The Journals of Lewis & Clark: June 15, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
June 14, 1805
June 16, 1805

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.

June the 15th Satturday 1805

a fair morning and worm, we Set out at the usial time and proceeded on with great dificuelty as the river is more rapid we can hear the falls this morning verry distinctly- our Indian woman Sick &low Spirited I gave her the bark & apply it exteranaly to her region which revived her much. the curt. excessively rapid and dificuelt to assend great numbers of dangerous places, and the fatigue which we have to encounter is incretiatable the men in the water from morning untill night hauling the Cord & boats walking on Sharp rocks and round Sliperery Stones which alternately cut their feet & throw them down, not with Standing all this dificuelty they go with great chearfulness, aded to those dificuelties the rattle Snakes inumerable & require great caution to prevent being bitten.- we passed a Small river on the Lard Side about 30 yards wide verry rapid which heads in the mountains to the S. E. I Sent up this river 5 miles, it has Some timber in its bottoms and a fall of 15 feet at one place, above this river the bluffs are of red earth mixed with Stratums of black Stone, below this little river, we pass a white clay which mixes with water like flour in every respect, the Indian woman much wors this evening, She will not take any medison, her husband petetions to return &c., river more rapid late in the evening we arrived at a rapid which appeared So bad that I did not think it prudent to attempt passing of it this evening as it was now late, we Saw great numbers of Gees Ducks, Crows Blackbirds &c Geese & Ducks with their young. after Landing I detached Joseph Fields to Capt. Lewis to let him know where I was &c river rises a little this evening we could not get a Sufficency of wood for our use