The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, June 26, 1806

Lewis, June 26, 1806

Thursday June 26th 1806. This morning we collected our horses and set out after an early breakfast or at 6 A.M. we passed by the same rout we had travelled on the 17th inst. to our deposit on the top of the snowey mountain to the N. E. of hungary Creek. here we necessarily halted about 2 hours to arrange our baggage and prepare our loads. we cooked and made a haisty meal of boiled venison and mush of cows. the snow has subsided near four feet since the 17th inst. we now measured it accurately and found from a mark which we had made on a tree when we were last here on the 17th that it was then 10 feet 10 inches which appeared to be about the common debth though it is deeper still in some places. it is now generally about 7 feet. on our way up this mountain about the border of the snowey region we killed 2 of the small black pheasant and a female of the large dommanicker or speckled pheasant, the former have 16 fathers in their tail and the latter 20 while the common pheasant have only 18. the indians informed us that neither of these speceis drumed; they appear to be very silent birds for I never heared either of them make a noise in any situation. the indians haistened to be off and informed us that it was a considerable distance to the place which they wished to reach this evening where there was grass for our horses. accordingly we set out with our guides who lead us over and along the steep sides of tremendious mountains entirely covered with snow except about the roots of the trees where the snow had sometimes melted and exposed a few square feet of the earth. we ascended and decended severall lofty and steep hights but keeping on the dividing ridge between the Chopunnish and Kooskooske rivers we passed no stream of water. late in the evening much to the satisfaction of ourselves and the comfort of our horses we arrived at the desired spot and encamped on the steep side of a mountain convenient to a good spring. having passed a few miles our camp of 18 Sepr 1805 here we found an abundance of fine grass for our horses. this situation was the side of an untimbered mountain with a fair southern aspect where the snows from appearance had been desolved about 10 days. the grass was young and tender of course and had much the appearance of the greenswoard. there is a great abundance of a speceis of bear-grass which grows on every part of these mountains it's growth is luxouriant and continues green all winter but the horses will not eat it. soon after we had encamped we were overtaken by a Chopunnish man who had pursued us with a view to accompany me to the falls of the Missouri. we were now informed that the two young men whom we met on the 21st and detained several days are going on a party of pleasure mearly to the Oote-lash-shoots or as they call them Sha-lees a band of the Tush-she-pah nation who reside on Clark's river in the neighbourhood of traveller's rest. one of our guides lost 2 of his horses, which he returned in surch of; he found them and rejoined us a little before dark.