- Category: John McDouall Stuart - First Expedition
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
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Sunday, 25th July, A Lagoon of Rain Water. Finding that we have sand hills to cross, and being anxious to meet with the gum creek that the blacks have talked about, I have determined to proceed to-day, but if I do not find it on this course I shall turn to the south. Started at eight a.m. on a bearing of 122 degrees. At five miles, one mile to the south is a large reedy swamp. At fourteen miles changed the bearing to 135 degrees to the head of a swamp, two miles and a half, found it dry, a large clay-pan about three miles in circumference. I am obliged to halt, the horses are very tired and want rest; and there being plenty of beautiful green feed about, I have halted without water. Our journey has been through a very thick mulga scrub and sand hills, very heavy travelling. The trees in the scrub are of a different description to any that I have seen; they grow high and very crooked, without branches until near the top, and with a rough, ragged bark; seven or eight seem to spring from one root. The wood is very tough and heavy, and burns a long time, giving out a glowing heat. The leaves resemble the mulga, but are of a darker colour and smaller size. The native name is Moratchee. Shot a wallaby, and had him for dinner. They are very wild, no getting within shot of them, which is unfortunate, as our provisions are getting rather short. From the number of native tracks about, this would seem to be their season for hunting in the sand hills, which accounts for everything being so wild. We saw five turkeys yesterday, but could not get within shot of them. All the water seems to drain into the reedy swamp and clay-pans. I shall go no further to the east on this course, for I can see no inducement. I shall go south to-morrow, and see what that produces; if I cross no large creek within forty-five miles in that direction, I shall then direct my course for the north-west of Fowler's Bay to see what is there. Distance to-day, sixteen miles.