Twenty-fourth day -- September 14. -- We remained close in camp; the weather continued stormy; the snow was now twenty inches deep, and fell almost constantly; our pavilion tent served us admirably; without it we should have suffered great inconveniences for lack of shelter. The water-fowl of the lake deserve a passing notice. These include swans, pelicans, gulls, Canada geese, brants, and many varieties of ducks and dippers. There are also herons and sand-hill cranes. Of pelicans, immense numbers sail in fleets along the lake, in company with the majestic swan. The gulls are of the same variety as those found in San Francisco Harbor. I think the pelicans are identical with those found in the great lakes on the northern border; but am not sure, as we did not get a specimen. There are several low, flat islands in the lake which are always white with them at the close of the day. Of birds and animals of the forest, I have seen of each several, not down in the books, comprising, of birds, a sort of large mocking-birds, tow varieties, belonging, I think, to the genus "corvus;" two kinds of woodpecker; two or three species of grous; also a guide-bird, resembling a blackbird, but larger. I saw but one of these -- the day I went to the bottom of the Grand Cañon; it hopped and flew along from rock to rock ahead of us during the whole trip down, waited perched upon a rock while we were resting, and led us clear to the summit again in the same manner, making innumerable sounds and gestures constantly, to attract attention. Others of the party remarked birds of the same kind, and acting in the same manner. The common birds of the basin are eagles, hawks, ravens, ospreys, prairie chickens, and grouse. Of animals, I saw several species of squirrels and weasels which do not appear in the books. We saw no snakes of any kind in the basin.
Twenty-fifth day -- September 15. -- The snow-storm abated, clouds hung overhead in heavy masses, an oppressive dampness pervaded the atmosphere, the snow melted away rapidly under the influence of a warm wind from the west. The only traces of Indians we had seen were some shelters of logs, rotten and tumbling down from age, together with a few poles standing in former summer camps; there were no fresh trails whatever. Appearances indicated that the basin had been almost entirely abandoned by the sons of the forest. A few lodges of Sheepeaters, a branch remnant of the Snake tribe, wretched beasts who run from the sight of a white man or from any other tribe of Indians, are said to inhabit the fastnesses of the mountains around the lakes, poorly armed and dismounted, obtaining a precarious subsistence, and in a defenseless condition. We saw, however, no recent traces of them. The larger tribes never enter the basin, restrained by superstitious ideas in connection with the thermal springs. A party of three can travel with perfect safety, so far as Indians are concerned, in any part of this district, by keeping close watch upon their horses at night, as the lions would make short work with them if an opportunity was afforded, horse-flesh being their favorite diet.
Twenty-sixth day -- September 16. -- We
moved around the arm of the lake to the hot springs previously described,
camping near them; distance, 5 miles. Go
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