- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Fourth Expedition
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
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Friday, 30th March, Small Branch of The Frew. Course north. At two miles and a half changed to 332 degrees to a distant hill, apparently a range of flat-topped hills. At sixteen miles crossed a large gum creek running to the south of east; it spreads out over a flat between rough hills of half a mile wide. The bed is very sandy; it will not retain water long. On the surface it very much resembles the Douglas, but is broader, and the gum-trees much larger. There were some rushes growing in its bed. I have named it the Ross. We then ascended the low range for which I had been steering. Four miles from the creek it is rough and stony, composed of igneous rock, with scrub, mulga, and plenty of grass quite to the top. To continue this course would lead me again into the mulga scrub, where I do not want to get if I can help it. It is far worse than guiding a vessel at sea; the compass requires to be constantly in hand. I again changed to the north, which appears to be open in the distance. I could see another range of flat-topped hills. After crossing over several small spurs coming from the range, and a number of small creeks, volcanic, and stony, we struck another large gum creek coming from the south of west, and running to the south-east. It was a fine creek. These courses of water spread over a grassy plain a mile wide; the water holes were long and deep, with numerous plants growing on their banks, indicating permanent water. The wild oats on the bank of the creek were four feet high. The country gone over to-day, although stony, was completely covered with grass and salt bush; it was even better than that passed yesterday. Some of the grass resembled the drake, some the wild wheat, and some rye--the same as discovered by Captain Sturt. There is a light shade over the horizon from south-east to north-west, indicating the presence of a lake in that direction. I have named it after my friend Mr. Stevenson. There are small fish in the holes of this creek, and mussel shells, also crabs about two inches by one inch and a half.