The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, June 18, 1805

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

Lewis, June 18, 1805

Tuesday June 18th 1805.

This morning I employed all hands in drawing the perogue on shore in a thick bunch of willow bushes some little distance below our camp; fastened her securely, drove out the plugs of the gage holes of her bottom and covered her with bushes and driftwood to shelter her from the sun. I now scelected a place for a cash and set tree men at work to complete it, and employed all others except those about the waggons, in overhawling airing and repacking our indian goods ammunition, provision and stores of every discription which required inspection. examined the frame of my Iron boat and found all the parts complete except one screw, which the ingenuity of Sheilds can readily replace, a resource which we have very frequent occasion for. about 12 O'Clk. the hunters returned; they had killed 10 deer but no Elk. I begin to fear that we shall have some difficulty in procuring skins for the boat. I wold prefer those of the Elk because I beleive them more durable and strong than those of the Buffaloe, and that they will not shrink so much in drying. we saw a herd of buffaloe come down to water at the sulpher spring this evening, I dispatched some hunters to kill some of them, and a man also for a cask of mineral water. the hunters soon killed two of them in fine order and returned with a good quantity of the flesh, having left the remainder in a situation that it will not spoil provided the wolves do not visit it. The waggons are completed this evening, and appear as if they would answer the purpose very well if the axetrees prove sufficiently strong. the wind blew violently this evening, as they frequently do in this open country where there is not a tree to brake or oppose their force. The Indian woman is recovering fast she set up the greater part of the day and walked out for the fist time since she arrived here; she eats hartily and is free from fever or pain. I continue same course of medecine and regimen except that I added one doze of 15 drops of the oil of vitriol today about noon.

There is a species of goosberry which grows very common about here in open situations among the rocks on the sides of the clifts. they are now ripe of a pale red colour, about the size of a common goosberry. and like it is an ovate pericarp of soft pulp invelloping a number of smal whitish coloured seeds; the pulp is a yelloish slimy muselaginous substance of a sweetish and pinelike tast, not agreeable to me. the surface of the berry is covered with a glutinous adhesive matter, and the frut altho ripe retains it's withered corollar. this shrub seldom rises more than two feet high and is much branched, the leaves resemble those of the common goosberry only not so large; it has no thorns. the berry is supported by seperate peduncles or footstalks of half an inch in length. immence quantities of small grasshoppers of a brown colour in the plains, they no doubt contribute much to keep the grass as low as we find it which is not generally more than three inches, the grass is a narrow leaf, soft, and affords a fine pasture for the Buffaloe.-