The Explorers Traded
Horses With Their Visitors, And, With What They Already Had,
They Now Found Their Band To Number
Sixty-five, all told.
Having finished their trading, they invited the Indians
to take part in the games of prisoners'
Base and foot-racing;
in the latter game the Indians were very expert, being able
to distance the fleetest runner of the white men's party.
At night, the games were concluded by a dance. The account
of the expedition says that the captains were desirous of
encouraging these exercises before they should begin the passage
over the mountains, "as several of the men are becoming
lazy from inaction."
On the tenth of June the party set out for Quamash flats, each man
well mounted and leading a spare horse which carried a small load.
To their dismay, they found that their good friends, the Chopunnish,
unwilling to part with them, were bound to accompany them
to the hunting-grounds. The Indians would naturally expect
to share in the hunt and to be provided for by the white men.
The party halted there only until the sixth of June, and then,
collecting their horses, set out through what proved to be
a very difficult trail up the creek on which they were camped,
in a northeasterly direction. There was still a quantity of snow
on the ground, although this was in shady places and hollows.
Vegetation was rank, and the dogtooth violet, honeysuckle,
blue-bell, and columbine were in blossom. The pale blue flowers of
the quamash gave to the level country the appearance of a blue lake.
Striking Hungry Creek, which Captain Clark had very appropriately
named when he passed that way, the previous September,
they followed it up to a mountain for about three miles,
when they found themselves enveloped in snow; their limbs
were benumbed, and the snow, from twelve to fifteen feet deep,
so paralyzed their feet that further progress was impossible.
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