In Fact, On The Following Day They Discerned That, Although
Already At A Great Elevation, They Were Only As Yet Upon The
Shoulder Of The Mountain.
It proved to be a great sierra, or
ridge, of immense height, running parallel to the course of the
river, swelling by degrees to lofty peaks, but the outline gashed
by deep and precipitous ravines.
This, in fact, was a part of the
chain of Blue Mountains, in which the first adventurers to
Astoria experienced such hardships.
We will not pretend to accompany the travellers step by step in
this tremendous mountain scramble, into which they had
unconsciously betrayed themselves. Day after day did their toil
continue; peak after peak had they to traverse, struggling with
difficulties and hardships known only to the mountain trapper. As
their course lay north, they had to ascend the southern faces of
the heights, where the sun had melted the snow, so as to render
the ascent wet and slippery, and to keep both men and horses
continually on the strain; while on the northern sides, the snow
lay in such heavy masses, that it was necessary to beat a track
down which the horses might be led. Every now and then, also,
their way was impeded by tall and numerous pines, some of which
had fallen, and lay in every direction.
In the midst of these toils and hardships, their provisions gave
out. For three days they were without food, and so reduced that
they could scarcely drag themselves along.
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