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The Journals of Lewis and Clark

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.