To This Stream They Gave The Name Of Lepage For Bastien Lepage,
One Of The Voyageurs Accompanying The Party.
The watercourse, however,
is now known as John Day's River.
John Day was a mighty hunter and
backwoodsman from Kentucky who went across the continent, six years later,
with a party bound for Astoria, on the Columbia. From the rapids below
the John Day River the Lewis and Clark party caught their first sight
of Mount Hood, a famous peak of the Cascade range of mountains, looming up
in the southwest, eleven thousand two hundred and twenty-five feet high.
Next day they passed the mouth of another river entering the Columbia from
the south and called by the Indians the Towahnahiooks, but known to modern
geography as the Des Chutes, one of the largest southern tributaries of
the Columbia. Five miles below the mouth of this stream the party camped.
Near them was a party of Indians engaged in drying and packing salmon.
Their method of doing this is thus described: -
"The manner of doing this is by first opening the fish and exposing
it to the sun on scaffolds. When it is sufficiently dried it
is pounded between two stones till it is pulverized, and is then
placed in a basket about two feet long and one in diameter,
neatly made of grass and rushes, and lined with the skin of a salmon
stretched and dried for the purpose. Here the fish are pressed
down as hard as possible, and the top is covered with fish-skins,
which are secured by cords through the holes of the basket.
These baskets are then placed in some dry situation,
the corded part upward, seven being usually placed as close
as they can be put together, and five on the top of these.
The whole is then wrapped up in mats, and made fast by cords,
over which mats are again thrown.
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