FIRST-BORN ON OREGON TRAIL 165 the three days, November 24, 25 and 26, "they made about seventy miles ; fording- two small streams, the waters of which were very cold" (Chapter XXXIV) "on the 27th of November the river led them into the mountains" beyond which point traveling was exceedingly arduous, and after many days of suffering and privation in an endeavor to follow the river through that rocky canyon, they were forced to turn back, and to retrace their steps to the open country above the point where the river entered the mountains. On this return journey, about December 15th they found their road "becoming easier, they were getting out of the hills, and finally emerged into the open country, after twenty days of fatigue, famine and hard- ship of every kind, in the ineffectual attempt to find a passage down the river. They now encamped on a little willowed stream, running from the East, which they had crossed on the 26th of November." Leaving Mr. Crooks they were led from here by an Indian guide, along an apparently well known trail, to the Grande Ronde Valley and across the Blue Moun- tains to the Umatilla country. This vicinity where the river leaves the plain and enters the mountains was visited for the third time the following summer by Mr. Stuart and his party on their return to the States. They returned along the same "route which had proved so disastrous to Mr. Hunt's party during the preceding winter" (Chapter XLIV). On the 10th of August they reached "the main body of Woodville Creek, the same stream which Mr. Hunt had ascended in the preceding year, shortly after his separation from Mr. Crooks. . . . On the 12th of August, the travelers arrived on the banks of Snake River, the scene of so many trials and mishaps. . . . They struck the river just above the place where it entered the mountains, through which Messrs. Stuart [Hunt] and Crooks had vainly endeav- ored to find a passage. The river here was a rapid stream, four hundred yards in width, with high sandy banks, and here and there a scanty growth of willow." These three visits to the same locality, below which the
Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/173
This page needs to be proofread.