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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/286

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278 CHARLES WILKES Stuarts, Quisnells, and Kamloops in the northern section ; the Flat Bow, Coeur d'Alene, and Kallushelm in the middle sec- tion; and those forming the headwaters of the large rivers in the eastern section. The country is well watered, and there are but two places where an abundance, either from rivers, springs, or rivulets, can not be obtained. The smaller lakes add much to the picturesque beauty of the country. They are generally at the headwaters of the smaller streams. The map will point out more particularly their ex- tent and locality. HARBORS. All the harbors formed by the rivers on the seacoast are ob- structed with extensive sand bars, which make them difficult to enter, and they are continually changing. The rivers bring down large quantities of sand, which on meeting with the ocean is deposited, causing a gradual increase of the impediment which already exists at their mouths. None of them can be deemed safe ports to enter. The entrance to the Columbia is impracticable two-thirds of the year, and the difficulty of leaving equally great. The north sands are rapidly increasing and extending farther to the south. In the memory of several of those who have been longest in the country, the cape has been encroached upon some hundred feet by the sea and the north sand much extended to the south, and during my short experience nearly half an acre of the middle sand was washed away in the course of a few days. These are known to change every season. The exploration of the Clatsop, or south channel, it is be- lieved, will afford more safety to vessels capable of enter- ing the river. The depth of water on the bar seems not to have changed, though the passage has become somewhat narrower. Grays Harbor will admit of vessels of light draft of water (10 feet), but there is but little room in it on account of the