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Fourchette Bay Scenic Overlook

Stirring views of the Missouri River and the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge await visitors at the Fourchette Overlook.

The overlook is located less than a mile south of the Sun Prairie unit on Reynolds Hill Road. To make your time on the overlook even more memorable, visit at sunset and enjoy journal entries by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark from the Corps of Discovery to experience a stirring piece of history:

 

May 11, 1805

Clark: ….We observe in every derection Buffalow, Elk, Antelopes & Mule deer inumerable and So jintle that we Could approach near them with great ease, I killed 2 Mule Deer for the benifit of their Skins for the party, and about the place I expected the party would get to Camp I killed 2 fat Bulls for theire use, in my absence they had killed a fine fat Yellow bear [grizzly bear] below which detained them and they did not reach the place I expected, but had Camped on the Lard. Side about 2 miles below    on my return to the party I killed a fat Beaver    the wind blew verry hard from the S. W. all the after part of this day….

 

May 14-15, 1805

Lewis:  Some fog on the river this morning, which is a very rare occurrence; the country much as it was yesterday with this difference that the bottoms are somewhat wider; passed some high black bluffs saw immence herds of buffaloe today also Elk deer wolves and Antelopes.    passed three large creeks one on the Stard. and two others on the Lard. side,  neither of which had any runing water. Capt Clark walked on shore and killed a very fine buffaloe cow. I felt an inclination to eat some veal and walked on shore and killed a very fine buffaloe calf and a large woolf, much the whitest I had seen, it was quite as white as the wool of the common sheep.    one of the party wounded a brown bear very badly, but being alone did not think proper to pursue him. In the evening the men in two of the rear canoes discovered a large brown bear lying in the open grounds about 300 paces from the river….

 

May 21, 1805

Lewis: ….The soil is fertile, produces a fine turf of low grass and some herbs, also immence quantities of the Prickley pear, without a stick of timber of any discription….the growse or praire hen are now less abundant on the river than they were below; perhaps they betake themselves to the open plains at a distance from the river at this season…. the bends of the river are short and suddon, the points covered with some cottonwood, larger willow, or broadleafed willow with an abundance of the wild rose and some small honeysuckle bushes constitute the undergrowth, the redwood is also found in small quantities.

 

May 24, 1805

Lewis: …The air is so pure in this open country that mountains and other elivated objects appear much nearer than they really are; these mountains do not appear to be further than 15 m.    we sent a man up this creek to explore the country he returned late in the evening and informed that he had proceeded ten miles directly towards these mountains and that he did not think himself by any mean half way.…