The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, May 4, 1806

Lewis, May 4, 1806

Sunday May 4th 1806. Collected our horses and set out early; the morning was cold and disagreeable. we ascended the Lard. hills of the creek and steered N. 60° E. 4 miles through a high level plain to a ravine which forms the source of a small creek, thence down this creek N. 75° E. 8 ms. to it's entrance into Lewis's river 71/2 ms. below the entrance of the Kooskooske. on the river a little above this creek we arrived at a lodge of 6 families of which Weark-koomt had spoken. we halted here for breakfast and with much difficulty purchase 2 lean dogs. the inhabitants were miserably poor. we obtained a few large cakes of half cured bread made of a root which resembles the sweet potatoe, with these we made some scope and took breakfast. the lands through which we passed today are fertile consisting of a dark rich loam the hills of the river are high and approach it nearly on both sides. no timber in the plains. the S. W. Mountains which appear to be about 15 Ms. above us still continue to become lower they are covered with snow at present nearly to their bases. Lewis's river appeas to pass through these mots. near their N. Eastern extremity. these hills terminate in a high level plain between the Kooskooske and Lewis's river. these plains are in many places well covered with the Longleafed pine, with some Larch and balsom fir. the soil is extreemly fertile no dose it appear so thisty as that of the same apparent texture of the open plains. it produces great quantities of the quawmash a root of which the natives are extreemly fond. a great portion of the Chopunnish we are informed are now distributed in small vilages through this plain collecting the quawmash and cows; the salmon not yet having arrived to call them to the river. the hills of the creek which we decended this morning are high and in most parts rocky and abrupt. one of our pack horses sliped from one of those hights and fell into the creek with it's load consisting principally of ammunition but fortunately neith the horse nor load suffered any material injury. the amunition being secured in canesters the water did not effect it.- after dinner we continued our rout up the West side of the river 3 Ms. opposite to 2 lodges the one containing 3 and the other 2 families of the Chopunnish nation; here we met with Te-toh, ar sky, the youngest of the two cheifs who accompanied us last fall the great falls of the Columbia here we also met with our pilot who decended the river with us as far as the Columbia. these indians recommended our passing the river at this place and ascending the Kooskooske on the N. E. side. they said it was nearer and a better rout to the forkes of that river where the twisted hair resided in whose charge we had left our horses; thither they promised to conduct us. we determined to take the advice of the indians and immediately prepared to pass the river which with the assistance of three indian canoes we effected in the course of the evening, purchased a little wood and some bread of cows from the natives and encamped having traveled 15 Ms. only today. We-ark-koomt whose people resided on the West side of Lewis's river above left us when we determined to pass the river and went on to his lodg. the evening was cold and disagreeable, and the natives crouded about our fire in great numbers insomuch that we could scarcely cook of keep ourselves warm. at all these lodges of the Chopunnish I observe an appendage of a small lodg with one fire which seems to be the retreat of their women in a certain situation. the men are not permitted to approach this lodge within a certain distance and if they have any thing to convey to the occupants of this little hospital they stand at the distance of 50 or 60 paces and throw it towards them as far as they can and retire.