NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
24 Jul 2001
- Coniferous Forest
Stereo=1; Spaced Omnis; DPA 4060 Mics
Show: Lolo Trail
Log of DAT #1
Engineer: Bill McQuay
Date: July 24, 2001
01:15 McQ -Lolo one, using spaced omnis, dpa's and the zepplin.
1:30 - off-mic chatting
6:25 Jeff: How many people were in the party, how many women & children? ..
6:30 Dennis: Oh, they think it was 40 -50 people in the party, and there were at least 8 or 10 women...mostly wives ofthe French people ...yes, Meti or some Nez Perce women probably..
6:55 Jeff: About the same size party as L&C, traveling through the country and women and children, and bad weather. (Dennis: Yeah, they had a lot oftrouble) And snow? (Dennis: Some snow) And ifyou can imagine that in this high country -and that's the way people traveled, and they didn't even think anything of it.
7:15 Norm: Was it in October, Dennis, that they left Dennis: No, earlier in the July ...
Jeff: Yeah, it was in October that they got to Packer Meadow
Dennis: Yeah, you're right. .. mid-September they left Fort Nez Perces
Norm: And they spent some time at Howard Camp and they stripped some trees to feed their horses, but I'm not sure what kind oftrees they were ...a lodge pole ...dated back to 1831 that had been stripped
7:45 Dennis: That would be the right year. They left Fort Nez Perces wi malaria, too. Jeff: I wonder ifthat's how that child died.
Dennis: Could be -a lot of fever. They left a lot ofpeople behind at Nez Perces. Diane: Was it Malaria or smallpox?
Dennis: Malaria ...A1most certainly malaria -perhaps Dengue Fever but almost certainly malaria .. .
8:30 Jeff: Why don't you explain what you do at the University ofIdaho and some ofthe things you've been involved in.
8:45 Dennis: ...The University decided, the library which is where I work -I'm a historian, too -that one thing we might do for the bicentennial is work with the Nez Perce people...and other historians to find first-hand accounts that had never been published. I would have thought it had all been published ...but turns out there were tons ofthings in the National Archives and the Hudson's Bay Company in Winnipeg .. .It turns out that more stuff is unpublished that has been published. As a librarian and a historian it seemed like a nice thing to do to find those -it's what I'm good at. We've been publishing them ...I'm working with Diane now on a three-volume hard cover
set. .. that'll document most of the written accounts of the Nez Perce people after L&C up until the 1877 war ... So it's kind of leaving a little legacy of the bicent from the written historical records that would otherwise not have turned up (10:03) ... We're working with a lot of the Nez Perce elders now to try and identify some of the names that appear in these books -there's peoples' names and place names ...
10:21 Dennis: We've found stuff in the Nat'l Archives -all the Indian agents' records were there ... And there's a lot of military records -the Army was pretty active in this country. Those are tougher to work with because they're more scattered but a lot of early military accounts of the Clearwater region ...Recently we learned of this huge collection in the Huntington Library in California of the Fort Dowell records are there. That was the early military post on the Columbia River. .. (11 :08) Almost every day we find something new. Lately we've been wi Gene. Eastman on some really interesting early historical accounts of the Lolo trail and early maps ...The whole idea is that it was a cheap way to leave some legacy from the bicent. .. (11:37)
11:57 Diane: The thing that I appreciated about the University publishing that memorial of the Nez Perce Indians .. It was a Congressional record that was compiled in 1911 and WSU had a copy but they wouldn't let you copy it anymore ... It was the whole corruption of the allotment and the injustices ... The man who compiled all of those was a notary public. He was half Nez Perce and half white but he said at the beginning, I can produce hundreds more of these letters if you'd like. So you think about -we're just seeing a little sample of what people were going through (12:54) -all the banks that were mysteriously getting robbed ...
13:02 Dennis: His name was Star Maxwell-he was an incredible figure. Somebody should write a book about Star MaxwelL ... Star Maxwell also started the legal case dealing with tribal hunting rights and whether Nez Perce tribal members needed license to hunt and fish...and that was in 1905 ... Star Maxwell was the legal advisor ... The Nez Perce won at the end -no one gave them the right to hunt and fish here. They always had it and they managed to keep it. ..
14:02 Jeff: Did he have anything to do with the voting, and what year was ...
14:06 Diane: Actually, he helped start the whole legal system that we now have ... He actually got the ball rolling on the whole jurisdiction things. He lived until 1940 -things had changed a lot from the early part of the century (14:37)
14:37 Jeff: What year was it that the Nez Perces were finally allowed to vote.
14:45 Diane: Nineteen twenty---Citizenship was gained in 1924, so that would have been the year. .. It was there but it wasn't practiced until much later. But what people don't understand is a lot of the real traditional people don't believe in voting ...Today they can't believe that you'd even want to participate in such a corrupt system [everybody laughs].
20:30 Bud: This is the area here that I grew from ever before teenage times to middle-age ...
21:03 The country then -there weren't any roads, just pack trails. Of course, it was always like that way back in times with the Indian trails. They crossed that country a lot going to the buffalo or the Salish coming over to the salmon .. .long before even the oral histories of the first Americans there -they only reach back so far ...I came over here from the Bitterroot. At that time the Forest Svc. management of this upper end was pretty much done from the Bitterroot side. The original rangers came up from the Idaho side, but when they got here they found it was so much more accessible to just to go over the pass and down to the Bitterroot. And so that's why, until the highway comes through .. .it was pretty well accessed from the outside. And we'd just kind of meet each other. .. we'd bump into each other. .. When the highway was hooked through ... I wasn't a ranger anymore ... [Another voice says highway was officially opened in 1962]
23:00 Bud: When I first worked here, signs all around in here said Lolo East Selway. They changed that in 1934 ...But then pretty soon it all went to the -blc the Selway is gone¬ they consolidated that forest in 1935 ... Selway fires there were the last big fires that occurred in Region one ... 24:00
24:13 -27:36 AC explains what NPR is doing. Known Jeff for years and been coming for a number of years ... See the spring, do a little story about the trail, talk to the Nez Perce .. Talk about the history of the area.
28:07 Norm: I came to the Weipe country in 1952 and I've lived there ever since. I've worked for the Forest svc. for the last 40 years and still working for the Forest Svc ... I became quite interested in L&C ... about 15 years ago and have most all of the good books ...Jeff asked me up here to help with this. I think there are three things I'd like to try to clear up, and I'm not having much luck with authors and editors ...
28:52 Norm: On September 15 when L&C left the Gleig (?) Creek [pronounced crik] Camp. they came down and took the trail that the Salish followed. Well, every author wants to blame old Tobey, the Indian guide, for taking that wrong trail, and I do not believe that for a minute. I think L&C took the trail that was the most prominent road of the day that the Salish had been coming down to get salmon. Had old Tobey taken it, I don't think they realized they took the wrong trail until the following year when they went back. I think they didn't know of another trail so how could they blame old Tobey for taking the wrong trail? (29:26) And when they did go back. .. Lewis notes they came into the road which was a very prominent road, the one they'd taken the year before that the Salish used -even at that point he did not blame Old Tobey ... But on the 13th...when they went by the Lolo Hot Springs, Old Tobey took the wrong trail and every one of the journals jumped on him ... (30:00)
30:04 Norm: Another little thing that I would like to clear up is the White House pond down here ... Ralph Space named it ...After Private White House ... But I don't think Ralph Space was privvy to Ordway's journals blc they was lost.. .until 1913. And those two boys were copying .. .It just as well have been called the Ordway pond ...(30:40)
31: 15 Norm: Of course, right here at Powell was the first day they tried this infamous ...soup and didn't like it.
31 :48 Diane: Calves feet. .. mutton ... rum ... [reads recipe] (32:59)
33:00 Norm: Essentially what it was was a bullion ... 33:35 They paid ...289.50 for 193 pounds, so it was a fairly expensive item back in those days ...
Jeff questions Norm as to who came through during the expedition
35:06 There was 35 counting the infant baby when they came through here ... Old Tobey and his son... It was quite a crew ...
35:53 Norm: Patrick Guess ...made a transcontinental railroad trip across the U.S ...
36:06 AC: ...Patrick Guess, who was on the expedition, actually made a transcontinental trip by rail? .. Norm: Yes, yes he did AC: That's unbelievable. Norm: Passed away the next year. Or the same year. That's quite amazing that he seen that ...(36:22)
36:43 Norm: George Drulliard was quite a guy ...Probab1y saved the expedition many many
hungry nights ...He was half Shawnee, half French -his dad was a French
Canadian...37:28 He spoke English, French and Spanish and several different Indian
languages. But he never encountered an Indian tribe ...that he couldn't speak with with
the signs (37:46) ...He was probably as good ofinterpreter. .. as it was going through Sacagewa...(38:00)
Norm & Diane discuss the extensive use of sign language among Indian tribes for communication until 40:00
41:05 Norm: One other thing that sort of amazed me was when they were going up over Wendover Ridge, they was short of food and they had three colts for food ...They injured those two horses and left them behind .. .I wonder why they didn't butcher those horses...(41 :41)
41:47 Bud: Pretty good chance ...going up that ridge there ...they hurt themse1ves ...quite a bit. (42:00)
42:30 Bud: One of the most amazing things about the expedition is how they took all that stuff, even a desk! And packed it through these mountains ...Their gunpowder ...Iron frame boat ...(42:52)
42:57 Norm: The desk, to put things in perspective, was about the size of one of our briefcases...(43:30)
43:31 Bud: One of the things about the journals when I first started to read them, I saidjeez, these guys are awfu11etters .. .I've learned since that they didn't have the spelling codes in those days ...(44:10)
44:20 Jeff: Back on Wendover Ridge, they lost the desk. .. There was a fire mosaic ... A fire had gone through there clear back in the 1780s ...so they're going around a lot of logs...And it's just raining like crazy that day ...A lot ofpeople are hoping that they can find the exact spot that the horse went down with that desk, with the idea that there are maybe remains of that desk ...(45:20)... [L&C] would have salvaged every part of that desk...Un1ike1y that any piece of that desk was ever left behind (45:54)
46: Jeff: Why they didn't butcher the horses ...You're tired, strung out. .. You're alone with the horse, he gives out. .. You tum the horse 100se ...All they can think of is getting to a place that's flat for the night for rest ...(47:04)
47:38 AC: When I first read the journals, I was amazed by the one word...road... They're not even calling it a trail...
48:00 Jeff: There wasn't many road back east in 18-5 , so that was a road to them.
48:12 Bud:...That was the language ofthe time. Later on after we got motor roads...we didn't dignify them by calling them roads, they were truck trails...We kinda went all around on that...(48:46)
49:00 Jeff asks Diane to talk about the Iskit road
49:14 Diane: People today just say Kusanu Iskit (sp?) -the route to the buffalo hunting place. So it's not necessarily a road ...I was just going to insert that all across the U.S. the major highways today are sitting on top of Indian trails. They didn't carve out brand new spots. You always picture people getting the axes out and carving this whole new way. They used what was already there. (50:00)
50:10 Diane: Billy Williams's stories that Alice Fletcher collected ...Nez Perce ...He talked about which bands would do what. When the expeditions came through, you a always hear, should we kill them or not. .. And yet you know the men were gone ...How does that make sense? (50:54) From Williams's work, you know it was only the southern bands that wanted to come up and kill the expedition ...The interesting thing that I find in that is how quick communication was. (51:20) ...
51:53 Diane: Billy Williams also talks about that it was the bands in the?? area and up the middle fork that regulated this trail ...They would be the ones to say, hey, there's too much snow there ...It was like when people from other areas ...would be coming over. .. on this route ...Those people would say, no, don't do it. .. (52:50) ...Likewise, going through the Columbia River ...would regulate the fishing on the Columbia River. .. (53: 11) ...In a few sentences, Billy Williams tells Alice Fletcher this stuff in the 1890s...
53:30 Diane: Alice Fletcher was an anthropologist who helped pass in Congress the Dawes Act... She was also the one who went to both the Omaha and the Nez Perce ...It's been said that she felt pretty much like a failure -she knew she was wrong ...Very unusual in the 1890s for a woman to be an anthropologist. .. Also known ... for wonderful songs and stories that had not been collected ...Ghost Dance songs ...54:42 -Billy Williams was a Nez Perce elder that she called him an informant. .. He was reflecting back about 100 years prior to himself so we are looking at the late 1700s. (55:00)
57:50 Diane: Grandpa was a tracker. .. A lot of families still hunt up here but I'd like to go back to Billy Williams's work again ...57:46...He talked about the villages that were up in this area ...He said in that time that a lot of the villages had been abandoned ...either blc of smallpox...or ...by the Shoshone. But up in here he said he wasn't sure why they'd been abandoned ...58:40 -I think a lot ifhas to do with there aren't any big...areas where you can ...
59:00 Diane: My great grandmother was a woman that Alice Fletcher also interviewed...She had a beliefthat our people were the first ones to go over to hunt buffalo...I know it went back way before then but she was talking about a story...She ended up getting this Black Foot war weapon (59:40) -They used to come over to Kuski and give gifts to her parents and they said, how come you come over, and that man, the man you took the weapon from ...he will be in shame until you release that thing back to them (1:00:09)
1:00:16 Diane: She also had another story about when they were left in the village one time alone and the Snake Indians or Shoshone and they saw them peeking through...and they pretended like they didn't see them ...The women act like they got in this big fight -they had this big pot wI boiling water in the center ...and...this woman ..act like she was chasing the other woman, and she got the guy...and killed him! ...Tough women, powerful women ...(1:01:15)
1:02:32 Gene: ...Didn't realize trails were created by Spanish Mustangs ...They weren't riding ranch horses -they were riding deer and elk. Ifyou can picture that, it's like they're riding an all-wheel drive all-terrain vehicle, not a family sedan. Ifyou know the characteristics of the trail, which is straight, how they cross water and then they'll go up to good ground and then tum...They didn't use tools to cut out the trails, they used natural landscapes ...One place ...the trail..remember the sin wave .. .is a gentle back and forth like this across the ridges. Its' amazing how the ridges are tied in ...Sometimes they leave the tops of the ridges to save a mile ...What I'm finding looking at Clark's maps is that there's a lot of misconceptions of where the trail is. Ifyou don't understand the horse, you don't understand the Nez Perce Indian trail characteristics, you can not locate L&C's campsites. And I believe that almost half the campsites are located in the wrong place blc past researchers did not have Clark's elk skin maps ...Many of the old 1930 aerial photos ...were in warehouses ...just came to light recently (1 :05 :00) ...
1:05:25 1:05:25 Gene: The other point that many people don't understand is how they logged their daily mileage. Their average cross the Bitterroot miles is 1 Yz miles for every linear map miles... 10 miles, that's a 15 mile ride. Time plus effort equals mileage (1 :05:52)...
1:07:33 Jeff: Gene, what was the gates like? What were the horse gaits like compared to the settlers' horses or the soldiers' horses of the 1800s?
1:07:45 Gene: Captain Bonneville describes a race with the Cayuse Indians ...And he had a ranch horse and a Cayuse pony which is 14 Yz hands high and another horse ...wasn't a Cayuse horse ...Two mile race. The American ranch horse was in the lead for the first mile and then the Indian Cayuse horse passed him, he won the race ...Cap't Bonneville's horse is panting ... the...Cayuse horse isn't even breathing hard. My wife and I own two Spanish mustangs ... l:09:00
1:09:10 Gene: They set up farter on their feet than an American horse ...One writer was telling about a roundup of Mustangs...They were chasing one, it jumped offa 30-ft cliff, landed in the rocks, and kept on going ...That's the kind of horses the Nez Perce Indians had.
1:09:54 Gene: However in 1877 war, lout of 5 horses was real poor. But I suspect by that time they had picked up a lot ofranch horses. And this is from a trapper in Yellowstone Park. .. Observed them coming into camp ...Said they came in single-file, and it took them three hours to come in ...Howard talks about them coming across the Lolo ...you don't step one foot off the trail. .. Ran a lot of sheep...Created a lot oftrails ...Generally, just a single path ...And that's all I've been finding ...1:11:32 -In the high country, the trail stays on the ground for hundreds of years. 11:36... Straight as an arrow. Some of these trails are 3 ft deep and 5 feet wide ...(1:11:51)
1:11:55 Jeff: ...About the feed -ifthere was no grass, then what would they feed them?
1:12:03 Gene: Some people thought that in the 1877 war that they had to go to meadows. Our horses eat, they love huckleberry brush. The Spanish Mustangs ate everything ...On the Missouri River, L&C tried to feed this horse com and he wouldn't eat it...Was used to cottonwood branches!. .. (1:12:30) Jeff: ...they feed like elk and deer ...can digest everything 1:12:50.
AC: Who kept the Spanish Mustangs in the purebred form?
1:13:08 Gene: There was a roundup in Nevada and they found 28 or 38 ...And they selected those out and blood-typed them and turned them loose in the Steeds Mountains ... formed the ...herd...They're real rough terrain ...Use helicopters to move them ...They're tough! (1:13:56)
1:14:13 Gene: ...We have a mare ...no tail. If you look at the old Spanish accounts, they had some horses they brought over, the conquistadors, talk about these horses with no tails... 1:14:27
1:15:06 Norm: They were really accurate with their compass bearings (1:15:15) ... Discussion of distance measuring -1 liz miles to lover both water and land.
1:17:27 Jeff: There's been an awful lot written about L&C, clear back from the time the expedition made its trip ...And then just recently there have been a number of authors that have actually traveled the trail. .. And they've written about it. And each individual comes about it in a bit of a different way. One individual used a GPS and followed modem maps. Gene uses what he views as the way the horse travels ...He's using a lot of the compass and variance and a lot of the original maps ....What's nice about it is that to the reader you can read all of these various articles an these various publications and kind of come up with your own idea of what you thought ... 1:19:30
1:19:36 Bud: Jeff, what do you find. Are you finding artifacts that are pretty revealing -camp sites and things like that, or were they going so light going through that there wasn't much there? (1 :20:00)
1:20:04 Jeff: I guess it's all relative. There are things up there that are things that we really need to protect. .. tribal values are one of the top list. The trail was very very sacred to various tribes and especially to the Nez Perces. So when we're looking at cultural and heritage values, those are in the back of our mind .. .It's very important to them to ...preserve the present as well 1:21:21
AC: Bud, when you started out here in the 1930s were you aware of the trail being through there and looking for it?
1:21:40 Bud: I grew up primarily on the Lolo Creek ...We called it the high-water trail. .. 22:24 -We knew that it was the main route to the buffalo for the Nez Perce people. At the grade school we learned that L&C had gone by...So it began for me out there but we didn't know much about it as far as where it went. .. The Nez Perce nation was for us ...we'd just never seen it ... 1:23 :00 The Flat Head people continued to hunt in the same area we hunted. They came from the reservation ...by the school regularly on the trail ...They would come with wagons and pack animals and saddle horses, and some walking...Two or three weeks later they'd come back with cured meat. .. So that's sort of the way it was. And then when I came over here, my first contact with the Lolo traiL .. was the .. .long-cut that L&C came over here ...That, I maintained that traiL .. the first year I was here. That was Trail Number 1 ...as far as the Forest Svc was concerned...
1:24:47 Bud: What happened to the Lolo trail then -it was special to us ...But then it fell into an .. .impasse. The big thrust of the road-building, the 10gging ...It kind oflost its attention...A lot of it went under. When the logging came over here ...after that -what we call the'49 blow -the big wind come across all this country ...Blew down thousands and thousands of trees, especially in the spruce forest ....Spring of '50, we started work...timber down everywhere ...Then came the big spruce-logging project, and that's what opened up this upper end to logging and road 1 :26: 18. And I was a ranger here when that happened .. .Interesting ...tough time ... I loved the country as it was ... But then lots ofpressure moved in and the people that come in didn't love the land for its own sake ...Looked upon themselves as pioneers, opening up the country for something useful. .. But then I was here long enough to begin on the Lolo Trail. We had several signs up ...
1:27:42 So we were doing a little bit. We began to realize the historical implications of it even though we were swamped in here with a heavy development pressure. That all began with the bark beetle control -we decided to control the beetles by logging out those patches...So we worked hard at that. My job in that was try to get the roads to get in to do that, to get in and try to control that bark beetle thing, and get them in a position where they'd be useful for something else. But essentially, I was responsible for laying out the road network up in the upper end -would be down about Weir Creek down up. Those were tough gut-wrenching times ... I was a creature of wilde mess -I loved the land for what it was ...But by the time the bark beetles come in, I was ranger here, and I had the responsibility of the whole place ¿
1:29:38 Bud: The first time when I trapped was in 1934 ... 16, I guess ...There was lots of fire everywhere that year and I fought fire .. .in the Lolo Creek drainage ...The next year I got ajob here ...Spring of 1935, June 4th ...Finally...I was engaged as a ranger. .. We had a crew of mountain people ...wasn't any women here then ...bunch oflumbetjack...They were in love with the land ...But then when we started out to control these beetles, we had to scout the countries for crews to timber, and do it fast. .. There were about 600 million feet of spruce at stake ...We were assuming things we didn't understand...
1:32:48 One other interesting point on that was, see this highway wasn't through. Our policy
was that we were not going to log any timber ...until the road went through, and then the
Idaho people would have a chance to get timber ... So we held a meeting ... and the general
consensus of the Idaho folks was you'd better go ahead and get it, it's too much value to
lose...Then we opened it up ...By the time I left here, we got the spruce beetle pretty
well. We did a lot of good in that, too ...But since then one thing we did -started a wave
ofdevelopment activity that just got bigger and bigger. .. Just kept going ...And I'm a
little disappointed in what happened and .. .in what I did myself. I could make better
decisions now than I did then ... 1 :35: 13 I knew that we were in a whole different world when those roads come in ... l :37:55 And the watershed value! ... (1 :36:40)
1:38:07 - 41:00 ambi -wind going through the pines [really pleasant ...getting...very...sleeepy...] [Were trucks going by during much of the talking, but didn't hear any during the ambi. The only sound that was distracting sometimes was the wind blowing into the mic, but even that was pretty faint. ]
1:41:18 McQ: Those interviews should be treated as a split track. Either pull the left or the right depending on where the speaker is.