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It continued to rain almost without intermission last night and as I expected we had a most disagreable and wrestless night. our camp possessing no allurements, we left our watery beads at an early hour and coninued our rout down the river. it still continues to rain 〈and〉 the wind hard from N. E. and could. the grownd remarkably slipry, insomuch that we were unable to walk on the sides of the bluffs where we had passed as we ascended the river. notwithstanding the rain that has now fallen the earth of these bluffs is not wet to a greater debth than 2 inches; in it's present state it is precisely like walking over frozan grownd which is thawed to small debth and slips equally as bad. this clay not only appears to require more water to saturate it as I before observed than any earth I ever observed but when saturated it appears on the other hand to yeald it's moisture with equal difficulty.  In passing along the face of one of these bluffs today I sliped at a narrow pass of about 30 yards in length and but for a quick and fortunate recovery by means of my espontoon I should been precipitated into the river down a craggy pricipice of about ninety feet. I had scarcely reached a place on which I could stand with tolerable safety even with the assistance of my espontoon before I heard a voice behind me cry out god god Capt. what shall I do on turning about I found it was Windsor who had sliped and fallen abut the center of this narrow pass and was lying prostrate on his belley, with his 〈one〉 wright hand arm and leg over the precipice while he was holding on with the left arm and foot as well as he could which appeared to be with much difficulty. I discovered his danger and the trepedation which he was in gave me still further concern for I expected every instant to see him loose his strength and slip off; altho' much allarmed at his situation I disguised my feelings and spoke very calmly to him and assured him that he was in no kind of danger, to take the knife out of his belt behind him with his wright hand and dig a hole with it in the face of the bank to receive his wright foot which he did and then raised himself to his knees; I then directed him to take off his mockersons and to come forward on his hands and knees holding the knife in one hand and the gun in the other this he happily effected and escaped. those who were some little distance bhind returned by my orders and waded the river at the foot of the bluff where the water was breast deep. it was useless we knew to attempt the plains on this part of the river in consequence of the numerous steep ravines which intersected and which were quite as had as the river bluffs. we therefore continued our rout down the river sometimes in the mud and water of the bottom lands, at others in the river to our breasts and when the water became so deep that we could not wade we cut footsteps in the face of the steep bluffs with our knives and proceded. we continued our disagreeable march th[r]ough the rain mud and water untill late in the evening having traveled only about 18 miles, and encamped in an old Indian stick lodge which afforded us a dry and comfortable shelter. during the day we had killed six deer some of them in very good order altho' none of them had yet entirely discarded their winter coats. we had reserved and brought with us a good supply of the best peices; we roasted and eat a hearty supper of our venison not having taisted a mosel before during the day; I now laid myself down on some willow boughs to a comfortable nights rest, and felt indeed as if I was fully repaid for the toil and pain of the day, so much will a good shelter, a dry bed, and comfortable supper revive the sperits of the waryed, wet and hungry traveler.—
rained moderately all the last night and Continus this morning, the wind from the S. W, off the mountains, The Themometer Stood at 40° above 0, I allow Several men to hunt a Short time to day, the rain Continue moderately all day the bottom verry muddey 2 buffalow an Elk & Deer killed to day— Capt. Lewis not returned yet. river falling
June 7th Friday 1805. rained all last night. a rainy cold morning the wind N. W. Some men went out a hunting, & killed two Deer. rained moderately all day. Capt Lewis and his party did not return this evening we expect the reason is owing to the badness of the weather as it is muddy & Slippery walking
Friday 7th. It rained all day: Captain Lewis and party did not return.
Friday 7th June 1805. rained the greater part of last night. a Cloudy wet morning. Some men went out to hunt, and killed 2 Deer, rained moderately all day. Capt. Lewis & his party has not returned yet. we expect the reason is owing to the badness of the weather. nothing further occured this day.
Friday June 7th We had rain the greatest part of last night, and this morning was cloudy and wet weather, Some of our party went out to hunt, They returned in a short time, having killed 2 deer, which they brought with them to our camp— Captain Lewis and his party did not return to us this day; and we supposed they were detained by the badness of the weather, the Men that were in the Camp were all employed in making mockasins & dressing Skins as usual.—
1. The clay is derived from glacial till and Claggett Shale. Clays of this type are commonly called gumbo. Only a small amount of moisture is needed to make it extremely slippery, yet, even a good rainfall rarely penetrates the gumbo more than a fraction of an inch. When the gumbo does become wet, it is very plastic—and very sticky—as well as slippery. (Return to text.)
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