The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, August 23, 1805
Clark, August 23, 1805
August 23rd Friday 1805
We Set out early proceed on with great dificuelty as the rocks were So Sharp large and unsettled and the hill sides Steep that the horses could with the greatest risque and dificulty get on, no provisions as the 5 Sammons given us yesterday by the Indians were eaten last night, one goose killed this morning; at 4 miles we came to a place the horses Could not pass without going into the river, we passed one mile to a verry bad riffle the water Confined in a narrow Channel & beeting against the left Shore, as we have no parth further and the Mounts. jut So close as to prevent the possibiley of horses proceeding down, I deturmined to delay the party here and with my guide and three men proceed on down to examine if the river continued bad or was practiable. I Set out with three men directing those left to hunt and fish until my return. I proceeded on Somtims in a Small wolf parth & at other times Climeing over the rocks for 12 miles to a large Creek on the right Side above the mouth of this Creek for a Short distance is a narrow bottom & the first, below the place I left my partey, a road passes down this Creek which I understoode passed to the water of a River which run to Th North & was the ground of another nation, Some fresh Sign about this Creek of horse and Camps. I delayd 2 hours to fish, Cought Some Small fish on which we dined.
The River from the place I left my party to this Creek is almost one continued rapid, five verry Considerable rapids the passage of either with Canoes is entirely impossable, as the water is Confined betwen hugh Rocks & the Current beeting from one against another for Some distance below &c. &c. at one of those rapids the mountains Close So Clost as to prevent a possibility of a portage with great labour in Cutting down the Side of the hill removeing large rocks &c. &c. all the others may be passed by takeing every thing over Slipery rocks, and the Smaller ones Passed by letting down the Canoes empty with Cords, as running them would certainly be productive of the loss of Some Canoes, those dificuelties and necessary precautions would delay us an emince time in which provisions would he necessary. (we have but little and nothing to be precured in this quarter except Choke Cheres & red haws not an animal of any kind to be seen and only the track of a Bear) below this Creek the lofty Pine is thick in the bottom hill Sides on the mountains & up the runs. The river has much the resemblance of that above bends Shorter and no passing, after a few miles between the river & the mountains & the Current So Strong that is dangerous crossing the river, and to proceed down it would rendr it necessarey to Cross almost at every bend This river is about 100 yards wide and can be forded but in a few places. below my guide and maney other Indians tell me that the Mountains Close and is a perpendicular Clift on each Side, and Continues for a great distance and that the water runs with great violence from one rock to the other on each Side foaming & roreing thro rocks in every direction, So as to render the passage of any thing impossible. those rapids which I had Seen he said was Small & trifleing in comparrison to the rocks & rapids below, at no great distance & The Hills or mountains were not like those I had Seen but like the Side of a tree Streight up- Those Mountains which I had passed were Steep Contain a white, a brown, & low down a Grey hard stone which would make fire, those Stone were of different Sises all Sharp and are continuly Slipping down, and in maney places one bed of those Stones inclined from the river bottom to the top of the mountains, The Torrents of water which come down aftr a rain carries with it emence numbers of those Stone into the river about 1/2 a mile below the last mentioned Creek another Creek falls in, my guide informed me that our rout was up this Creek by which rout we would Save a considerable bend of the river to the South. we proceeded on a well beeten Indian parth up this Creak about 6 miles and passed over a ridge 1 mile to the river in a Small vally through which we passed and assended a Spur of the Mountain from which place my guide Shew me the river for about 20 miles lower & pointed out the dificulty we returned to the last Creek & camped about one hour after dark.
There my guide Shewed me a road from the N Which Came into the one I was in which he Said went to a large river which run to the north on which was a Nation he called Tushapass, he made a map of it