heart by that name, somewhere in the States.
Another of the party was in favor of the name of Minaret (Minnie Rhett);
but that was too apparent, and he was outvoted.
The following day the party
struck across the country to the south, cutting off a large bend in the
river, and then passed to the right of a high mountain, which some of the
party ascended. It was found to be the highest peak in that section,
a barometrical observation showing it to be 10,700 feet high. In
honor of General Washburn, whom we elected Captain of the expedition, we
named it "Mount Washburn."
About four o'clock, we camped
by a small, clear, cold brook, and, just below us, entering a thick, gloomy
forest, which continued to the Yellowstone, about three miles distant.
In exploring the creek toward the river, when about a mile from camp, we
came suddenly to a small opening on the steep hill-side, where we found
a number of hot springs. There were four quite prominent, besides
a number of smaller ones. I can not describe them better than by
quoting from a description given by Mr. Hedges to a local paper.
He spent some time in giving them a thorough examination:
"The westernmost spring had
an oval-shaped basin, twenty by forty feet in diameter. Its greenish-yellow
water was hot, and bubbles of steam or gas were constantly rising from
various parts of its surface. This spring, with two others, was situated
in about an easy and west line, and at the upper side of the basin, which
opened south, toward the creek. The central one of these three was
the largest of all, and was in constant, violent agitation, like a seething
caldron over a fiery furnace. The water was often thrown higher than
our heads, and fearful volumes of stifling, sulphureous vapors were constantly
escaping. The water was of a dark-lead color, and intensely hot.
As near as I now recollect, the basin of this spring was about thirty feet
in diameter. There was very little water flowing away from it, and
very little deposit from its overflowings was visible. It had no
such mound as many that we saw subsequently, nor was its margin of such
solid material. The easternmost and uppermost spring was not as large
in its crater as its near neighbors, but was more infernal to look at,
and suggested the name that we attached to the springs. . . . . The
substance was not as thick as much, but rather beyond the consistency of
soup, and was in constant, noisy ebullition, emitting fumes of villainous
smell. The margin was not safe for close approach, but I ventured
near enough to thrust a pine sapling into the substance of this infernal
kettle, and on pulling it our found it covered about one-fourth of an inch
thick with a lead-colored, sulphury slime. Nothing flows away in
liquid form from this spring. It seems to be boiling down, and will
doubtless become as thick as pudding, like so many that we afterward saw.
. . . So secluded is this cluster of springs, that it would be impossible
to suppose it to have been seen before by any White Man; and it appeared
to us the merest chance that directed our steps hither. How many
similar basins are hidden away among the vast forests that cover this region
we can best conceive, who have seen scores of them without turning much
from our direct course."
We reached the falls of the
Yellowstone on the morning of August 30th. These falls, two in number,
are less than half a mile apart. From the lake to the upper falls,
a distance of about twenty miles, the river flows, with the exception of
a short series of rapids having a moderate current, through an open, undulating
country, gently sloping toward the stream. Here and there are small
groves, and the timber is quite Go
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