6 June 2017
As the Lewis and Clark expedition traveling on the Missouri River was closing in on the area now known as Great Falls, MT, they received a big surprise. The advice and guidance of Mandan people had been invaluable to the expedition to this point. They arrived at a point where a second river went in a different direction. The Mandan had not mentioned any such river. There was some discussion and disagreement on which was the true Missouri. A wrong decision here would mean they that might be trapped on the plains for a harsh winter without proper preparations and could well mean a tragic end to the journey.
They decided to explore both branches. They spent over ten days exploring far and wide. Their journals mention the lush vegetation and abundant wildlife. In the end their decision to follow the clearer river proved correct. A few days after following their chosen river, they discovered the Great Falls.