Saturday, 14th June, River Strangways.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Sixth Expedition
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Saturday, 14th June, River Strangways. Named after the Honourable H.B. Templar Strangways, Commissioner of Crown Lands, South Australia, and who, since his taking office, has done all in his power to promote exploration of the interior. Sent King and Billiatt back with the horses to the camp at Purdie Ponds, whilst I proceed with the further examination of the creek. I find it now running to the east of north, and the stony rises are closing upon it at two miles and a half. They begin to assume the shape of hills, which causes the travelling to be rather rough. At three miles and a half the hills run close to the creek, and are precipitous; the bed is very rough and stony--so much so that I could not take the horses down it. Ascended a hill near the creek to see what it and the country ahead was like; the hills being so rough that I could not get the horses close enough to see if there was any water, dismounted and scrambled to the top of the precipices; was delighted to see below me a large hole of water. Sent the horses across a gully to another hill still higher, while I descended into the creek; found the bed very rough, having large masses of sandstone and ironstone, which rendered it impassable for the horses. Found the water to be deep and beautifully clear; proceeded down a little further, and saw another large one. The hills close to the creek are very precipitous, and we shall have difficulty in getting the horses down to water; the hills, where they come close to the creek, are covered with spinifex. I shall therefore require to camp the party at the mouth of the gorge, where there is plenty of feed. The hill I had sent the horses to was so rocky they were unable to cross it, and there being higher hills still on ahead, I have left the horses with Auld, and, taking Thring with me, have walked to the top of it to see what course the creek was taking, but they are all so much of the same height and appearance that I can scarcely tell in which direction it runs. There is an appearance of a large creek coming in from the westward, and higher hills towards the north. I shall return and send the party on to this permanent water, and try to find an easy road over the ranges for them. I would have gone on to-day, but my horses are without shoes, and some of them are already lame, and the shoes I brought with me are nearly all exhausted; we have not been using any since shortly after leaving South Australia. Returned to our last night's camp, where we had left the canvas tank with some water that the horses did not drink in the morning; gave them what remained, and proceeded up the creeks to the last water we saw yesterday, where we arrived at sundown and camped. Wind, south.