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

Lewis, July 4, 1806

Friday July 4th 1806. I arrose early this morning and sent out Drewyer and the Fieldses to hunt. at 6. A.M. a man of the Pallote pellows arrived from the West side of the Rocky mountains; he had pursued us a few days after our departure and overtook us at this place; he proved to be the same young man who had first attempted to pass the rocky mountains early in June last when we lay on the Kooskooske and was obliged to relinquish the enterprize in consequence of the debth and softness of the snow. I gave a shirt a handkercheif and a small quantity of ammunition to the indians. at half after eleven the hunters returned from the chase unsuccessfull. I now ordered the horses saddled smoked a pipe with these friendly people and at noon bid them adieu. they had cut the meat which I gave them last evening thin and exposed it in the sun to dry informing me that they should leave it in this neighbourhood untill they returned as a store for their homeward journey. it is worthy of remark that these people were about to return by the same pass by which they had conducted us through the difficult part of the Rocky Mountains, altho they were about to decend Clark's river several days journey in surch of the Shale's their relations, a circumstance which to my mind furnishes sufficient evidence that there is not so near or so good a rout to the plains of Columbia by land along that river as that which we came. the several war routs of the Minetarees which fall into this vally of Clark's river concenter at traveller's rest beyond which point they have never yet dared to venture in pursuit of the nations beyond the mountains. all the nations also on the west side of the mountain with whom we are acquainted inhabiting the waters of Lewis's river & who visit the plains of the Missouri pass by this rout. these affectionate people our guides betrayed every emmotion of unfeigned regret at seperating from us; they said that they were confidint that the Pahkees, (the appellation they give the Minnetares) would cut us off. the first 5 miles of our rout was through a part of the extensive plain in which we were encamped, we then entered the mountains with the East fork of Clark's river through a narrow confined pass on it's N. side continuing up that river five ms. further to the entrance of the Cokahlahishkit R which falls in on the N. E. side, is 60 yds. wide deep and rapid. the banks bold not very high but never overflow. the East fork below its junction with this stream is 100 yds. wide and above it about 90. the water of boath are terbid but the East branch much the most so; their beds are composed of sand and gravel; the East fork possesses a large portion of the former. neither of those streams are navigable in consequence of the rapids and shoals which obstruct their currents. thus far a plain or untimbered country bordered the river which near the junction of these streams spread into a handsome level plain of no great extent; the hills were covered with long leafed pine and fir. I now continued my rout up the N. side of the Cokahlahishkit river through a timbered country for 8 miles and encamped in a handsom bottom on the river where there was an abundance of excelence grass for our horses. the evening was fine, air pleasent and no musquetoes. a few miles before we encamped I killed a squirrel of the speceis common to the Rocky Mountains and a ground squirrel of a speceis which I had never before seen, I preserved the skins of both of these animals.