Lewis, June 28, 1805
Friday June 28th 1805.
Set Drewyer to shaving the Elk skins, Fields to make the cross stays for the boat, Frazier and Whitehouse continue their operation with the skins, Shields and Gass finish the horizontal bars of the sections; after which I sent them in surch of willow bark, a sufficient supply of which they now obtained to bind the boat. expecting the party this evening I prepared a supper for them but they did not arrive. not having quite Elk skins enough I employed three buffaloe hides to cover one section. not being able to shave these skins I had them singed pretty closely with a blazeing torch; I think they will answer tolerable well. The White bear have become so troublesome to us that I do not think it prudent to send one man alone on an errand of any kind, particularly where he has to pass through the brush. we have seen two of them on the large Island opposite to us today but are so much engaged that we could not spare the time to hunt them but will make a frolick of it when the party return and drive them from these islands. they come close arround our camp every night but have never yet ventured to attack us and our dog gives us timely notice of their visits, he keeps constantly padroling all night. I have made the men sleep with their arms by them as usual for fear of accedents. the river is now about nine inches higher than it was on my arrival. lower Camp. early this morning Capt. C. dispatched the remaining canoe with some baggage to the top of the plain above Portage creek three miles in advance; some others he employed in carrying the articles to the cash and depositing them and others to mend the carriages which wer somewhat out of repair. this being accomplished he loaded the two carriages with the remaining baggage and set out with all the party and proceeded on with much difficulty to the canoe in the plain. portage creek had arisen considerably and the water was of crimson colour and illy tasted. on his arrival at the canoe he found there was more baggage than he could possibly take at one load on the two sets of trucks and therefore left some barrels of pork & flour and a few heavy boxes of amunition which could not well be injured, and proceeded with the canoe & one set of trucks loaded with baggage to willow run where he encamped for the night, and killed two buffaloe to subsist the party. soon after his arrival at willow run he experienced a hard shower of rain which was succeeded by a violent wind from the S. W. off the snowy mountains, accompanyed with rain; the party being cold and wet, he administered the consolation of a dram to each.