_Thursday, 2._–The morning was very foggy: but at half past five we
embarked; it cleared up, however, at seven, when we discovered that the
water, from being very limpid and clear, was become dark and muddy.
This alteration must have proceeded from the influx of some river to the
Southward, but where these streams first blended their waters, the fog
had prevented us from observing. At nine we perceived a very high
mountain ahead, which appeared, on our nearer approach, to be rather a
cluster of mountains, stretching as far as our view could reach to the
Southward, and whose tops were lost in the clouds. At noon there was
lightning, thunder, and rain, and at one, we came abreast of the
mountains; their summits appeared to be barren and rocky, but their
declivities were covered with wood; they appeared also to be sprinkled
with white stones, which glistened in the sun, and were called by the
Indians manetoe aseniak, or spirit stones. I suspected that they were
Talc, though they possessed a more brilliant whiteness; on our return,
however, these appearances were dissolved, as they were nothing more
than patches of snow.
Our course had been West-South-West thirty miles and we proceeded with
great caution, as we continually expected to approach some great rapid
or fall. This was such a prevalent idea, that all of us were
occasionally persuaded that we heard those sounds which betokened a fall
of water. Our course changed to West by North, along the mountains,
twelve miles, North by West, twenty-one miles, and at eight o’clock in
the evening, we went on shore for the night, on the North side of the
river. We saw several encampments of the natives, some of which had
been erected in the present spring, and others at some former period.
The hunters killed only one swan and a beaver; the latter was the first
of its kind which we had seen in this river. The Indians complained of
the perseverance with which we pushed forward, and that they were not
accustomed to such severe fatigue as it occasioned.