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his view looks down the Salmon River almost directly north (5° east of true north) of the city of Salmon, Idaho. Clark himself could not see the confluence of the east and west forks of "Lewis's River" (just out of the picture at bottom center) on his way past here on August 21, 1805. The road he was following was a mile or two to the east, on what is today called the Discovery Hills, but which he vaguely recalled as just "a point of high land." (Ordway later recalled the same road as "eight miles without water.") Clark looked back upstream when he reached the Salmon River at the mouth of "Sammon run," now known as Carmen Creek. "The bottoms," he wrote, "is wide & rich from some distance above the place I struck the east fork." Those verdant bottoms have come to be called the "Big Flat" — an especially ironic expression in a country where much of the flat land is standing on end.
At Carmen Creek he noticed another road, which Toby told him led over the mountains toward the Missouri River (see Clark's map).
--Joseph Mussulman, 06/04