One of the greatest hazards that the men of the expedition encountered was the river itself. Constantly shifting currents, underwater snags and huge rafts of trees moving downriver made the bowman’s job one of constant alertness and labor. This scene depicts one of the moments when the keelboat was in danger of capsizing. The boat had hit a hidden sandbar and is tipping dangerously to larboard. The men are frantically attempting to keep her upright. Just as suddenly the sand boiled out from underneath righting the vessel and nearly pitching the men into the murky water. John Colter is in the foreground wearing his civilan hat and a pair of buckskin breeches and moccasins. An Infantryman in a yellow shirt, fatigue hat and well patched overalls struggles with his oar as York lends his strength and size. The 55 foot long keelboat was modified by Clark at Wood River to include storage lockers running the length of the gunwales. They may have had cleats or strips of wood laid on at intervals to give the men purchase while poling.