The Journals of Lewis & Clark: May 16, 1806

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
May 15, 1806
May 17, 1806

May 16, 1806

Friday May 16th 1806. Drewyer's horse left his camp last night and was brought to us this morning by an indian who informed us he had found him a considerable distance towards the mountains. Hohastillpilp and all the natives left us about noon and informed us that they were going up the river some distance to a place at which they expected to fine a canoe, we gave them the head and neck of a bear, a part of which they eat and took the ballance with them. these people sometimes kill the variagated bear when they can get them in the open plain where they can pursue them on horseback and shoot them with their arrows. the black bear they more frequently kill as they are less ferocious. our sick men are much better today. Sahcargarmeah geathered a quantity of the roots of a speceis of fennel which we found very agreeable food, the flavor of this root is not unlike annis seed, and they dispell the wind which the roots called Cows and quawmash are apt to create particularly the latter. we also boil a small onion which we find in great abundance, with other roots and find them also an antidote to the effects of the others. the mush of roots we find adds much to the comfort of our diet.- we sent out several hunters this morning but they returned about 11 A.M. without success; they killed a few pheasants only. at 5 P.M. Drewyer and Cruzatte returned having killed one deer only. Drewyer had wounded three bear which he said were as white as sheep but had obtained neither of them. they informed us that the hunting was but bad in the quarter they had been, the Country was broken and thickly covered in most parts with underbrush. a little after dark Shannon and Labuish returned with one deer; they informed us that game was wild and scarce, that a large creek (Collins Creek) ran parallel with the river at the distance of about 5 or 6 miles which they found impracticable to pass with their horses in consequence of the debth and rapidity of it's current. beyond this creek the Indians inform us that there is great abundance of game. Sergt. Pryor and Collins who set out this morning on a hunting excurtion did not return this evening.- I killed a snake near our camp, it is 3 feet 11 Inches in length, is much the colour of the rattlesnake common to the middle atlantic states, it has no poisonous teeth. it has 218 scutae on the abdomen and fifty nine squamae or half formed scutae on the tail. the eye is of moderate size, the iris of a dark yellowish brown and puple black. there is nothing remarkable in the form of the head which is not so wide across the jaws as those of the poisonous class of snakes usually are.- I preserved the skin of this snake.

Friday 16th May 1806

a cloudy morning with Some rain which continued untill Meridean at intervales, but very moderately. a man and boy Came to our Camp at 11 A. M with Drewyers Horse which he informed us he found at a long distance towards the Mtns. this horse must have Strayed from Drewyers Camp last night. Hohhastillpelt and all the nativs left us at merdn. and went up the river with a view to Cross at Some distance above where they expected to find a Canoe.

we gave those people a head and Neck of the largest bear a part of which they eate and the balance they Carefully took with them for their children. The Indians of this Country Seldom kill the bear they are very much afraid of them and the killing of a white or Grzley bear, is as great a feet as two of their enimy. the fiew of those Animals which they Chance to kill is found in the leavel open lands and pursued on horses & killed with their Arrows. they are fond of the flesh of this animal and eate emoderately of it when they have a Sufficiency to indulge themselves. The men who were complaining of the head ake and Cholicks yesterday and last night are much better to day. Shabonos Squar gatherd a quantity of fenel roots which we find very paleatiable and nurishing food. the Onion we also find in abundance and boil it with our meat. Shields rode out and hunted in the morning without Suckcess he returned at 11 A.M. having killed only a black wood pecker with a red breast as discribed hereafter. A snake which resembles the rattle Snake in colour and Spots on the Skin, longer and inosent. at 5 P M Drewyer and Crusat returned haveing killed only one Deer only. D. Shot 3 White bear but Could get neither of them. they inform us that the hunting in the derection they were is very bad. the country hilly & brushey. a little after dark Shannon & Labiech came in from the Chass. Shannon killed one deer which he brought in. this deer being the only animal they Could kill. they informed that a large Creek (Collens's Creek) run parrelal with the river at about 5 or 6 miles distant between which there was but little game, and the Creek being high rapid and the Smothe rocks in the bottom rendered it impossible for them to pass it on hors back. Sergt. Pryor and Collins who Set out early this morning hunting have not returned. we derected that the horses be drove up in future at 12 oClock on each day