- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Third Expedition
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
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Thursday, 10th November, Strangway Springs. Suffering very much from bad eyes and the effects of the water of these springs; cannot help it, but must go and examine the country to north-west and west. Sent Muller to the east in search of springs, with instructions to strike my former tracks and examine all the country between. Started at 7 a.m. with one man, on a course of 315 degrees, and at one mile crossed a salt creek with water; at three miles the sand hills commenced, crossing our course at right angles. At 2 p.m. struck a large lagoon (salt) about two miles broad and five miles long, running north-east and south-west, narrowing at the ends; distance, fourteen miles; tried to cross it but found it too boggy; rounded it on the south-west point, where we discovered a spring; no surface water, but soft, and the same all round for about two acres square, covered with grass reeds of a very dark colour and very thick, showing the presence of water underneath. Proceeded round the lagoon to a high hill, which seemed to have reeds upon the top of it; after a good deal of bogging and crossing the bends of the lagoon, we arrived at the hill, and found it to be very remarkable. Its colour is dark-green from the reeds and rushes and water-grass which cover it. It is upwards of one hundred feet high, the lower part red sand; but a little higher up is a course of limestone. On the top is a black soil, sand and clay, through and over which the water trickles, and then filters through the sand into the lagoon. Where the water is, on the top, it is upwards of one hundred feet long. Immense numbers of tracks of emus and wild dogs, also some native tracks, all fresh. On the north-west side there is one solitary gum-tree, and about half a mile in the same direction is another bed of reeds, and a spring with water in it. All the banks round the lagoon are of a spongy nature. I am very glad I have found this; it will be another day's stage with water nearer to the Spring of Hope. We can now make that in one day, if we can get an early start. By the discovery of springs on this trip, the road can now be travelled to the furthest water that I saw on my last trip from Adelaide, and not be a night without water for the horses. The country to the south and south-east of the last springs (which I have named the William Springs, after the youngest son of John Chambers, Esquire), is sand hills and valleys, rich in grass and other food for cattle. Thence I proceeded to hill bearing 10 degrees south of north, distant three miles, from the top of which I could see no rising ground to the westward, nothing but sand hills. Changed my course to south, to a white place under some stony hills; at ten miles reached it, and found it to be a salt creek, but no springs. The last ten miles were through hills not so high as those I crossed on my way out, but more broken, with plenty of feed. It is my intention to push for the Strangway Springs tonight, so as to get an early start in the morning. Arrived at 10 p.m., found that one of the horses had not been seen all day; something always does go wrong when I am away; I shall have to make a search for him in the morning. My eyes very bad from the effects of the glare of the sun on the sand hills, and the heat reflected from them, and that everlasting torment, the flies.