Clark, October 23, 1805
October 23d Wednesday 1805
a fine morning, I with the greater part of the men Crossed in the Canoes to opposit Side above the falls and hauled them across the portage of 457 yards which is on the Lard. Side and certainly the best side to pass the canoes I then decended through a narrow chanel of about 150 yards wide forming a kind of half circle in it course of a mile to a pitch of 8 feet in which the chanel is divided by 2 large rocks at this place we were obliged to let the Canoes down by Strong ropes of Elk Skin which we had for the purpose, one Canoe in passing this place got loose by the Cords breaking, and was cought by the Indians below. I accomplished this necessary business and landed Safe with all the Canoes at our Camp below the falls by 3 oClock P.M. nearly covered with flees which were So thick amongst the Straw and fish Skins at the upper part of the portage at which place the nativs had been Camped not long Since; that every man of the party was obliged to Strip naked dureing the time of takeing over the canoes, that they might have an oppertunity of brushing the flees of their legs and bodies- Great numbers of Sea Otters in the river below the falls, I Shot one in the narrow chanel to day which I could not get. Great numbers of Indians visit us both from above and below-- one of the old Chiefs who had accompanied us from the head of the river, informed us that he herd the Indians Say that the nation below intended to kill us, we examined all the arms &c. complete the amunition to 100 rounds. The nativs leave us earlyer this evening than usial, which gives a Shadow of Confirmation to the information of our Old Chief, as we are at all times & places on our guard, are under no greater apprehention than is common.
we purchased 8 Small fat dogs for the party to eate the nativs not being fond of Selling their good fish, compells us to make use of Dog meat for food, the flesh of which the most of the party have become fond of from the habits of useing it for Some time past. The Altitude of this day 66° 27' 30" gave for Latd. 45° 42' 57 1/10 N.
I observed on the beach near the Indian Lodges two Canoes butifull of different Shape & Size to what we had Seen above wide in the midde and tapering to each end, on the bow curious figures were Cut in the wood &c. Capt. Lewis went up to the Lodges to See those Canoes and exchanged our Smallest Canoe for one of them by giveing a Hatchet & few trinkets to the owner who informed that he purchased it of a white man below for a horse, these Canoes are neeter made than any I have ever Seen and Calculated to ride the waves, and carry emence burthens, they are dug thin and are suported by cross pieces of about 1 inch diamuter tied with Strong bark thro holes in the Sides. our two old Chiefs appeared verry uneasy this evening.