81. Bryant August 12, 1846

The river here makes a long bend, turning to the north, in which course it runs about fifteen miles. We left this valley through a narrow gap, through which the river forces its way; and about one o'clock, P. M., turning the point of the mountain, we entered another large and level valley, which stretches to the north as far as the vision can penetrate through the smoky vapor. We travelled down this valley, in a southwest course, about ten miles, when we encamped for the day, at three o'clock. There has been little or no variation in the general characteristics of the country and its productions. Sage, grease-wood, etc., cover the low hills and benches of the mountains, and grass and willows the margin of the river. The soil is extremely light and porous, resembling ashes; and whenever it is disturbed by the feet of our mules, we are enveloped in clouds of dust. Our hair and beards look white and frosty, and our complexions are as cadaverous as so many corpses, until we perform our evening ablutions. I saw to-day, while on our march, several Indians standing on a bluff at no great distance from the trail, but they did not venture to approach us. Near our encampment is the miserable dwelling of a Digger, but deserted. We discovered, on the bank of the river, a fish-trap, ingeniously constructed of willows interwoven. It was about ten or twelve feet in length, and shaped like the cornucopia. Multitudes of wolves serenade us every night with their harsh and discordant howlings.