Bones of the Buffaloe

On August 2, 1805, the party was well into the valley of the Jefferson River, south of the Three Forks of the Missouri. With mounting anticipation, they were approaching the long-sought Continental Divide, but Lewis expressed his disappointment in one certainty:

The bones of the buffaloe and their excrement of an old date are to be met with in every part of the valley, but we have long since lost all hope of meeting with that animal in these mountains.

Indeed, there were to be no more buffalo feasts until their return to the east side of the Rockies, 16 months later.