Wednesday, 23rd May, Gum Creek, East Range, the Stirling.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Fourth Expedition
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Wednesday, 23rd May, Gum Creek, East Range, the Stirling. The wind has changed again to the south-east. I have named this creek the Stirling, after the Honourable Edward Stirling, M.L.C. Followed it into the range on the same course towards a bluff, where I think I shall find an easy crossing. At one mile from the camp the hills commenced on the south-east side of the creek, but on the north-west side they commenced three miles further back. There was abundance of water in the creek for thirteen miles; at ten miles there was another large branch with water coming from the south-east. At fourteen miles ascended the bluff and obtained the following bearings: South side of the creek, to a high part of the range about two miles off (which I have named Mount Gwynne, after his Honour, Justice Gwynne), 186 degrees. North side of the creek, to another hill about two miles and a half off (which I have named Mount Mann, in memory of the late Commissioner of Insolvency), 249 degrees. Central Mount Stuart bears 131 degrees to the highest point. At the north-west termination of the next range, to which I shall now go, there are two very large hills, the north one, which is the highest, I have named Mount Strzelecki, after Count Strzelecki, bearing 358 degrees. I have named the high peak on the same range Mount Morphett, after the Honourable John Morphett, M.L.C. The view from this bluff is extensive, except to the west-north-west, which is hidden by this range just alluded to, which I have named Forster Range, after the Honourable Anthony Forster, M.L.C. From the south-west it has the appearance of a long continuous range, but, on entering it, it is much broken into irregular and rugged hills: on this side, the north-east, it consists of table-hills, with a number of rugged isolated ones on the north side. To the north-west there is another scrubby and gum-tree plain; to the north-north-west are some isolated low ranges; to the north are grassy plains and low ranges; to the east are several spurs from this range, which is composed of a very hard dark-red stone, mixed with small round quartz and ironstone, and in some places a hard flinty quartz. The range and hills are covered with spinifex, but the valleys are beautifully grassed. We descended, and at four miles struck a creek coming from the range, and running between two low ranges towards the north-east. At seven miles changed my course to north-east to camp in the creek, and endeavour to get water for the horses before encountering the scrubby plains to-morrow morning. At five miles came upon a low range, but no creek; it must have gone further to the eastward. It being now quite dark, we camped under the ranges. Since I changed my course I have come through a patch of mulga and other scrubs with plenty of grass, but no watercourses. Wind south-east; heavy clouds from the north-west; lightning in the south and west.