It Was, In Fact, One Of The Most Eligible And Delightful
Wintering Grounds In That Whole Range Of Country.
The Snake River
here wound its devious way between low banks through the great
plain of the Three Butes; and was bordered by wide and fertile
It was studded with islands which, like the alluvial
bottoms, were covered with groves of cotton-wood, thickets of
willow, tracts of good lowland grass, and abundance of green
rushes. The adjacent plains were so vast in extent that no single
band of Indians could drive the buffalo out of them; nor was the
snow of sufficient depth to give any serious inconvenience.
Indeed, during the sojourn of Captain Bonneville in this
neighborhood, which was in the heart of winter, he found the
weather, with the exception of a few cold and stormy days,
generally mild and pleasant, freezing a little at night but
invariably thawing with the morning's sun-resembling the spring
weather in the middle parts of the United States.
The lofty range of the Three Tetons, those great landmarks of the
Rocky Mountains rising in the east and circling away to the north
and west of the great plain of Snake River, and the mountains of
Salt River and Portneuf toward the south, catch the earliest
falls of snow. Their white robes lengthen as the winter advances,
and spread themselves far into the plain, driving the buffalo in
herds to the banks of the river in quest of food; where they are
easily slain in great numbers.
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