The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, May 21, 1806

Clark, May 21, 1806

Wednesday 21st May 1806

rained this morning. Shields and Gibson Set out to hunt towards the mountains. Collins Came in to day and Stayed in about two hours, he has killed nothing Since he went out last. we Set 5 Men at work to build a Canoe for the purpose of takeing fish and passing the river and for which we can get a good horse. as our tent is not Sufficient to keep off the rain we are Compelled to have Some other resort for a Security from the repeeted Showers which fall. we have a small half circular place made and Covered with grass which makes a very Secure Shelter for us to Sleep under. We devided our Store of merchindize amongst our party for the purpose of precureing Some roots &c. of the nativs to each mans part amounted to about an awl Knitting pin a little paint and Some thread & 2 Needles which is but a Scanty dependance for roots to take us over those Great Snowey Barriers (rocky mountains) which is and will be the Cause of our Detention in this neighbourhood probably untill the 10 or 15 of June. they are at this time Covered deep with Snow. the plains on the high Country above us is also covered with Snow. Serjt. Ordway, Goodrich, & Willard went to the village to day to precure a fiew roots. we eate the last of our meat for Dinner to day, and our only Certain dependance is the roots we Can precure from the nativs for the fiew articles we have left those roots with what Game we Can precure from the wods will probably last us untill the arival of the Salmon. if they Should not; we have a horse in Store ready to be killed which the indians have offered to us. Willard returned from the Village. Sergt. Ordway and Goodrich Continued all night. one of the men brought me a young Sandhill Crain which was about 5 or 6 days old it was of a yellowish brown Colour, about the Size of a partridge. Those Crains are very abundant in every part of this country in pars of two, and Sometimes three together.

the party had gathered roots with leaves still attached they probably could have been sorted with Indian assistance. However, the parsley family (Apiaceae) is one of the most diverse and confusing plant families in the region, and Lewis could not be sure that the men would not bring back some other poisonous species not well known to the Indians. The decision to purchase roots was probably prudent.