The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, June 29, 1806
Lewis, June 29, 1806
Sunday June 29th 1806. We collected our horses early this morning and set out, having previously dispatched Drewyer and R. Fields to the warm springs to hunt. we pursued the hights of the ridge on which we have been passing for several days; it terminated at the distance of 5 ms. from our encampment and we decended to, and passed the main branch of the Kooskooske 11/2 ms. above the entrance of Quawmash creek wid falls in on the N. E. side. when we decended from this ridge we bid adieu to the snow. near the river we fund a deer which the hunters had killed and left us. this was a fortunate supply as all our oil was now exhausted and we were reduced to our roots alone without salt. the Kooskooske at this place is about 30 yds. wide and runs with great volocity. the bed as all the mountain streams is composed of smooth stones. beyond the river we ascended a very steep acclivity of a mountain about 2 Miles and arrived at it's summit where we found the old road which we had pased as we went out, coming in on our wright. the road was now much plainer and more beaten, which we were informed happened from the circumstance of the Ootslashshoots visiting the fishery frequently from the vally of Clark's river; tho there was no appearance of there having been here this spring. at noon we arrived at the quawmas flatts on the Creek of the same name and halted to graize our horses and dine having traveled 12 miles. we passed our encampment of the 13th of September at 10 ms. where we halted there is a pretty little plain of about 50 acres plentifully stocked with quawmash and from apperances this fromes one of the principal stages or encampments of the indians who pass the mountains on this road. we found after we had halted that one of our packhorses with his load and one of my riding horses were left behind. we dispatched J. Feilds and Colter in surch of the lost horses. after dinner we continued our march seven miles further to the warm springs where we arrived early in the evening and sent out several hunters, who as well as R Fields and Drewyer returned unsuccessful; late in the evening Colter and J. Fields joined us with the lost horses and brought with them a deer which they had killed, this furnished us with supper. these warm springs are situated at the base of a hill of no considerable hight on the N side and near the bank of travellers rest creek which at that place is about 10 yards wide. these springs issue from the bottoms and through the interstices of a grey freestone rock, the rock rises in iregular masy clifts in a circular range arround the springs on their lower side. immediately above the springs on the creek there is a handsome little quamas plain of about 10 acres. the prinsipal spring is about the temperature of the warmest baths used at the hot springs in Virginia. In this bath which had been prepared by the Indians by stoping the run with stone and gravel, I bathed and remained in 19 minutes, it was with dificulty I could remain thus long and it caused a profuse sweat two other bold springs adjacent to this are much warmer, their heat being so great as to make the hand of a person smart extreemly when immerced. I think the temperature of these springs about the same as the hotest of the hot springs in Virginia. both the men and indians amused themselves with the use of a bath this evening. I observed that the indians after remaining in the hot bath as long as they could bear it ran and plunged themselves into the creek the water of which is now as cold as ice can make it; after remaining here a few minutes they returned again to the warm bath, repeating this transision several times but always ending with the warm bath. I killed a small black pheasant near the quamash grounds this evening which is the first I have seen below the snowy region. I also saw some young pheasants which were about the size of Chickens of 3 days old. saw the track of two bearfoot indians who were supposed to be distressed rufugees who had fled from the Minnetares.