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On this day in Lewis & Clark history...

Clark begins his trip down the Salmon River to see if it can be floated in canoes. He finds it full of rocks and rapids and has few trees suitable for making canoes. Near Camp Fortunate, a young Shoshone tries to steal Drouillard's rifle.

proceeded down the river; but with a great deal of difficulty: the mountains being so close, steep and rocky. The river here is about 80 yards wide, and a continual rapid, but not deep. We went about 15 miles to day, and encamped on a small island, as there was no other level place near.

Patrick Gass

Salmon River

Salmon River running against rocks and cliffs

I Saw to day Bird of the wood pecker kind which fed on Pine burs its Bill and tale white the wings black every other part of a light brown, and about the Size of a robin.

William Clark

Clark's nutcracker, Nucifraga columbiana

White bird with black wings, tail, and beak

Photo by the U.S. Forest Service.

the body or consistence of the root was white mealy and easily reduced by pounding to a substance resembleing flour which thickens with boiling water something like flour and is agreeably flavored. this rout is frequently eaten by the Indians either green or in it's dryed state without the preparation of boiling.

Meriwether Lewis

Edible valeriana, Valeriana edulis

Small plant with large cream umbels

Photo by the U.S. National Park Service.

this the Indians with me informed were always boiled for use. I made the exprement, found that they became perfectly soft by boiling, but had a very bitter taste, which was naucious to my pallate, and I transfered them to the Indians who had eat them heartily.

Meriwether Lewis

Bitterroot, Lewisia rediviva

Fresh-picked root

these I also boiled agreeably to the instruction of the Indians and found them very agreeable. they resemble the Jerusalem Artichoke very much in their flavor and I thought them preferable, however there is some allowance to be made for the length of time I have now been without vegitable food to which I was always much attatched. these are certainly the best root I have yet seen in uce among the Indians.

Meriwether Lewis

Western springbeauty, Claytonia lanceolata

white petals with pink streaks

Photo ©2011 BlueCanoe. Permission via the Creative Commons 3.0 License.

late in the evening I made the men form a bush drag, and with it in about 2 hours they caught 528 very good fish, most of them large trout. among them I now for the first time saw ten or a douzen of a whte speceis of trout.

Meriwether Lewis

Steelhead trout, Salmo gairdneri

Large fish with silver scales

Photo ©2006 Cacophony. Permission via the GNU Free Documentation License.