November 13, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

November 13, 1805


Some intervales of fair weather last night, rain and wind Continue this morning, as we are in a Cove & the Mountains verry high & Pine Spruce [1] verry high & thick Cannot deturmine the procise course of the winds. I walked to the top of the first part of the mountain with much fatigue as the distance was about 3 miles thro' intolerable thickets of Small Pine, arrow wood a groth much resembling arrow wood with briers, [2] growing to 10 & 15 feet high interlocking with each other & Furn, aded to this difficulty the hill was So Steep that I was obliged to drawing my Self up in many places by the bowers, the Countrey Continues thick and hilley as far back a I could See. Some Elk Sign, rained all day moderately. I am wet &c. &c. The Hail which fell 2 night past is yet to be Seen on the mountain on which I was to day. I Saw a Small red Berry which grows on a Stem of about 6 or 8 Inches from the Ground, in bunches and in great quantity on the Mountains, the taste insiped. [3] I saw a number of verry large Spruce Pine one of which I measured 14 feet around and verry tall. My principal objects in assdg. this mountain was 〈not〉 to view the river below, the weather being So Cloudey & thick that I could not See any distance down, discovered the wind high from the N. W. and waves high at a Short distance below our Encampment, (Squar displeased with me for not [Sin?] &c &) Wap-to a excellent root which is rosted and tastes like a potato [4] I Cut my hand    despatched 3 men in a Indian canoe (which is calculated to ride high Swells) down to examine if they can find the Bay at the mouth & good harbers below for us to proceed in Safty. The Tides at every flud come in with great Swells & Breake against the rocks & Drift trees with great fury—    the rain Continue all the evening    nothing to eate but Pounded fish which we have as a reserve See Store, and what Pore fish we can kill up the branch on which we are encamped    our canoe and the three men did not return this evening—    if we were to have cold weather to accompany the rain which we have had for this 6 or 8 days passed we must eneviatilbly Suffer verry much as Clothes are Scerce with us.


Some intervales of fair weather last night, rain continue this morning. I walked up the Brook & assended the first Spur of the mountain with much fatigue, the distance about 3 miles, through an intolerable thickets of Small pine, a groth much resembling arrow wood on the Stem of which there is thorns; this groth about 12 or 15 feet high inter lockd into each other and Scattered over the high fern & fallen timber, added to this the hills were So Steep that I was compelled to draw my Self up by the assistance of those bushes—    The Timber on those hills are of the pine Species large and tall maney of them more than 200 feet high & from 8 to 10 feet through at the Stump    those hills & as far back as I could See, I Saw Some Elk Sign, on the Spur of the mountain tho' not fresh. I killed a Salmon trout on my return. The Hail which fell 2 nights past is yet to be Seen on the mountains; I Saw in my ramble to day a red berry resembling Solomons Seal berry which the nativs call Sol-me and use it to eate.    my principal object in assending this mountain was to view the countrey below, the rain continuing and weather proved So Cloudy that I could not See any distance    on my return we dispatched 3 men Colter, Willard and Shannon in the Indian canoe to get around the point if possible and examine the river, and the Bay below for a god harber for our Canoes to lie in Safty &c. The tide at every floot tide Came 〈in〉 with great swells brakeing against the rocks & Drift trees with great fury    The rain Continue all day.    nothing to eate but pounded fish which we Keep as a reserve and use in Situations of this kind.


Wednesday 13th Nov. 1805.    hard rain continued all last night a rainy morning.    in the afternoon three men [5] Set out in the Small canoe in order to go down towards the mouth of the River and See what discovrees they could make.    as the wind continues So high that obledges us to stay—


Wednesday 13th.    This was another disagreeable rainy day, and we remained at camp, being unable to get away. At 9 o'clock in the forenoon it became a little more calm than usual; and 3 men [6] took a canoe, which we got from the Indians of a kind excellent for riding swells, and set out to go to the point on the sea shore, to ascertain whether there were any white people there, or if they were gone.


Wednesday Novemr. 13th    The storm continued & hard rain during last night, and this morning rainey disagreeable weather.    Our Buffalo robes are getting rotten, and the most part of our baggage were wet.    We have a very disagreeable time of it, the most part of our Men having slept in the rain, ever since this storm began, & are continually wet.    In the afternoon three [7] of our party set out in our smallest Canoe, in order to go down to the Mouth of the Columbia River to make discoveries

1. Sitka spruce, as noted on November 4; it is the dominant species of this region. The Sitka spruce vegetation zone is a narrow coastal temperate rain forest, generally only a few miles in width except where it extends up river valleys. It has a uniform wet and mild climate with rich soils. The forests are dense, tall, and among the most productive in the world. The three most common trees are Sitka spruce, western hemlock, Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg., and western redcedar. Douglas fir and grand fir are also important. The mature forests have lush understories with dense growth of shrubs, herbs, ferns, and mosses. Hitchcock et al., 1:132–33; Franklin & Dyrness, 58–59; Cutright (LCPN), 239. (back)
2. The small pine are possibly shore pine, Pinus contorta Dougl. var. contorta, unless Clark is using "pine" in a general sense. Little (CIH), 50-W; Franklin & Dyrness, 59. Clark's growth resembling arrowwood is the first description of devil's club, Oplopanax horridum (J. E. Smith) Miq. The irregularly toothed leaves indeed resemble the arrowwood or American cranberrybush, Viburnum trilobum Marsh., both have similar red fruits, and the height is correct. Devil's club is a characteristic and important understory species in this vegetation zone. Hitchcock et al., 3:506; Franklin & Dyrness, 61. (back)
3. This is clearly bunchberry, dwarf cornel, puddingberry, Cornus canadensis L. Hitchcock et al., 3:588; Gunther (EWW), 43. It is "Sol-me" in the day's second entry. Confusion has occurred in identifying this plant because of the use of the native term here, since Lewis also uses the word solme to identify another species on January 27, 1806. The men are apparently applying the Chinookan word šul(a)mix to two entirely different plants. The problem is compounded by the fact that solme apparently refers to the wild cranberry or serviceberry, which is not the plant noted here or on January 27. Language difficulties may be the cause of these problems. Thwaites (LC), 3:221 n. 1; Cutright (LCPN), 266; Gibbs (AVC), 11; Ray (LCEN), 122. (back)
4. This sentence is inseted upside down to the rest of the page in the Elkskin-bound Journal. Some slight rearranging of the text was necessary for clarity. (back)
5. Colter, Willard, and Shannon, according to Clark. (back)
6. Colter, Willard, and Shannon, according to Clark. On the Indian canoes, see especially Lewis's entry of February 1, 1806. (back)
7. Colter, Willard, and Shannon, according to Clark. The canoe, which Gass praises on this date for its seaworthiness, was one they had obtained from the local Indians. (back)