Lewis, June 15, 1805
Saturday June 15th 1805.
This morning the men again were sent to bring in some more meat which Drewyer had killed yesterday, and continued the opperation of drying it. I amused myself in fishing, and sleeping away the fortiegues of yesterday. I caught a number of very fine trout which I made Goodrich dry; goodrich also caught about two douzen and several small cat of a yellow colour which would weigh about 4 lbs. the tails was seperated with a deep angular nitch like that of the white cat of the missouri from which indeed they differed only in colour. when I awoke from my sleep today I found a large rattlesnake coiled on the leaning trunk of a tree under the shade of which I had been lying at the distance of about ten feet from him. I killed the snake and found that he had 176 scuta on the abdomen and i'7 half formed scuta on the tale; it was of the same kinde which I had frequently seen before; they do not differ in their colours from the rattle snake common to the middle attlantic states, but considerably in the form and figures of those colours. This evening after dark Joseph Fields returned and informed me that Capt Clark had arrived with the party at the foot of a rappid about 5 miles below which he did not think proper to ascend and would wait my arrival there. I had discovered from my journey yesterday that a portage on this side of the river will be attended by much difficulty in consequence of several deep ravines which intersect the plains nearly at right angles with the river to a considerable distance, while the South side appears to be a delighfull smoth unbroken plain; the bearings of the river also make it pobable that the portage will be shorter on that side than on this.- I directed Fields to return early in the morning to Capt. C. and request him to send up a party of men for the dryed meat which we had made. I finde a very heavy due on the grass about my camp every morning which no doubt procedes from the mist of the falls, as it takes place no where in the plains nor on the river except here.