sand on the bank. At twelve o’ clock, 71°F [21.7°C]. We left behind [an] island that we had had close to us all morning; the men who had been set out ran on the shore to keep up, but suddenly we were aground again. The boat took soundings everywhere and returned with the sad news that nowhere was there enough water for our ship. Everywhere wood ducks flew up from the island channels. Mr. Mc Kenzie had already sent a man upriver to procure a keelboat on which to unload part of the cargo. Since no one saw any way of going farther, the ship was turned around and we moved back to the spot on the
right south Missouri bank where we had previously set out the men.
Here everyone went hunting. Shots were soon heard from all directions—most of them, however, just at ducks. I soon found horse dung near the shore; it could only be that of the Indians’ horses. In addition, there were traces of where stags had been rubbing [against trees] the previous year. The rutting season here fully corresponds with this period in Europe. I saw few birds [and] no amphibians at all [but] found some blooming elms, an interesting kind of grass, several pretty, blooming varieties of willow, and Prunus padus virginiana as well as Crataegus (probably azarolus).M17Several species of Vitis, Rhus, and Smilax were on the verge of fully unfolding their blossoms. Rain proclaimed its arrival; it thundered; I returned to the ship. Several hunters soon followed. Mr. Bodmer had shot a Tringa. But presently a violent storm [arose], and such a heavy downpour began that everything was floating in water; the sky was darkened. Fishing lines were put out, but a huge catfish soon tore off our line. Messrs.[2:45] Sanford and Dougherty did not return until shortly before dusk; they had shot several ducks and a wild goose; they also brought me a Strix nebulosa and a Coluber constrictor [constrictor]; they were soaking wet. Other hunters had shot several ducks and other animals.
In the evening the rain ceased. One of our engagés had handled or broken off a poison ivy (Rhus radicans). His whole face was swollen and distorted, but in this country such a poisoning is not taken seriously, because it soon disappears of its own accord.