May 1, 1806
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May 1, 1806


We collected our horses tolerably early this morning took and set out a little after 7 A. M.    we pursued the indian road which led us up the creek about nine miles, here the Chopunnish man wo was in front with me informed that an old unbeaten tract which he pointed out to the left was our nearest rout.    〈I〉 we halted the party and directed them to unload and let their horses graize untill our guide came up who was at some distance behind. I wished to obtain good information of this newly recommended tract before I could consent to leave the present road which seemed to lead us in the proper direction was level and furnished with wood and water.    when the guide arrived he seemed much displeased with the other, he assured us that the rout up the creek was the nearest, and much the best, that if we took the other we would be obliged to remain here untill tomorrow morning, and then travel a whole day before we could reach water, and that there was no wood; the other agreed that this was the case.    we therefore did not hesitate to pursue the rout recommended by the guide. [1]    the creek, it's bottom lands, and the appearance of the plains were much as those of esterday only with this difference that the latter were not so sandy.    we had sent out four hunters this morning two on foot and 2 on horseback they joined us while we halted here. Drewyer had killed a beaver.    at 1 P. M. we resumed our march, leaving the Chopunnish man and his family; he had determined to remain at that place untill the next morning and then pursue the rout he had recommended to us.    he requested a small quantity of powder and lead which we gave him.    we traveled 17 miles this evening, making a total of 26 Ms. and encamped. [2]    the first 3 miles of our afternoons march was through a similar country with that of the forenoon; the creek bottoms then became higher and widened to the extent of from 2 to 3 Ms.    the hills on the N. side were low but those on the opposite side retained their hight.    we saw a number of deer of which Labuish killed one.    the timber on the creek becomes more abundant and it's extensive bottoms affords a pleasent looking country.    the guide informs us that we shall now find a plenty of wood water and game quite to the Kooskooske. we saw a great number of the Curloss, some Crains, ducks, prarie larks [3] and several speceis of sparrows common to the praries. I see very little difference between the apparent face of the country here and that of the plains of the Missouri only that these are not enlivened by the vast herds of buffaloe Elk &c which ornament the other.    the courses and distances of this day are N. 45 E. 9 M. and N. 75 E. 17 M. along the Northern side of this creek to our encampment.    some time after we had encamped three young men arrived from the Wallahwollah village bringing with them a steel trap belonging to one of our party which had been neglegently left behind; this is an act of integrity rarely witnessed among indians.    during our stay with them they several times found the knives of the men which had been carelessly lossed by them and returned them. I think we can justly affirm to the honor of these people that they are the most hospitable, honest, and sincere people that we have met with in our voyage.—


This morning we collected our horses and made an early Start, haveing preveously Sent a hed 4 hunters with derections to proceed up the Creek and kill every Species of game which they might meet with.    the Small portion of rain which fell last night Caused the road to be much furmer and better than yesterday.    the morning Cloudy and Cool.    we proceeded up the Creek on the N. E. Side through a Countrey of less sand and Some rich bottoms on the Creek which is partially Supplyed with Small Cotton trees, willow, red willow, choke Cherry, white thorn, birch, elder, [4] [blank] rose & honey suckle. Great portion of these bottoms has been latterly burnt which has entirely distroyed the timbered growth. at the distance of nine miles we over took our hunters, they had killed one bever only    at this place the road forked, one leaveing the Creek and the Corse of it is nearly North.    the Chopunnish who had accompanied us with his family informed us that this was our best way.    that it was a long distance without water.    and advised us to Camp on the Creek at this place and in the morning to Set out early. This information perplexed us a little, in as much as the idea of going a days march without water thro an open sandy plain and on a Course 50° our [out?] of our derection.    we deturmined to unlode and wate for our Guide, or the Chopunnish man who had accompanied us from the long Narrows, who was in the rear with Drewyer our interpreter.    on his arrival we enquired of him which was the best and most direct roade for us to take.    he informed us that the road pointed out by his cumerade was through a open hilly and Sandy Countrey to the river Lewis's River, and was a long ways around, and that we Could not git to any water to day.    the other roade up the creek was a more derect Course, plenty of water wood and only one hill in the whole distance and the road which he had always recommended to us. Some words took place between those two men    the latter appeared in great pation Mounted his horse and Set out up the Creek. we Sent a man after him and brought him back informed him that we believed what he Said and Should imedeately after dinner proceed on the road up the Creek with him.    we gave the former man Some powder and ball which had been promised him, and after an early dinner Set out up the Creek with our guide leaveing the Chopunnish man and his family encamped at the forks of the road where they intended to Stay untill the morning and proceed on the rout he had recommended to us. we traviled 17 miles this evening makeing a total of 26 mls. and encamped.    the first 3 miles of our afternoons march was through a Simaler Country of that of the fore noon; the Creek bottoms then became higher and wider; to the extent of from 2 to 3 miles.    we Saw Several Deer of which Labiech killed one.    the timber on the Creek became more abundant and less burnt, and its extensive bottoms afford a pleasent looking Country.    we Saw a Great number of Curloos, Some Crains, Ducks, prarie cocks, and Several Species of Sparrows common to the praries. I See Very little difference between the apparant face of the Country here and that of the plains of the Missouri.    only that those are not enlivened by the vast herds of Buffalow, Elk &c. which animated those of the Missouri. The Courses & distances of this day are N. 45° E. 9 mls. & N. 75° E. 17 Miles allong the North Side of this Creek to our encampment. Sometime after we had encamped three young men arrived from the Wallah wallah Village bringing with them a Steel trap belonging to one of our party which had been negligently left behind; this is an act of integrity rearly witnessed among Indians.    dureing our Stay with them they Several times found the knives of the men which had been Carefully lossed by them and returned them. I think we can justly affirm to the honor of those people that they are the most hospitable, honist and Sencere people that we have met with on our Voyage.—


Thursday 1st day of May 1806.    four hunters Set out eairly to go on a hunting.    we Set out as usal & proceeded on up this river over high plains and river bottom which is partly covred with cotton & other timber.    the beaver are pleanty.    one of the hunters [5] killd. one.    no other game to be Seen    about noon we halted to dine. Several of the Savages who accompy. us leave us here and take a cross road to the Columbia river.    we proceed. on up the branch [6] over Smooth handsom plains and bottoms. Saw a timbred country a long distance to the S. E. & Mount of Snow. Saw Several deer run out of the groves of timber along the branch.    about Sunset one of the hunters [7] killed a deer. So we Camped [8] by the branch having made 26 miles this day    Soon after we Camped two young men of the wal-awal tribe came up to our Camp & brought us our Steel trap which was forgot at their village.    this is an Instance which we had not any right to expect from Savages.    we gave them one a knife the other a Sun glass, &.C. and a little vension    the wal-a-wal tribe of Flat heads have proved themselves the honnestest Savages we have met with for they had great chance to Steel had they been disposed, but instead of that they helped us as much as lay in their power and believe that we will return and trade with them, as we have told them    they disired us to bring them guns and ammunition, copper kittles.    knives beeds Scarlet buttens, and allmost any kind of marchandize as other Savages, &C.—


Thursday 1st May, 1806.    Some rain fell during the night, and the morning continues cloudy. We set out early and travelled up the branch, which is a fine stream about twenty yards wide, with some cottonwood, birch and willows on its banks. One of four hunters, who went forward very early this morning, returned at noon with a beaver he had killed; other game is scarce. We then halted to dine, where the road forks, one going up the branch an east course, and the other north towards the large river. [9] Here our Indians differed in opinion with respect to the best road to be taken. The man with the family and gang of horses said he would go across to the Great river to-morrow; but we followed the opinion of the young man our guide, and proceeded on up the creek. We travelled about twenty-five miles, and encamped without any of the natives, except our guide, who generally keeps with the hunters, one of whom [10] killed a deer this evening. The higher we go up the creek the cotton-wood [11] is more large and plenty; and the plains beautiful.

1. The route goes up Touchet River, in Walla Walla County, Washington; this portion of it does not appear on any Atlas maps. (back)
2. Apparently in the vicinity of Waitsburg, in eastern Walla Walla County. (back)
3. Clark calls it a prairie cock in his entry. Lewis's bird could be either the western meadowlark or the horned lark (see weather remarks for April 15, 1806), while Clark's is perhaps the sage grouse, Centrocercus urophasianus [AOU, 309]. Most likely it is the same bird in both entries and one of these three. Holmgren, 29, 31. (back)
4. Blue elderberry, Sambucus cerulea Raf. Hitchcock et al., 4:462. (back)
5. Drouillard, reports Lewis. (back)
7. Labiche, says Lewis. (back)
8. In the vicinity of Waitsburg, Walla Walla County. (back)
9. The branch is Touchet River; the large river is the Snake. (back)
10. Labiche, according to the captains. (back)
11. Black cottonwood. (back)