June 5, 1833
5 June: Early in the morning, overcast sky, pleasant weather. At eight o’ clock, 68°F [20°C]. Mr. Bodmer finished his drawing of Wáh-Menítu. At eight o’ clock the keelboat was no longer far from our vessel; our departure was nonetheless delayed until ten o’ clock. Mr. Mc Kenzie had stayed on land and rode after us. Three cannon shots were fired, the flag was hoisted, and we cast off. To the left on the prairie, the wooded border still extended far out. After an hour we reached large sandbars; soundings continued. To the right on the hills there were large accumulations of sometimes sizable isolated boulders, which perhaps had rolled down when these earth layers were burning; they were whitish, however, and seemed to come from a more distant layer. Farther on, there was a level prairie to the right with sometimes more, sometimes less dense or scattered tall old cottonwoods. Behind it [the prairie] hills rise, which are covered everywhere [with] a pale green, [yet are] bare and dead. Sometimes [the hills are] rounded off on top, cone shaped, or flattened off like a table. At twelve o’ clockM19Noon, 70 3/4°F [21.5°C].we had too little water; soundings were made. Mr. Mc Kenzie, with two horsemen, came riding over the summits of the hills and dismounted at a ravine down near the water. He was brought over; with him was Mr. Laidlaw, who left after lunch.
We lay quietly on the right bank at an islandM20Called I'ile au Village de terre, because here there was once a village of the Dacotas beyond the channel (slew) separating the island from the mainland. that was so densely overgrown with narrow-leaved willows that one could not penetrate it. Individual wild grapevines and willows were blooming. On the sandy shore we tracked elk, and here grew two low, spreading plants [— —] and [— —]. In the afternoon we made very little progress, because the water level was too low. In the evening we again put in near the dense willows to spend the night there. Dreidoppel went ashore with Mr. McKenzie Mc’ s dog, and it caught a young elk, but the willows were too dense for them to pursue and find the animal.