The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, March 5, 1806

Lewis, March 5, 1806

Wednesday March 5th 1806. This morning we were visited by two parties of Clatsops. they brought some fish a hat and some skins for sale most of which we purchased. they returned to their village in the evening. late in the evening the hunters returned from the kil-haw-a-nack-kle River which discharges itself into the head of the bay. They had neither killed nor seen any Elk. they informed us that the Elk had all gone off to the mountains a considerable distance from us. this is unwelcome information and reather allarming we have only 2 days provision on hand, and that nearly spoiled. we made up a small assortment of articles to trade with the Indians and directed Sergt. Pryor to set out early in the morning in a canoe with 2 men, to ascend the Columbia to the resort of the Indian fishermen and purchase some fish; we also directed two parties of hunters to renew the Chase tomorrow early. the one up the Netul and the other towards Point Adams. if we find that the Elk have left us, we have determined to ascend the river slowly and indeavour to procure subsistence on the way, consuming the Month of March in the woody country. earlyer than April we conceive it a folly to attempt the open plains where we know there is no fuel except a few small dry shrubs. we shall not leave our quarters at fort Clatsop untill the first of April, as we intended unless the want of subsistence compels us to that measure. The common snipe of the marshes and the small sand snipe are the same of those common to the Atlantic Coast tho the former are by no means as abundant here. the prarrow of the woody country is also similar to ours but not abundant. those of the plains of Columbia are the same with those of the Missouri, tho they are by no means so abundant. I have not seen the little singing lark or the large brown Curloo so common to the plains of the Missouri, but I beleive that the latter is an inhabitant of this country during summer from Indian information. I have no doubt but what many species of birds found here in Autumn and Summer had departed before our arrival.