The Columbia, which in the portion above the falls (not taking into consideration some local sinuosities) comes from the N.N.E., takes a bend here so that the stream appears to flow from the S.E.[AE] Some boatmen, and particularly Mr. Regis Bruguier, who had ascended that river to its source, informed me that it came out of two small lakes, not far from the chain of the Rocky Mountains, which, at that place, diverges considerably to the east. According to Arrowsmith’s map, the course of the Tacoutche Tesse, from its mouth in the Pacific Ocean, to its source in the Rocky mountains, is about twelve hundred English miles, or four hundred French leagues of twenty-five to a degree; that is to say, from two hundred and forty to two hundred and eighty miles from west to east, from its mouth to the first falls: seven hundred and fifty miles nearly from S.S.W. to N.N.E., from the first rapids to the bend at the confluence of Canoe river; and one hundred and fifty or one hundred and eighty miles from that confluence to its source. We were not provided with the necessary instruments to determine the latitude, and still less the longitude, of our different stations; but it took us four or five days to go up from the factory at Astoria to the falls, and we could not have made less than sixty miles a day: and, as I have just remarked, we occupied an entire month in getting from the falls to Canoe river: deducting four or five days, on which we did not travel, there remain twenty-five days march; and it is not possible that we made less than thirty miles a day, one day with another.
[Footnote AE: Mr. Franchere uniformly mentions the direction from which a stream appears to flow, not that toward which it runs; a natural method on the part of one who was ascending the current.]
We ascended Canoe river to the point where it ceases to be navigable, and encamped in the same place where Mr. Thompson wintered in 1810-’11. We proceeded immediately to secure our canoes, and to divide the baggage among the men, giving each fifty pounds to carry, including his provisions. A sack of pemican, or pounded meat, which we found in a cache, where it had been left for us, was a great acquisition, as our supplies were nearly exhausted.
On the 12th we began our foot march to the mountains, being twenty-four in number, rank and file. Mr. A. Stuart remained at the portage to bestow in a place of safety the effects which we could not carry, such as boxes, kegs, camp-kettles, &c. We traversed first some swamps, next a dense bit of forest, and then we found ourselves marching up the gravelly banks of the little Canoe river. Fatigue obliged us to camp early.