The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, October 17, 1805
Clark, October 17, 1805
October 17th Thursday 1805 Forks of Columbia This morning after the Luner observations, the old chief came down, and Several men with dogs to Sell & womin with fish &c. the Dogs we purchased the fish not good.
I took 2 men and Set out in a Small Canoe with a view to go as high up the Columbia river as the 1st forks which the Indians made Signs was but a Short distance, I set out at 2 oClock firs course was N. 83° W 6 miles to the lower point of a Island on the Lard. Side, passed an Island in the middle of the river at 5 miles, at the head of which is a rapid not bad at this rapid 3 Lodges of mats on the Lard emenc quantites of dried fish, then West 4 miles to the Lower point of an Island on the Stard. Side, 2 lodges of Indians large and built of mats- passed 3 verry large mat lodges at 2 mile on the Stard Side large Scaffols of fish drying at every lodge, and piles of Salmon lying. the Squars engaged prepareing them for the Scaffol- a Squar gave me a dried Salmon from those lodes on the Island an Indian Showed me the mouth of the river which falls in below a high hill on the Lard. N. 80° W. 8 miles from the Island. The river bending Lard.- This river is remarkably Clear and Crouded with Salmon in maney places, I observe in assending great numbers of Salmon dead on the Shores, floating on the water and in the Bottoms which can be seen at the debth of 20 feet. the Cause of the emence numbers of dead Salmon I can't account for So it is I must have seen 3 or 400 dead and maney living the Indians, I believe make use of the fish which is not long dead as, I Struck one nearly dead and left him floating, Some Indians in a canoe behind took the fish on board his canoe
The bottoms on the South Side as high as the Tarcouche tesse is from 1 to 2 miles wide, back of the bottoms rises to hilly countrey, the Plain is low on the North & Easte for a great distance no wood to be Seen in any direction.
The Tarcouche tesse bears South of West, the Columbia N W above range of hills on the West Parrelel a range of mountains to the East which appears to run nearly North & South distance not more than 50 miles- I returned to the point at Dusk followed by three canoes of Indians 20 in number- I killed a Fowl of the Pheasent kind as large as a turkey. The length from his Beeck to the end of its tail 2 feet 6- 3/4 Inches, from the extremity of its wings across 3 feet 6 Inches. the tail feathers 13 Inches long, feeds on grass hoppers, and the Seed of wild Isoop 6
Those Indians are orderly, badly dressed in the Same fashions of those above except the women who wore Short Shirts and a flap over them 22 Fishing houses of Mats robes of Deer, Goat & Beaver.