Eager to return to the United States after their long journey, Lewis and Clark were forced to wait nearly six agonizing weeks (from May 14 to June 10, 1806) for snow in the mountains along the Lolo Trail to melt. During this time, many of the Nez Perce visited the expedition, and Lewis takes full advantage by making many notes on their manners and customs. He also administers medicine to many of the sick members of the tribe, who were brought to him for help. Finally, on the 10th of June, the expedition departs Long Camp. Their first stop on the way home is the quawmash fields where they intended to acquire as much meat as possible before attempting to re-cross the Bitterroot Mountains.
The Lewis and Clark Long Camp is marked by interpretive signs along U.S. Highway 12, 1 mile east of Kamiah. The campsite itself is located two miles distant on the Clearwater River on privately owned land.
Three Island Crossing State Park preserves one of the most famous river crossings on the Oregon Trail. The trail crossed through 500 miles of the territory that became the state of Idaho. It entered what is now Idaho at the southeast corner of the state. At present-day Fort Hall (between Idaho Falls and Pocatello), it joined the Snake River, and followed the south bank of the river until it reached the Three Island Crossing near present-day Glenns Ferry. At the crossing, the emigrants faced a difficult choice. They could risk the dangerous crossing, and find a shorter route, more potable water, and better feed for the stock on the north side of the river. Or they could avoid the danger of the crossing, and endure a dry, rocky route along the south bank of the river. About half of the emigrants attempted the crossing, and many casualties are recounted in emigrant diaries. The Three Island ford was used by pioneer travelers until 1869, when a ferry was constructed about two miles upstream. Three Island Crossing looks much as it did 150 years ago. The new Oregon Trail History and Education Center at the park offers self-guided tours of the Snake River crossing, aas well as exhibits and artifacts from the Oregon Trail era.
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