The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, April 30, 1806

Lewis, April 30, 1806

Wednesday April 30th 1806. This morning we had some difficulty in collecting our horses notwithstanding we had bubbled and picquited those we obtained of these people. we purchased two other horses this morning and several dogs. we exchanged one of our most indifferent horses for a very good one with the Chopunnish man who has his family with him. this man has a daughter new arrived at the age of puberty, who being in a certain situation is not permitted to ascociate with the family but sleeps at a distance from her father's camp and when traveling follows at some distance behind. in this state I am informed that the female is not permitted to eat, nor to touch any article of a culinary nature or manly occupation. at 10 A.M. we had collected all our horses except the white horse which Yellept had given Capt. C. the whole of the men soon after returned without being able to find this horse. I lent my horse to Yellept to surch Capt. C's about half an hour after he set out our Chopunnish man brought up Capt. C's horse we now determined to leave one man to bring on my horse when Yellept returned and to proceed on with the party accordingly we took leave of these friendly honest people the Wollahwollahs and departed at 11 A.M. accompanyed by our guide and the Chopunnish man and family. we continued our rout N. 30 E. 14 ms. through an open level sandy plain to a bold Creek 10 yds. wide. this stream is a branch of the Wallahwollah river into which it discharges itself about six miles above the junction of that river with the Columbia. it takes it's rise in the same range of mountains to the East of the sources of the main branch of the same. it appears to be navigable for canoes; it is deep and has a bold current. there are many large banks of pure sand which appear to have been drifted up by the wind to the hight of 15 or 20 feet, lying in many parts of the plain through which we passed today. this plain as usual is covered with arromatic shrubs hurbatious plants and a short grass. many of those plants produce those esculent roots which form a principal part of the subsistence of the natives. among others there is one which produces a root somewhat like the sweet pittaitoe.- we encamped at the place we intersepted the creek where we had the pleasure once more to find an abundance of good wood for the purpose of making ourselves comfortable fires, which has not been the case since we left rock fort camp. Drewyer killed a beaver and an otter; a pan of the former we reserved for ourselves and gave the indians the ballance. these people will not eat the dog but feast heartily on the otter which is vastly inferior in my estimation, they sometimes also eat their horses, this indeed is common to all the indians who possess this annimal in the plains of Columbia; but it is only done when necessity compells them.- the narrow bottom of this creek is very fertile, tho the plains are poor and sandy. the hills of the creek are generally abrupt and rocky. there is a good store of timber on this creek at least 20 fold more than on the Columbia river itself. it consists of Cottonwood, birch, the crimson haw, redwillow, sweetwillow, chokecherry yellow currants, goosberry, whiteberryed honeysuckle rose bushes, seven bark, and shoemate. I observed the corngrass and rushes in some parts of the bottom. Reubin Feilds overtook us with my horse. our stock of horses has now encresed to 23 and most of them excellent young horses, but much the greater portion of them have soar backs. these indians are cruell horse-masters; they ride hard, and their saddles are so illy constructed that they cannot avoid wounding the backs of their horses; but reguardless of this they ride them when the backs of those poor annimals are in a horrid condition.