Clark, December 8, 1805
Sunday December 8th 1805 Fort Clatsop We haveing fixed on this Situation as the one best Calculated for our Winter quarters I deturmin'd to go as direct a Course as I could to the Sea Coast which we Could here roar and appeared to be at no great distance from us, my principal object is to look out a place to make Salt, blaze the road or rout that they men out hunting might find the direction to the fort if they Should get lost in cloudy weather-and See the probibillity of game in that direction, for the Support of the Men, we Shall Send to make Salt, I took with me five men and Set out on a Course S 60 W proceeded on a dividing ridge through lofty piney land much falling timber. passed the heads of 2 brooks one of them had wide bottoms which was over flown & we waded to our knees crossed 2 Slashes and arrived at a Creek in a open ridgey prarie covered with Sackacomma this Creek we were obliged to raft, which is about 60 yards over and runs in a direction to Point adams, we discovered a large gange of Elk in the open lands, and we prosued them through verry bad Slashes and Small ponds about 3 miles, Killed one and camped on a Spot Scercely large enough to lie Clear of the Water. it is almost incredeable to assurt the bogs which those animals Can pass through, I prosue'd this gang of Elk through bogs which the wate of a man would Shake for 1/2 an Acre, and maney places I Sunk into the mud and water up to my hips without finding any bottom on the trale of those Elk. Those bogs are Covered with a kind of moss among which I observe an ebundance of Cramberries. in those Slashes Small Knobs are promisquisly Scattered about which are Steep and thickly Covered with pine Common to the Countrey & Lorel. we made a Camp of the Elk Skin to keep off the rain which Continued to fall, the Small Knob on which we Camped did not afford a Sufficiency of dry wood for our fire, we collected what dry wood we Could and what Sticks we Could Cut down with the Tomahawks, which made us a tolerable fire.