Spanish River Scenery.—Trail
of Crow Indians.—A Snow-
Storm.—A Rousing Fire and a Buffalo Feast.—A Plain of
Salt.—Climbing a Mountain.—Volcanic Summit.—Extinguished
Crater.—Marine Shells.—Encampment on a Prairie.—
Successful Hunting.—Good Cheer.—Romantic Scenery—Rocky
Defile.—Foaming Rapids.—The Fiery Narrows.
By sunrise on the following morning (October 19th), the travellers had loaded their old horse with buffalo meat, sufficient for five days’ provisions, and, taking leave of their new allies, the poor, but hospitable Snakes, set forth in somewhat better spirits, though the increasing cold of the weather, and the sight of the snowy mountains which they had yet to traverse, were enough to chill their very hearts. The country along this branch of the Spanish River, as far as they could see, was perfectly level, bounded by ranges of lofty mountains, both to the east and west. They proceeded about three miles to the south, where they came again upon the large trail of Crow Indians, which they had crossed four days previously, made, no doubt, by the same marauding band that had plundered the Snakes; and which, according to the account of the latter, was now encamped on a stream to the eastward. The trail kept on to the southeast, and was so well beaten by horse and foot, that they supposed at least a hundred lodges had passed along it. As it formed, therefore, a convenient highway, and ran in a proper direction, they turned into it, and determined to keep along it as far as safety would permit: as the Crow encampment must be some distance off, and it was not likely those savages would return upon their steps. They travelled forward, therefore, all that day, in the track of their dangerous predecessors, which led them across mountain streams, and long ridges, and through narrow valleys, all tending generally towards the southeast. The wind blew coldly from the northeast, with occasional flurries of snow, which made them encamp early, on the sheltered banks of a brook. The two Canadians, Vallee and Le Clerc,