September 15, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

September 15, 1805

West   4 mile down the Creek bottoms Passing over 4 Steep high hills to
a run at an old Indian Camp at a fishing place, where we wer
Some time e'er, we found the proper road which assends a high
mountain    road excessively bad. Take the wrong road* [1]
N. W.   4 miles assending a high Steep ruged Mountain winding in every
direction, the timber has been burnt & lies in every direction,
Several horses rolld down much hurt    my portable desk bro-
ken, from the top of those mountains a Snow mountain from
S E to S W.    we leave the river to our left hand, found a Spring
on the top of the mountain where we halted to Dine & wate for
the party.    rained
N. W.   4 miles assend a Steep ruged mountain passing over high Stoney
knobs maney parts bare of timber, the[y] haveing burnt it down
& as it lies on the ground in every direction we could find no
water deturmd to Camp as it was late and make use of Snow for
to boil our Coalt meat & make Supe.    we Camped on a high
Pinical of the mountain    Two of our horses gave out to day and
left.    the road as bad as it can possibly be to pass.

We set out early.    the morning Cloudy and proceeded on Down the right Side of [NB: Koos koos kee ] [2] River over Steep points rockey & buschey as usial for 4 miles to an old Indian fishing place, here the road leaves the river to the left and assends a mountain winding in every direction to get up the Steep assents [3] & to pass the emence quantity of falling timber which had falling from dift. causes i e. fire & wind and has deprived the Greater part of the Southerly Sides of this mountain of its gren timber, 4 miles up the mountain I found a Spring and halted for the rear to come up and to let our horses rest & feed, about 2 hours the rear of the party came up much fatigued & horses more So, Several horses Sliped and roled down Steep hills which hurt them verry much    The one which Carried my desk & Small trunk Turned over & roled down a mountain for 40 yards & lodged against a tree, broke the Desk the horse escaped and appeared but little hurt    Some others verry much hurt, from this point I observed a range of high mountains Covered with Snow from S E. to S W with Their top bald or void of timber. [4]    after two hours delay we proceeded on up the mountain Steep & ruged as usial, more timber near the top, when we arrived at the top As we Conceved we could find no water and Concluded to Camp [5] and make use of the Snow we found on the top to cook the remnt. of our Colt & make our Supe, evening verry Cold and Cloudy. Two of our horses gave out, pore and too much hurt to proceed on and left in the rear—    nothing killed to day except 2 Phests.

From this mountain I could observe high ruged mountains in every direction as far as I could See.    with the greatest exertion we Could only make 12 miles up the mountain and encamped on the top of the mountain near a Bank of old Snow about 3 feet deep lying on the Northern Side of the 〈hills〉 mountain and in Small banks on the top & leavel parts of the mountain, we melted the Snow to drink, and Cook our horse flesh to eat.


Sunday 15th Sept 1805.    cloudy.    we Set out as usal and proceeded on a Short distance down the creek.    crossed Several Small creeks and Swampy places covred with tall handsome white ceeder and Spruce pine &.C— [6]    we crossed a creek a pond [7] a little below then assended a high Mountain [8]    Some places So Steep and rockey that Some of our horses fell backwards and roled 20 or 30 feet among the rocks, but did not kill them.    we got on the ridge of the mountain and followed it.    came over several verry high knobs where the timber had been mostly blown down.    we found a small spring before we came to the highest part of the mountain where we halted and drank a little portable Soup and proceeded on to the top of the mount    found it to be abot. 10 miles from the foot to the top of sd. mount and most of the way very Steep.    we travvelled untill after dark in hopes to find water.    but could not find any.    we found Some Spots of Snow so we Camped on the top of the Mountain and melted Some Snow.    this Snow appears to lay all the year on this Mount    we drank a little portable Soup and lay down without any thing else to Satisfy our hunger.    cloudy and cold    this mountain and all these Mountains are covred thick with different kinds of pine timber. Some high rocks appear abo. the timber


Sunday 15th.    Having breakfasted on colt, we moved on down the river 3 miles, and again took the mountains. In going up, one of the horses fell, and required 8 or 10 men to assist him in getting up again. We continued our march to 2 o'clock when we halted at a spring and dined on portable soup, and a handful of parched corn. We then proceeded on our journey over the mountain to a high point, where, it being dark, we were obliged to encamp. There was here no water; but a bank of snow answered as a substitute; and we supped upon soup.


Sunday 15th Sept. 1805.    cloudy.    we loaded up our horses and Set out at 7 oClock, and proceeded on down the creek a Short distance    crossed Several Springs and Swampy places covred with white ceeder and tall handsom Spruce pine, which would be excelent for boards or Shingles.    we crossed a creek a Small pond a little below, then assended a high mountain.    Some places So Steep and rockey that Several of the horses fell backward and roled down among the rocks 20 or 30 feet but did not kill them.    we got on to the ridge of the mot. and followed it riseing over Several high knobs where the wind had blown down the most of the timber.    we found a Small Spring before we came to the highest part of the mountain where we halted and drank a little portable Soup, and proceeded on up on the top of the mountain, which is covred with timber Spruce &c and Some Spots of Snow and high clifts of rocks    it is about 10 miles from the foot of this mountain to the top and the most of the way verry Steep.    we marched on top of this mountain untill after dark in hopes to find water, but could not find any, So we Camped on the top ridge of the mountain without finding any water, but found plean[ty] of Snow, which appear to have lain all the year    we melted what we wanted to drink and made or mixd a little portable Soup with Snow water and lay down contented.    had come [blank] miles to day.

Sunday Septemr 15th    This morning we had Cold weather, & cloudy, We set out on our Journey about 7 oClock A. M. with all our horses loaded    we proceeded on down the Creek a short distance, and crossed several springs & swampey places, covered with white Cedar, & tall Spruce pine.    We crossed a Creek & a small pond which lay a small distance below it.    We then ascended a high mountain; which in some places was so steep & rockey, that several of our horses fell backward, and rolled down among the Rocks between 20 & 30 feet, but none of them were killed in the fall, We went on, and got on the Ridge of the Mountain.    We followed on the ridge of the Mountain & went over several high knobs on it, where the Wind had blown down the most of the timber on them.    We found a small spring of water, before we came to the highest part of the Mountain; Where we halted & drank some portable soup, We proceeded on, still on the top of the Mountain which was covered with Spruce Trees, & some small Spots of Snow on it, & high clifts of rocks.    This mountain is about ten Miles, from the foot of it, to the top,—    & the most part of the way very steep.—

We proceeded on our way on the top of this mountain, untill after dark, in hopes of finding water, but was not fortunate enough to find any.    We encamped on the top ridge of the Mountain, where we found plenty of Snow, which from appearance had lain there during the whole Year; we melted Snow to drink & make some portable Soup, which was given to all the party & they all retired to rest seemingly content.—    We came about 10 Miles this day.—

1. The asterisk at the end of this passage is not explainable. (back)
2. Biddle has added the name to a blank space. (back)
3. They went down the north side of the Lochsa, paralleling modern U.S. Highway 12, to about the present location of Wendover Campground, Idaho County, Idaho, then turned north along Wendover Ridge to climb back to the Lolo Trail. Space, 9; Peebles (LT), 5; Atlas map 70. (back)
4. Again, the Bitterroot Range, along the Montana-Idaho border. Atlas maps 69, 70. (back)
5. They camped more or less at the point where they rejoined the Lolo Trail, in Idaho County, near present Forest Service Road 500. Space, 9; Atlas map 70. (back)
6. White cedar is western redcedar, Thuja plicata Donn., the spruce is Engelmann spruce, and the pine is probably lodgepole pine. It may be that Ordway is using the term "spruce pine" for a single species, as Clark did on September 12. The next day's entry seems to indicate such a usage. Spruce pine is Engelmann spruce. (back)
7. Now known locally as Whitehouse Pond, it is on U.S. Highway 12, a short distance west of Powell Ranger Station, Idaho County, Idaho. (back)
8. The explorers ascended Wendover Ridge in order to get back to Lolo Trail which they had left on this misguided loop to the south. (back)