October 25, 1805
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October 25, 1805


A Cold morning, we deturmined to attempt the Chanel    after brackfast I took down all the party below the bad places with a load & one Canoe    passed well, a 2d passed well    I had men on the Shore with ropes to throw in in Case any acidence happened at the Whirl &c—    the Inds on the rocks veiwing us    the 3rd Canoe nearly filled with water    we got her Safe to Shore. The last Canoe Came over well which to me was truly gratifying    Set out and had not passed 2 mils before 3 Canoes run against a rock in the river with great force    no damg.    〈at〉 met with a 2d Chief of the nation from hunting, we Smoked with him and his party and gave a medal of The Small Size & Set out    passed great numbers of rocks, good water and Came to at a high 〈bluff〉 point of rocks below the mouth of a Creek which falls in on the Lard Side and head up towards the high Snow mountain to the S W.    this Creek [1] is 20 yards wide [2] and has Some beaver Signs at its mouth    river about ½ a mile wide and Crouded with Sea otters, & drum was Seen this evening    we took possession of a high Point of rocks to defend our Selves in Case the threts of those Indians below Should be put in execution against us. Sent out Some hunters to look if any Signs of game, one man killed a Small deer & Several others Seen    I killed a goose, and Suped hartily on venison & goose. Camped on the rock [3]    guard under the hill.

Courses from the upper rapids
West 2 miles passing a Lard. point of Land and a Stard. point & 3
Lodges    a deep bason to the Stard. to a pt of rocks, above a
S. 70° W. 2 miles to a rock Island in the middle of the river at a bad rapid
& whols, passed thro a narrow bad Chanel 45 yds wide for
¼ of a mile. [4]    a Lodge below on Stard. Side    halted to look
S. 50° W. 2 miles to a rock at the head of a narrow Chanel, a deep bason to
the Stard. on which a village of 21 Lodges—    passed a large
rock Island in the middle of the river. The Channel nearest
the Lard Side
Octr. 25
S. 34° W 3 miles thro a narrow Swift bad Chanel from 50 to 100 yards
wide, [5] of Swels Whorls & bad places    a verry bad place at 1
mile, a rock in the midl. at 2 miles to a rock above a Deep
bason to the Stard. Side above the rock
S. 20° W. 2 miles to a high Rock    Passed thro a narrow Channel on the
Std. Side of a rock in the middle of the Chanel
N. 60° W 1 mile to a bend, passed a bason to the Lard Side, and large
ruged rocks on both Sides
S. 60° W. 4 miles to large Creek a Lard. bend under a timbered bottom &
the first timber we have Seen near the river for a long distance
Pine & white oake

a cool morning    Capt Lewis and my Self walked down to See the place the Indians pointed out as the worst place in passing through the gut, which we found difficuelt of passing without great danger, but as the portage was impractiable with our large Canoes, we Concluded to Make a portage of our most valuable articles and run the canoes thro    accordingly on our return divided the party Some to take over the Canoes, and others to take our Stores across a portage of a mile to a place on the Chanel below this bad whorl & Suck, with Some others I had fixed on the Chanel with roapes to throw out to any who Should unfortunately meet with difficuelty in passing through; great number of Indians viewing us from the high rocks under which we had to pass, the 3 first Canoes passed thro very well, the 4th nearly filled with water, the last passed through by takeing in a little water, 〈we〉 thus Safely below what I conceved to be the worst part of this Chanel, felt my Self extreamly gratified and pleased.    we loaded the Canoes & Set out, and had not proceeded, more than two mile before the unfortunate Canoe which filled crossing the bad place above, run against a rock and was in great danger of being lost, This Chanel is through a hard rough black rock, from 50–100 yards wide. [6] Swelling and boiling in a most tremendious maner Several places on which the Indians inform me they take the Salmon as fast as they wish; we passed through a deep bason to the stard Side of 1 mile below which the River narrows and divided by a rock    The Curent we found quit jentle, here we met with our two old Chiefs who had been to a village below to Smoke a friendly pipe, and at this place they met the Cheif & party from the village above [7] on his return from hunting all of whome were then crossing over their horses, we landed to Smoke a pipe with this Chief whome we found to be a bold pleasing looking man of about 50 years of age dressd. in a war jacket a cap Legins & mockersons.    he gave us Some meat of which he had but little and informed us he in his rout met with a war party of Snake Indians from the great river of the S. E. which falls in a few miles above and had a fight.    we gave this Chief a Medal, &c. a parting Smoke with our two faithful friends the Chiefs who accompanied us from the head of the river, (who had purchased a horse each with 2 robes and intended to return on horse back)    we proceeded on down the water fine, rocks in every derection for a fiew miles when the river widens and becoms a butifull jentle Stream of about half a mile wide, Great numbers of the Sea Orter [NB: or Seals] about those narrows and both below and above.    we Came too, under a high point of rocks on the Lard. Side below a creek of 20 yards wide and much water, as it was necessary to make Some Selestial observations we formed our Camp on the top of a high point of rocks, which forms a kind of 〈artif〉 fortification in the Point between the river & Creek, with a boat guard, this Situation we Concieve well Calculated for defence, and Conveniant to hunt under the foots of the mountain to the West & S. W. [8] where timber of different kinds grows, and appears to be handsom Coverts for the Deer, in oke woods, Sent out hunters to examine for game    G. D. [9] Killed a Small Deer & other Saw much Sign, I killed a goose in the creek which was verry fat—    one of the guard saw a Drum fish [10] to day as he Conceved    our Situation well Calculated to defend 〈us〉 our Selves from any designs of the natives, Should They be enclined to attack us.

This litle Creek heads in the range of mountains which run S S W & N W for a long distance on which is Scattering pine white Oake &c. The Pinical of the round toped mountain which we Saw a Short distance below the forks of this river is S. 43° W. of us and abt 37 miles, it is at this time toped with Snow    we called this the falls mountain or Timm mountain. [NB: This the Mount Hood of Vancouver ]    The face of the Countrey, on both Side of the river above and about the falls, is Steep ruged and rockey open and contain but a Small preportion of erbage, no timber a fiew bushes excepted, The nativs at the upper falls raft their timber down Towarnehooks River & those at the narrows take theirs up the river to the lower part of the narrows from this Creek, and Carry it over land 3 miles to their houses &c.    at the mouth of this creek Saw Some beaver Sign, and a Small wolf in a Snare Set in the willows    The Snars of which I saw Several made for to catch wolves, are made as follows vz: a long pole which will Spring is made fast with bark to a willow, on the top of this pole a String [NB: Described elsewhere] [11]


Friday 25th Oct. 1805.    a fair morning.    we carried some of our baggage by land about one mile past the worst of the narrows.    then took one canoe at a time down the narrows and whorl pools.    one of the canoes filled with water running through the narrows we got all below and loaded the canoes    we have now 16 bags of Sammon on board    about 3 oClock P. M. we Set out and proceeded on    the narrows continued about 2 miles and verry rapid.    2 Small Islands of Sollid rock Stood in these narrows    one of the canoes was near dashing in peaces by Strikeing hir bow against the upper point of one of them.    the River between these narrows and the great falls rises at high water 48 feet perpenticular by its being confined by the different narrows.    near the lower end of the narrows we Saw a war party of Indians which had jest Swam the River to the Stard Side with their horses.    they had some vension &C with them.    we halted a fiew minutes and our officers Smoaked with them    they gave us some bears oil and a little vension and Some fresh fish.    we went on    2 chiefs told us that their was a nation below which they were at war with and they did not wish to go any further with us so our officers Settled with them and they returned back to their nation.    we then went on    Saw Some drumm fish [12] jumping in the River    the River gitting Smoth. Saw pine and oak timber near the Shores    we can Still See the round high mountain Some distance a head yet.    we Camped below the mouth of a creek on a point of rocks on the Lard. Side.    the country timbred back a little from the River.—


Friday 25th.    We found there were bad rapids in the narrows and therefore carried over part of our baggage by land, about three quarters of a mile; and then took the canoes over, one at a time. In going over one of them filled with water, on account of which we were detained three hours. The rapids continued 3 or 4 miles, when the river became more placid. At night we came to a place where there is a considerable quantity of timber on the hills; both oak and pine, and encamped at the mouth of a creek on the south side. The natives about here are, or pretend to be, very uneasy, and say the Indians below will kill us. We purchased from them a quantity of dried pounded fish, which they had prepared in that way for sale. They have six scaffolds of a great size for the purpose of drying their fish on.


Friday 25th Oct. 1805.    a clear morning.    we carrd. Some of our baggage about a mile, which took us below the worst of the rapids, then took one canoe down the rapids and narrows where the whole channel is confined in a narrow channel only about 25 yards wide.    one of the canoes nearly fi[lled] running through the rapids waves & whorl pools.    we got all the canoes down and loaded them.    we have bought a large quantity about 16 common bags of pounded Sammon Some white bread cramberies &c.    about 3 oClock we Set out and proceeded on down the narrows which lasted abt. 2 miles verry rapid.    2 [13] Small Islands of Solid rocks Stood in the channel    one of the canoes ran hir bow aggainst the point and glanced off without Injury.    the water or River between these narrows and the falls, rises at high water 48 feet perpinticular by its being confined by the different narrows.    a little [below] or at the lower end of the narrows we Saw a war party of Indians, with horses.    they had deer & bear meat with them    the head chief had on a jacket that was made of Some kind of worked Splits which would defend off the arrows.    our Capts. gave him a meddle, then he gave our Capts. Some bears oil and a fresh Sammon    our 2 chiefs came to us and told us that their was a nation below that which had a design to kill them and us    So they left us in order to return to their own village again.—    we then proceeded on about eight miles    the hils high    Some pine and oak timbr. to be Seen    the River got Smooth.    we Campd. on a high point of rocks little below the mouth of a creek on the Lard. Side.    timbered country hack from the River each Side.    Saw drumm fish jump in Rivr.

Friday October 25th    This morning clear & pleasant; Our Men that were well (all excepting a Guard left with our Canoes,) set off with the loading to a place, below the worst of the rapids; about one Mile distance, which we carried on our backs, The party that were left with the Canoes, took one of our Canoes down the rapids, and narrows of the River.    The channel of the river lays in a narrow place, not about 25 Yards wide, & with difficulty they got through it.    they then returned, & brought the remainder of the Canoes to us, at the place where we had deposited our loading.    One of the Canoes nearly filled, in passing through the Rapid waves & whirlpools in the Rapids.—    We found an Indian village, laying below these falls, or rapids, 〈from whom〉 our officers purchased from the Indians that resided in this Village 16 bags of pounded Salmon; some bread made out of Roots, Cranberries &ca.    The whole of our party having come to us below the rapids; we loaded our Canoes & About 3 o'Clock P. M. & we set out, and proceeded on down through the rapids, which lasted about 2 Miles further & the water running very Rapid, the whole way.—    We found 2 small Islands of solid rock, which lay in the channel of the River in these Rapids.    One of our Canoes run her bow against the point of one of these Islands, & glanced off without receiving any injury.—    The River between the falls & narrows at that place rises at high water 48 feet perpendicular, which is occasion'd by the water being confined by the different narrow places, & particularly at the lower end of them.—    We came too, at the lower end of these falls, and halted for a short time, at which place a Warr party of Indians, came to us.    These Indians were all on horse back, & had Deer & bear meat with them.    Our officers gave their Chief a medal, & he in return gave them some Bears Oil & a fresh Salmon.—    This Warr party of Indians staid with us but a short time.    The Two Indian Chiefs who descended the River with us, told us by signs, that there was a Nation of Indians, that resided on this River below us, who would certainly kill them; & the whole of our party, and that they must leave us, in order to return to their own Village again.    These Indians left us at this place, after taking a friendly leave.    Our Officers gave them some presents & they left us much pleased.—    The Chief or head Man that had been with us of the Warr party; wore a curious kind of Jacket, This Jacket was made out of a kind of Splits, which were worked in such a manner, as to defend him against the Arrows shot by his Enemies.—    We proceeded on, & went about 8 Miles further down the River.    The hills the whole of this distance, were high on both sides of the River, and we saw some pine & Oak timber, The River ran smooth all this way, We encamped near a high point of Rocks, a small distance below the mouth of a creek, which lay on the South side of the River; The Country laying a small distance back, from where we are encamped, is cover'd with Timber.—    And the Land on both sides of the River, is barren land    We saw a Number of fish jumping in the River from where we are encamped which we supposed to be Drum fish.—

1. "Que-nett Creek" on Atlas maps 78, 86, now Mill Creek, reaching the Columbia at The Dalles, Wasco County, Oregon. The name Quenett probably comes from the Upper Chinookan -gwánat, Chinook salmon." (back)
2. Here in the Elkskin-bound Journal Clark has inserted the courses and distances for October 25, in the middle of a sentence in the main text. The two parts of the text have been brought together for ease of reading. (back)
3. What they later called "Fort Camp" or "Fort Rock Camp," at the mouth of Mill Creek, at the present town of The Dalles. Here they camped October 25–28, 1805, and April 1518, 1806, on the return journey. Atlas map 78. (back)
4. Little Narrows of Atlas map 78. (back)
5. Long Narrows of ibid. (back)
6. The narrow channel here is cut through an easily eroded zone of basalt of the middle Miocene Priest Rapids Member of the Wanapum Basalt. (back)
7. Presumably from the "Echelute," or Wishram village above the Long Narrows, but perhaps from the "Eneeshurs" above Celilo Falls. See above, October 22 and 24, 1805. Atlas map 78. (back)
10. No species of drum fish are known in the Columbia River and it is impossible to determine what the guard was seeing. Lee et al., 756–61. (back)
11. See below, January 15, 1806. The remaining half-page of Codex H, p. 70, is blank. (back)
12. The fish is not identifiable; see Clark's entry for this day. (back)
13. The number "2" is written over "a." (back)