The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, January 28, 1806

Lewis, January 28, 1806

Wednesday January 28th 1806. Drewyer and Baptiest La Page set out this morning on a hunting excurtion. about noon Howard and Werner returned with a supply of salt; the badness of the weather and the difficulty of the road had caused their delay. they inform us that the salt makers are still much straitened for provision, having killed two deer only in the last six days; and that there are no Elk in their neighbourhood. The party that were sent this morning up Netul river for the Elk returned in the even ing with three of them only; the Elk had been killed just before the snow fell which had covered them and so altered the apparent face of the country that the hunters could not find the Elk which they had killed. the river on which Fort Clatsop stands we now call Ne-tul, this being the name by which the Clatsops call it.

The Cranbury of this neighbourhood is precisely the same common to the U States, and is the production of marshey or boggy grounds. The light brown berry, is the fruit of a tree about the size shape and appearance in every rispect with that in the U. States called the wild crab apple; the leaf is also precisely the same as is also the bark in texture and colour. the berrys grow in clumps at the end of the small branches; each berry supported by a seperate stem, and as many as from 3 to 18 or 20 in a clump. the berry is ovate with one of it's extremities attatched to the peduncle, where it is in a small degre concave like the insertion of the stem of the crab apple. I know not whether this fruit can properly be denominated a berry, it is a pulpy pericarp, the outer coat of which is in a thin smoth, tho firm tough pillecle; the pericarp containing a membranous capsule with from three to four cells, each containing a seperate single seed in form and colour like that of the wild crab. The wood of this tree is excessively hard when seasoned. the natives make great uce of it to form their wedges with which they split their boards of pine for the purpose of building houses. these wedges they also employ in spliting their fire-wood and in hollowing out their canoes. I have seen the natives drive the wedges of this wood into solid dry pine which it cleft without fracturing or injuring the wedg in the smallest degree. we have also found this wood usefull to us for ax handles as well as glutts or wedges. the native also have wedges made of the beams of the Elk's horns which appear to answer extremely well. this fruit is exceedingly assid, and resembles the flavor of the wild crab.