Lewis, June 27, 1806
Friday June 27th 1806. We collected our horses early and set out. the road still continued on the heights of the same dividing ridge on which we had traveled yesterday for nine miles or to our encampment of the 18th of September last. about one mile short of this encampment on an elivated point we halted by the request of the Indians a few minutes and smoked the pipe. on this eminence the natives have raised a conic mound of stones of 6 or eight feet high and on it's summit erected a pine pole of 15 feet long from hence they informed us that when passing over with their familes some of the men were usually sent on foot by the fishery at the entrance of Colt Creek in order to take fish and again met the main party at the Quawmash glade on the head of the Kooskooske river. from this place we had an extensive view of these stupendous mountains principally covered with snow like that on which we stood; we were entirely surrounded by those mountains from which to one unacquainted with them it would have seemed impossible ever to have escaped; in short without the assistance of our guides I doubt much whether we who had once passed them could find our way to Travellers rest in their present situation for the marked trees on which we had placed considerable reliance are much fewer and more difficult to find than we had apprehended. these fellows are most admireable pilots; we find the road wherever the snow has disappeared though it be only for a few hundred paces. after smoking the pipe and contemplating this seene sufficient to have damp the sperits of any except such hardy travellers as we have become, we continued our march and at the distance of 3 ms. decended a steep mountain and passed two small branches of the Chopunnish river just above their forks and again ascended the ridge on which we passed several miles and at a distance of 7 ms. arrived at our encampment of September near which we passed 3 small branches of the Chopunnish river and again ascended to the dividing ridge on which we continued nine miles when the ridge became lower and we arrived at a situation very similar to our encampment of the last evening tho the ridge was somewhat higher and the snow had not been so long desolved of course there was but little grass. here we encamped for the night having traveled 28 miles over these mountains without releiving the horses from their packs or their having any food. the indians inform us that there is an abundance of the mountain sheep or what they call white buffaloe. we saw three black-tailed or mule deer this evening but were unable to get a shoot at them. we also saw several tracks of those animals in the snow. the indians inform that there is great abundance of Elk in the vally about the Fishery on the Kooskooske River. our meat being exhausted we issued a pint of bears oil to a mess which with their boiled roots made an agreeable dish. Potts's legg which has been much swolen and inflamed for several days is much better this evening and gives him but little pain. we applyed the pounded roots and leaves of the wild ginger & from which he found great relief.- neare our encampment we saw a great number of the yellow lilly with reflected petals in blume; this plant was just as forward here at this time as it was in the plains on the 10th of may.