Thirteenth day -- September 3. -- We forded the river opposite camp, and followed up the stream on the east side, passing several of the gray mud caldrons in the first two miles of our course on the river bank. A cañon of small depth here commences, impassable in many places without difficulty, and we bore off to the left on the summit of the wooded ridges. In six miles we struck the river again at a point where it falls over a sloping ridge of lava, in roaring rapids, in a distance of half a mile. The trail is easily passable to the crossing of a creek seven miles from camp, and coming down through a marshy valley from the range on the left. Fording this we were caught in an impassable labyrinth of fallen timber, and obliged to retrace our steps. Recrossing the creek, we followed down its valley, over marshy ground, for two miles, when a broad sheet of water suddenly appeared in front. Crossing the creek once again at a miry ford, skirting an estuary three miles farther along the margin of a heavy forest on the left, then passing over a sand levee, grown up with sage brush, and we found ourselves on the open beach of the great Yellowstone Lake. Camped in a grove on the lake shore. At the head of the creek is a large basin covered with an incrustation of sulphur, and behind the first ridge a number of steam jets were seen rising into the air; these we did not visit. Distance, 12 miles; barometer, lake shore.
Barometer, 22.60; thermometer, 58°; elevation, 7,714 3/5 feet.
Fourteenth day -- September 4. -- We did
not move camp. The lake lies close to the east range, in the rim of the
Great Basin, and presents an appearance at once beautiful and imposing.
Its eastern shore extends southward from camp in a line broken by various
inlets, to the distance of twenty-six miles. Its general form is triangular,
with apices in the south, southwest, and north points, the latter being
below our camp three miles, and at the mouth of the creek crossed yesterday.
The Yellowstone leaves the lake a mile beyond this angle, and from the
west side, starting with a slow current, in a channel one-fourth of a mile
wide, and deep enough to swim a horse. The shore on the east side, for
five miles, is a broad and level beach of sand, and the lake is shallow
for some distance out from the edge. This sand is composed almost entirely
of obsidian and those minute crystals known as California diamonds. Near
camp, on the edge of the lake, is a small boiling Go
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