Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday July 29

All last night the coyotes set up a terrible din and the horses were very restless, at least Monica says so—I slept right through.  I got into a little hollow and nothing could budge me.  We got off about 10:30 after having a huge breakfast of porridge, bannock, meat and stewed apricots.  We expected a hard day with a lot of climbing but there was not nearly so much, although the first part of the trip was awfully monotonous.

Up one hill covered with alders, they are not high enough to shade you but are adept at springing back and catching your ear or face and giving you a stinging swat on a sunburned shoulder.  After crashing through these for a while we would come to a sand ridge from which the yellow dust rose in clouds.  After the sand ridge we would go downhill and there was always a bog full of mud in the bottom.  When you had done all this you just started over and did it again.  This kept up for two and a half hours and then we came to Pierre’s Lake.  There were more loons laughing on the lake and in amongst the water lilies small families of ducks floated.  Up from the grass and mint grew huge fireweed, all in blossom, some of the spikes being almost two feet tall—behind this was the taller while wild parsnip and behind that the willows.  It looked as if it had been planed there for show, but you couldn’t get near it because of the marshes and all kept right in the path. 

Before coming to the lake Vashti had decided to strike out for herself going up a hill instead of following the path, but she soon got tired and Judd found her whinnying for the rest of the horses. 

After leaving Pierre’s Lake we came into a stretch of white poplars and tall larkspur.  We saw lots of cranberries which have ripened up since we were here before.  Also the little yellow flowers which grow in muddy places.  We have found the grandest big violets and yellow asters and the paintbrush is beginning to turn pink again. 

We reached the camp at Nose River at 4:45 and soon had a fire going and just as we were ready to eat an Indian appeared on horseback.  We invited him to stay.  He is looking for horses and is quite well educated.  He advised us to take the trail that comes out at Rio Grande and as he is leaving for there tomorrow we may go that way and see some new country.  It was not long before another Indian appeared, also on horseback but this time we didn’t ask him to eat not knowing how many more might appear.  Later we waded the river and went over to the Indian Graves.  Our shoes and stockings are now soaking wet but it is not the first time and somehow it doesn’t seem to matter.  We had our usual onion sandwiches before going to bed about eleven when it was just twilight.  It is full moon these nights.  The moon above the lake at Nose Mountain was beautiful but it was quite cold and we usually sat around a roaring campfire.

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