The Journals of Lewis & Clark: September 19, 1805

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
September 18, 1805
September 20, 1805

September 19, 1805

Thursday September 19th 1805.

Set out this morning a little after sun rise and continued our rout about the same course of yesterday or S. 20 W. for 6 miles when the ridge terminated and we to our inexpressable joy discovered a large tract of Prairie country lying to the S. W. and widening as it appeared to extend to the W. through that plain the Indian informed us that the Columbia river, in which we were in surch run. this plain appeared to be about 60 Miles distant, but our guide assured us that we should reach it's borders tomorrow the appearance of this country, our only hope for subsistance greately revived the sperits of the party already reduced and much weakened for the want of food. the country is thickly covered with a very heavy growth of pine of which I have ennumerated 8 distinct species. after leaving the ridge we asscended and decended several steep mountains in the distance of 6 miles further when we struck a Creek about 15 yards wide our course being S. 35 W. we continued our rout 6 miles along the side of this creek upwards passing 2 of it's branches which flowed in from the N. 1st at the place we struck the creek and the other 3 miles further. the road was excessively dangerous along this creek being a narrow rockey path generally on the side of steep precipice, from which in many places if ether man or horse were precipitated they would inevitably be dashed in pieces. Fraziers horse fell from this road in the evening, and roled with his load near a hundred yards into the Creek. we all expected that the horse was killed but to our astonishment when the load was taken off him he arose to his feet & appeared to be but little injured, in 20 minutes he proceeded with his load. this was the most wonderfull escape I ever witnessed, the hill down which he roled was almost perpendicular and broken by large irregular and broken rocks. the course of this Creek upwards due W. we encamped on the Stard. side of it in a little raviene, having traveled 18 miles over a very bad road. we took a small quantity of portable soup, and retired to rest much fatiegued. several of the men are unwell of the disentary. brakings out, or irruptions of the Skin, have also been common with us for some time.

Tuesday 19th Septr. 1805

Set out early proceeded on up the Creek passing through a Small glade at 6 miles at which place we found a horse. I derected him killed and hung up for the party after takeing a brackfast off for our Selves which we thought fine after Brackfast proceed on up the Creek two miles & left it to our right passed over a mountain, and the heads of branch of hungary Creek, two high mountains, ridges and through much falling timber (which caused our road of to day to be double the derect distance on the Course) Struck a large Creek passing to our left which I Kept down for 4 miles and left it to our left & passed over a mountain bad falling timber to a Small Creek passing to our left and Encamped. I killed 2 Pheasents, but fiew birds Blue jay, Small white headed hawk, Some Crows & ravins & large hawks. road bad.