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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/280

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272 CHARLES WILKES The mountain ranges run for the most part in parallel lines with the coast, and rising in many places above the snow line (here found to be 6,500 feet) would naturally produce a dif- ference of temperatures between them and also affect their productions. Our surveys and explorations were confined for the most part to the two first, claiming more interest, being less known and more in accordance with my instructions. MOUNTAINS. The Cascade Range, or that nearest the coast, runs from the southern boundary on a parallel with the seacoast the whole length of the Territory, north and south, rising in many places in high peaks from 12,000 to 14,000 feet above the level of the sea in regular cones. Their distance from the coast line is from 100 to 150 miles, and they almost interrupt the communi- cation between the sections except where the two great rivers, the Columbia and Eraser, force a passage through them. There are a few mountain passes, but they are difficult and only to be attempted late in the spring and in the summer. A smaller range (the Classet) lies to the north of the Colum- bia between the coast and the waters of Puget Sound and along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This has several high peaks which rise above the snow line, but from their proximity to the sea they are not at all times covered. Their general direction is north and south, but there are many spurs or offsets that cause this portion to be very rugged. The Blue Mountains are irregular in their course and occa- sionally interrupted, but generally trend from north by east to northeast and from south to southwest. In some parts they may be traced as spurs or offsets of the Rocky Mountains. Near the southern boundary they unite with the Klamet Range, which runs east and west from the Rocky Mountains. The Rocky Mountains are too well known to need descrip- tion. The different passes will, however, claim attention here-