Ecola~ A Whale of a Story Continued ...
The men had been living on the taste of dog
for some time and were ready to try the
The Clatsops said they
obtained the whale from their neighbors, the
Killamucks, who live to the south on the
seacoast. The Indians said the whale had
been thrown from the sea and had floundered
on the beach.
On January 5th, Willard and Wiser, two of
the men that had been sent out to make salt,
came back to camp with a gallon of pure
white salt and more of the whale blubber.
The journals said the fat was like pork, but
coarser and spongier. When it was cooked, it
was found to be tender and palatable. So
good in fact that the Corps wanted to get
some more of it, either by taking it from
the whale or by buying it from the
Killamucks. A group of men and some trading
merchandise were put together, and were
ready to set out in the morning.
That evening Toussaint Charbonneau and his
came to the Captains and asked to be part of
the party that was going out to see the
whale. Sacagawea said that she had traveled
a long way to see the ocean and had not been
able to visit the coast, and now with this
big fish on the beach she should be
permitted to see both. The Captains agreed,
and on the morning of January 6th twelve men
headed by Captain Clark set out for the salt
works on the Oregon Coast. The weather was
clear and beautiful for the first time in
well over a month.
It took a full day of travel to reach the
and another to
reach the whale, and by the time the
Corps found the whale there was nothing left
but the skeleton (the whale?s skeleton was
measured to be 105 feet in length). The
Corps bartered with the Killamucks and
purchased at a very high price about 300
pounds of blubber and a few gallons of oil.
With booty in hand the Corps traveled the
difficult path back to Fort Clatsop and
added a whale story to their adventures.
From the Journals of Lewis and Clark
January 7, 1806: "after about 2 hours
labour and fatigue we reached the top of
this high mountain...
proceeded on to the whale which was nothing
more than the Sceleton, of 105 feet long...
I purchased some oile and about 120 w of
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