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Warre and Vavasour^ 1845-6. 79 Fort Nez Perces on the Walla Walla River on the 3d April, from whence we proceeded on horseback, calling at the Meth- odist [American Board] Missions on the Walla Walla and Spo- kane Rivers, to Fort Colville over a barren, rocky, sandy desert. This country for a distance of 200 miles is completely denuded of timber and with the exception of the Snake (or south branch of the Columbia River, about 300 yards wide, which we crossed in the Indian canoes, swimming- our horses, the Spokane River traversed by the same means, and two other small streams), is very scantily supplied with water. From the Spokane River to Fort Colville (about 80 miles) the country is well timbered with pine and larch, but the soil is poor and sandy. The boats left Fort Nez Perces on the 3d April, ascended the Columbia, but did not arrive at Fort Colville till the 22d, when we again embarked and reached "The Boat Encampment" on the 2d May. The upper Columbia River, with the exception of two nar- row lakes about 30 and 25 miles in length, is extremely rapid, and in many places dangerous even for boat navigation. The banks are very precipitous and densely covered with small pine timber, causing much difficulty in hauling the boats and many impediments in making "portages" at the different rapids. From the Boat Encampment we proceeded on snow shoes across the Rocky Mountains by the usual "portage" route, ascending the Canoe River, through which we had constantly to wade, for three days, crossed the height of land from whence the Athabasca River takes its rise and descended the latter river a distance of no miles to Jasper House, a small post of the Hudson's Bay Company, at the foot of the Rocky Moun- tains, where we obtained large and well constructed boats in which we descended the same river upward of 200 miles to Fort Assiniboine, formerly a post of some importance to the H. B. Company, but of late years abandoned except as a depot of provisions, for the canoes and boats, proceeding to and from the Columbia and the Athabasca and Mackenzie River stations

further to the north.----