The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, January 7, 1806

Clark, January 7, 1806

Tuesday 7th of January 1806

Some frost this morning. It may appear Somewhat incrediable, but So it is that the Elk which was killed last evening was eaten except about 8 pounds, which I directed to be taken along with the Skin, I proceded up the South fork of the Creek about 2 miles and crossed on a pine tree which had been fallen by the Saltmakers on their first going out, on this tree we crossed the deepest of the water and waded on the opposit Side for 30 yards, from thence to the ocian 3/4 of a mile through a Continuation of open ridgey Prarie, here the Coast is Sandy, we proceeded on the Sandy beech nearly South for 3 miles to the mouth of butifull river with bold and rapid Current of 85 yards wide and 3 feet deep in the Shallowest place, a Short distance up this river on the N E Side is the remains of an old village of Clatsops. I entered a house where I found a Man 2 Womn & 3 Children, they appeared retchedly pore & dirty, I hired the man to Set us across the River which I call after the Nation Clat Sop river for which I gave 2 fishing hooks- at this place the Creek over which I crossed on a tree passes within 100 yards of the Clat Sop river over which the nativs have a portage which affords them an easy Communication with the villages near point adams, and at the mouth of the Creek, on which we lay last night. in walking on the Sand after crossing the river I Saw a Singular Species of fish which I had never before Seen one of the men Call this fish a Skaite, it is properly a Thornback. I proceeded on about 2 miles to near the base of high Mountain where I found our Salt makers, and with them Sergt. Gass, Geo. Shannon was out in the woods assisting Jo Field and gibson to kill Some meat, the Salt makers had made a neet Close Camp, Convenient to wood Salt water and the fresh water of the Clat Sop river which at this place was within 100 paces of the Ocian they wer also Situated near 4 houses of Clatsops & Killamox, who they informed me had been verry kind and attentive to them. I hired a young Indian to pilot me to the whale for which Service I gave him a file in hand and promised Several other Small articles on my return, left Sergt. Gass and one man of my party Werner to make Salt & permited Bratten to accompany me, we proceeded on the round Slipery Stones under a high hill which projected into the ocian about 4 miles further than the direction of the Coast. after walking for 21/2 miles on the Stones my guide made a Sudin halt, pointed to the top of the mountain and uttered the word Pe Shack which means bad, and made Signs that we could not proceed any further on the rocks, but must pass over that mountain, I hesitated a moment & view this emence mountain the top of which was obscured in the clouds, and the assent appeard. to be almost perpindecular; as the Small Indian parth allong which they had brought emence loads but a fiew hours before, led up this mountain and appeared to assend in a Sideling direction, I thought more than probable that the assent might be torerably easy and therefore proceeded on, I soon found that the ____ become much worst as I assended, and at one place we were obliged to Support and draw our Selves up by the bushes & roots for near 100 feet, and after about 2 hours labour and fatigue we reached the top of this high mountain, from the top of which I looked down with estonishment to behold the hight which we had assended, which appeared to be 10 or 12 hundred feet up a mountain which appeared to be almost perpindicular, here we met 14 Indians men and women loaded with the oil & Blubber of the whale. In the face of this tremendeous precipic imediately below us, there is a Strater of white earth (which my guide informed me) the neighbouring indians use to paint themselves, and which appears to me to resemble the earth of which the French Porcelain is made; I am confident that this earth Contains argill, but whether it also Contains Silex or magnesia, or either of those earths in a proper perpotion I am unable to deturmine. we left the top of the precipice and proceeded on a bad road and encamped on a Small run passin g to the left. all much fatiagued