general trend of the river is to the southeast. About noon we passed a very singular formation on the right; the strata of limestone turned up edgewise formed a hill several hundred feet in height, on the face of which the softer portions of the strata having been washed away caused the more solid limestones to stand out from the hillside in two immense walls, the crests of which were covered with stunted pine trees. Near these a dark stratum of coal was visible, also a red stratum, reported to be cinnabar, which we did not, however, examine. From this point to the mouth of Gardiner's River, a distance of twelve miles, the valley was full of original drift. The boulders were of Quincy granite, and, wherever found, were worn off smooth as if by the action of water. The ground rose rapidly as we proceeded, passing from a dead level alkali plain to a succession of plateaus, covered
slightly with a sterile soil, through which the limestones cropped out constantly. In many places deep ravines were worn down in the strata by the waters from the melting snows; numerous springs were seen far up on the mountain sides, but their waters sank among the arid foot-hills without reaching the river. This desert region, inclosed by mountains covered with verdure, and on the banks of a large stream, is one of the anomalies common in the West, where the presence of limestones or sandstones, in horizontal strata especially, almost always means want of water, and consequent desolation. We camped at the mouth of Gardiner's river, a large stream coming in through a deep and gloomy cañon from the south. This was our first poor camping place, grass being very scarce, and the slopes of the range covered entirely with sage brush. From this camp was seen the smoke of fires on the mountains in front, while Indian signs became more numerous and distinct. Many prospect holes of miners were passed during the day, and several abandoned camps of the previous year. The river at this point shrinks to half its usual size, lost among the boulders of the drift, immense masses of which choke up the stream in many places, forming alternate pools and rapids, which afforded great delight to the fishermen of our party. Some of the huge masses of granite into the bed of the stream are hollowed out by the action of the water into many singular forms. We here found numerous specimens of petrified wood, but no traces of fossils, except in the solid limestone of the higher ledges. Two or three miles above, and on the opposite side of the Yellowstone from this point, is the mouth of Bear Gulch, an almost inaccessible mining district, not being worked at
present, but said to yield well during the season of operations. Distance 18 miles.

Morning -- Barometer, 24,80; thermometer, 49°; elevation, 5,215 feet. Noon -- Barometer, 23.10; thermometer, 72; elevation, 7,331 feet.

Fifth day -- August 26. -- We left camp at 11 o'clock a.m., and crossed Gardiner's River, which at this point is a mountain torrent about twenty yards wide and three feet in depth. We kept the Yellowstone to our left, and finding the cañon impassable passed over several high spurs coming down from the mountains, over which the way was much obstructed by falling timber, and reached, at an elevation of 7,331 feet, an immense rolling plateau extending as far as the eye could reach. This elevated scope of country is about thirty miles in extent, with a general declivity to the northward. Its surface is an undulated prairie dotted with groves of pine and aspen. Numerous lakes are scattered throughout its whole extent, and great numbers of springs, which flow down the slopes and are lost in the volume of the Yellowstone. The river breaks through this plateau in a winding and impassable cañon of trachyte lava over 2,000 feet in depth; the middle cañon of the Yellowstone, Go to next page

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