Friday, 18th July, Priscilla Creek.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Sixth Expedition
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Friday, 18th July, Priscilla Creek. Started at 8.15, course north-west. Passed over grassy plains and stony rise; when, at three miles, seeing the termination of a range in a bluff point, changed my course to 310 degrees. Proceeded, still crossing stony hills, consisting of ironstone, slate, and a hard white rock, which is broken into rectangular fragments; also over broad valleys, which are covered with grass that when green must have stood very high, but is now so dry that it breaks off before the horses. My horse being first, collects so much on his front legs that I have been obliged to stop, pull him back, and allow it to fall, so that he may step over it, go on, get another load, and do the same. At six miles and a half, after crossing a plain, crossed a deep bamboo creek; this I have named Ellen Creek. Proceeded over two other stony rises and valleys of the same description, and came upon extensive plains, well grassed, and of beautiful alluvial soil; crossing them towards the bluff point at fifteen miles, came upon the Adelaide between me and the bluff, which is about a mile further on; the river is about eighty yards wide, and so still that I could not see which way the current was. I suppose its being high tide was the cause of this. The banks are thickly lined with bamboo, very tall and stout, very steep, and twelve feet down to the water's edge; the water appeared to be of great depth, and entirely free from snags or fallen timber. The range on the opposite side of the river, for which I was directing my course, being the highest I have seen in this new country, I have named it after His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief of South Australia, Daly Range, and its highest peak to the north Mount Daly. Before reaching the river, at thirteen miles, we passed a high conspicuous tent hill, at right angle, north-east to our line; this I have named Mount Goyder, after the Surveyor-General of South Australia. Followed the river on a north course for about a mile, when I was stopped by a deep side creek of thick bamboo, with water; turned to the east, rounded the bamboo, but found myself in a boggy marsh, which I could not cross. This marsh is covered with fine grass, in black alluvial soil, in which is growing a new kind of lily, with a large broad heart-shaped leaf a foot or more across; the blossoms are six inches high, resemble a tulip in shape, and are of a deep brilliant rose colour; the seeds are contained in a vessel resembling the rose of a watering-pot, with the end of each egg-shaped seed showing from the holes, and the colour of this is a bright yellow. The marsh is studded with a great number of melaleuca-trees, tall and straight. As I could not cross, I had to round it, which took me a little more than an hour; when I got upon some low undulating rises, not far from Mount Goyder, composed of conglomerate ironstone and ironstone gravel, which seem to produce the springs which supply the marsh. Camped on the side of the marsh, to give the horses the benefit of the green grass, for some of them are still troubled with worms, and are very poor and miserable, and I have no medicine to give them, and there is not a blade of grass on the banks of the river--all has been burnt within the last four days. Native smoke in every direction. Wind south-east, with a few clouds. Latitude, 12 degrees 49 minutes 30 seconds.