On about the 23d of August I started from the main camp on the Wenass River, to examine what is called the Nahchess Pass, having on the previous day sent in some fifty pack-animals by the same pass to Steilacoom, for provisions, so that I might start from this vicinity (after examining the passes) with three months provisions. I took with me my assistant, Minter, three hunters, one packer, one of my Texas men to carry the barometer, and my Mexican boy Jim. The first day's work was of no particular interest: we travelled some six miles up the valley in which we were camped, and struck over the divide to the southwest into the valley of the Nahchess, where we camped, after a hot march of some eighteen miles over a rough, mountainous country,--the last fifteen without water. Next day we travelled about seventeen miles up the valley of the Nahchess,--that is, wherever there was any valley; for the stream, frequently running through canons, often threw us back into the mountains, where the trail was very rough, stony, and steep. These canons are generally through masses of basaltic rock, varying in height from fifty to five hundred feet, and generally perfectly vertical,--the whole width occupied by the bed of the stream. The scenery here is singularly wild and bold. Most of the hills and mountains, being of volcanic rocks, have the sharp, bold outlines peculiar to the formation. Our next march, of about equal length, and over a rather worse country, brought us to the divide,--that is, the point where the waters run in one direction towards the Sound, in the other towards the Columbia above Walla-Walla. By ascending a high, bare mountain, called by the Indians Aiqz, we had a fine view of the mountains. The range had now become exceedingly rough, and the mountains large. We were but a short distance from Mount
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