day. Following its windings for several miles, we came to the lowest point, where the stream above referred to enters the cañon, and here camped. Distance traveled eight miles. This valley is from one-half to three miles wide, with branches in every direction among the wooded ridges, is clothed with a heavy mantle of excellent grass, abounds in springs of pure water, and was formerly the bottom of a lake. The profile of the creek bank showed the following: Bed of the stream dark lava, surface flow; above obsidian and granite pebbles, six feet; then quartzose sandstone two feet, limestone one foot, and volcanic ashes one to four feet; thus showing several estuary deposits above the volcanic rocks. In company with others of the party, I rode down the creek, following the brink of its cañon, which gradually deepens to 300 feet, as far as its junction with the Yellowstone. As we approached the Grand Cañon a dull roaring sound warned us that the falls were near at hand. I had been suffering greatly during the forenoon, being obliged to gallop from one spring to another to keep wet the wrappings of my hand. Following this cañon kept me away from water so long that the pain became utterly unsupportable. I abandoned my horse, and have no distinct recollection of how I got to the water's edge, but presently found myself with my arm up to the elbow in the Yellowstone a few yards below the foot of a graceful cascade. In a few minutes, the pain becoming allayed, I proceeded to explore the locality. I had descended the cañon at a point where the creek joined the river, precipitated into a gorge just above its juncture in a lovely cascade of three falls, in the aggregate 100 feet in height. This was named Crystal Cascade, and the stream Cascade Creek. In the bed of the gorge were to be found an infinite variety of volcanic specimens, quartz, feldspar, mica, granites, lavas, basalts, composite crystals; in fact, everything, from asbestos to obsidian, was represented by fragments in the bed of this stream. There were also beautiful clay stone specimens, of which we afterward learned the origin.

At the foot of the gorge and on the margin of the Yellowstone stood a high promontory of concretionary lava, literally filled with volcanic butternuts. Many of these were loose, and could be taken out of the rock with the hand; broken open they were invariably hollow, and lined with minute quartz crystals of various tints. This formation is rare, but occurs frequently in the great basin. From the outer point of this promontory can be seen the foot of the upper fall of the Yellowstone, and I climbed to the summit to obtain a view.

After ascending about 600 feet a plateau is reached overlooking the cataract, which is inaccessible at its brink without the use of ropes. The river comes down for over half a mile above over a series of lava ledges, each terminating in a fall of from 10 to 15 feet; of these there are five. Then with a tremendous current, and confined in a rocky channel, narrowed to a space of 80 feet, it is hurled from the brink of a perpendicular wall, a sheer descent of 115 feet. So rapid is the current that the great mass of foam shoots out clear of the rock and falls far out in its basin, striking upon a covered ledge at an angle which causes a portion of the water to be projected like a broad fan into the air, with a hissing sound to the distance of 60 feet, and afterward dissolving into clouds of spray. The depth of water on the brink is about 4 feet, and the concussion of the fall is tremendous. A lava promontory overhangs the basin on either side, giving fine opportunities for observation. After watching the rushing waters for an hour, other members of the party arrived, with whom I returned to camp.

Barometer, 22.60; thermometer, 46°; elevation, 7,697 feet. Go to next page

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