December 8, 1805
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Aug 30, 1803 Sep 30, 1806

December 8, 1805


a Cloudy morning, I took 5 men [1] and Set out to the Sea to find the nearest place & make a way, to prevent our men getting lost and find a place to make Salt, Steered S 62° W    at 2 miles passed the head of a Brook running to the right, the lands good roleing much falling timber, lofty Pine of the Spruce kind, & Some fur, passed over a high hill & to a Creek which we kept down 1½ miles and left it to our right, Saw fish in this Creek & Elk & Bear tracks on it, passd over a ridge to a low marshey bottom which we Crossed thro    water & thick brush for ½ a mile to the Comencement of a Prarie which wavers, Covered with grass & Sackay Commis, at ½ Crossed a marsh 200 yds wide, boggey and arrived at a Creek [2] which runs to the right. Saw a gange of Elk on the opposit Side below, rafted the Creek, with much dificulty & followed the Elk thro, emence bogs, & over 4 Small Knobs in the bogs about 4 miles to the South & Killed an Elk, and formed a Camp, [3] Covered our Selves with the Elk Skins.    the left of us Bogs & a lake or pond    those bogs Shake, 〈the moss〉 much Cramberry growing amongst the moss. Some rain this evening we made a harty Supper of the Elk & hung up the bals. [4]


We haveing fixed on this Situation as the one best Calculated for our Winter quarters I deturmin'd to go as direct a Course as I could to the Sea Coast which we Could here roar and appeared to be at no great distance from us, my principal object is to look out a place to make Salt, blaze the road or rout that they men out hunting might find the direction to the fort if they Should get lost in cloudy weather—and See the probibillity of game in that direction, for the Support of the Men, we Shall Send to make Salt, I took with me five men and Set out on a Course S 60 W    proceeded on a dividing ridge through lofty piney land much falling timber.    passed the heads of 2 brooks one of them had wide bottoms which was over flown & we waded to our knees crossed 2 Slashes [NB: Swamps] and arrived at a Creek in a open ridgey prarie covered with Sackacomma [NB: Sac de Commis]    this Creek we were obliged to raft, which is about 60 yards over and runs in a direction to Point adams, we discovered a large gange of Elk in the open lands, and we prosued them through verry bad Slashes and Small ponds about 3 miles, Killed one and camped on a Spot Scercely large enough to lie Clear of the Water.    it is almost incredeable to assurt the bogs which those animals Can pass through, I prosue'd this gang of Elk through bogs which the wate of a man would Shake for ½ an Acre, and maney places I Sunk into the mud and water up to my hips without finding any bottom on the trale of those Elk.    Those bogs are Covered with a kind of moss among' which I observe an ebundance of Cramberries.    in those Slashes Small Knobs are promisquisly Scattered about which are Steep and thickly Covered with pine Common to the Countrey & Lorel.    we made a Camp of the Elk Skin to keep off the rain which Continued to fall, the Small Knob on which we Camped did not afford a Sufficiency of dry wood for our fire, we collected what dry wood we Could and what Sticks we Could Cut down with the Tomahawks, which made us a tolerable fire.


Sunday 8th Decr. 1805.    one canoe taken away from the landing by the tide last night.    a hard white frost this morning, and cold.    12 men was dispached with two canoes after Elk meat. Capt. Clark and 5 men [5] went across by land to the Ocean in order to blaze a road and look out a place to make Salt &C.    in the evening the men returned with a fine chance of Elk meat.    we formed an Encampment &C.


Sunday 8th.    We had a fine fair morning, with some white frost. Capt. Clarke with 5 men [6] set out to go to the ocean, and myself with 11 more to bring in the meat, which the two men left by Captain Lewis, were taking care of. We went up the small river [7] in our canoes about two miles, then up a branch [8] of it on the west side two miles, then by land about two miles more, where we found the men and the meat, of which we all carried two large loads to our canoes, and proceeded down to camp. In the evening it began to rain again. The country towards the south is mountainous at some distance off; and there is some snow on the mountains. Near our camp, the country is closely timbered with spruce-pine, the soil rich, but not deep; and there are numerous springs of running water.


Sunday Decemr 8th    We had a hard white frost & cold, & windy morning.    Our officers sent off 12 of our party [9] early, in order to bring the Meat which was left by the 6 Men to camp.    They embark'd in two Canoes for that purpose.    One of our Canoes was carried off by the tide, during last night.    Captain Clark & another party of our Men [10] went across by land to the Ocean, in order to blaze a road, & to look out a convenient place for to make Salt.    Towards evening the party that went with the Canoes returned with them, loaded with Elk & deer meat.    The latter part of the day was cold & cloudy, & in the Evening we had a little Rain & high Wind from the North East—

1. Including Drouillard and Shannon; see below, December 9, 1805. (back)
2. Probably present Skipanon River or one of its tributaries, in Clatsop County, Oregon. (back)
3. In Clatsop County, not far from the coast and north of present Seaside. Not marked on Atlas map 84. See Clark's entries for his other trip through this region on January 6, 1806. (back)
4. Clark started to write a new entry with the word "Decem" but left the remaining one-quarter of the page blank and started the next entry at the top of a new page. (back)
5. Including Drouillard and Shannon, according to Clark's entry of December 9. (back)
6. Including Drouillard and Shannon, according to Clark's entry of December 9. (back)
7. Presumably Lewis and Clark River. (back)
9. Gass says he was in charge. (back)
10. Including Drouillard and Shannon, according to Clark's entry of December 9. (back)