The expedition departs on the Missouri River, encountering many new plants, animals, and native cultures along the way. Explore the dates below for big events in 1804.

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May 14
—The expedition departs from Camp Wood, Missouri, traveling in a keelboat and two smaller boats. To read excerpts of Lewis and Clark's journals, click on "Setting Forth."

August 2
—The first official meeting takes place between the expedition and a group of Oto Native Americans in the territory that is now Nebraska. To read more about the Oto tribe and the first meeting of Lewis and Clark, click here.

August 20
—Sergeant Charles Floyd dies of a burst appendix near Sioux City, Iowa. To read more about his death and the monument for Sergeant Floyd in Sioux City, click here.

September 7
—The expedition unsuccessfully attempts to capture a prairie dog by pouring water down its hole. To learn more and read Clark's journal of capturing a prairie dog, click here.

September 25
—Fighting almost breaks out when a group of Teton Sioux Native Americans demands one of the expedition's boats as payment for traveling upriver. Chief Black Buffalo helps resolve the argument. To read more about the Teton Sioux, click here

October 24-25
—They reach the Mandan Villages in North Dakota and are welcomed by the Mandan Native Americans. They decide to build their winter camp there and name it "Fort Mandan." To read more about the Mandan tribe, click here.

November 4
—Charbonneau and Sacagawea join the expedition as interpreters and guides. Sacagawea became one of the most famous members of the Corps. Find out more by clicking here.

December 7
—Lewis and fifteen men join in their first buffalo hunt. To read some of Lewis and Clark's journals about buffalo, see some images, and even read Charbonneau's recipe for buffalo sausage, click here.

Continue to see the trail today.

Congratulations, you have found one of the objects for the specimen box! For more information on this activity, click here.

One of the animals Lewis and Clark encountered was herds of buffalo. Click here to add the buffalo to your specimen box or click here for a printable version.