Lewis and Clark
Journal Summary 17: Dates May 31, 1806 - June 22, 1806
is a summary of the journal entries made by Lewis and Clark.
Dates: May 31, 1806 - June 22, 1806
Attempt to Cross the Bitterroot Mountains
May 31, 1806
Lewis and Clark sent men to trade for food in order to prepare
for their journey across the Bitterroots. Although some
of their hunters had returned with salmon, they had been
purchased some 70 miles away and weren’t all fit to be eaten
by the time they’d got back. The salmon hadn’t traveled
far enough up the rivers for them to be caught any nearer.
They decided they would move to the Quamash Flats where
the hunting for meat should be better. On 3rd June some
Indians told them that the mountains should be passable
in a further 12 to 14 days.
It was noted that the Corps of Discovery had gained enough
bread and roots to see them over the Bitterroots.
June 8, 1806
The expedition had running races with the Indians. They
also played ‘Prison Base’, a game where each side tries
to make prisoners of the members of the opposing side who
run out of their base area. Lewis noted that the river levels
had dropped by around 6 feet which implied that the melting
snow had almost cleared from the mountains.
June 10, 1806
The expedition set off
for the Quamash Flats.
Having gathered a supply of meat, the expedition left the
Quamash Flats and set off into the mountains. Progress was
hampered by slippery conditions and fallen timber. As the
expedition progressed they encountered snow. The snow, which
was 8 to 10 feet deep in places, was sufficiently firm that
the horses were able to walk on it.
June 17, 1806
It had become clear that
they were not going to manage the journey without a guide
so they stored some food and equipment and retreated back
down the mountain to await the arrival of some Nez Perce
Indians who were due to catch up with them and act as guides.
June 21, 1806
They arrived back at
their old camp on the Quamash Flats.