Monday, 9th April, The Hugh Gum Creek.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Fourth Expedition
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Monday, 9th April, The Hugh Gum Creek. Started for the highest point of the James range. At four miles arrived on the top, through a very thick scrub of mulga; the range is composed of soft red sandstone, long blocks of it lying on the side. To the east, apparently red sand hills, beyond which are seen the tops of other hills to the north-east. On the north-west the view is intercepted by a high, broken range, with two very remarkable bluffs about the centre. I shall direct my course to the east bluff, which is apparently the higher of the two. In the intermediate country are three lower ranges, between which are flats of green grass, and red sand hills. To the west are grassy flats next to the creek; beyond these are seen the tops of distant ranges and broken hills; at about six miles the Hugh seems to turn more to the north, towards a very rough range of red sandstone. We then descended into a grassy flat with a few gum-trees. We have had a very great difficulty in crossing the range, and now I am again stopped by another low range of the same description, which is nearly perpendicular--huge masses of red sandstone on its side, and in the valley a number of old native camps. After following the range three miles, we at last found out a place to cross it. Although this is not half the height of James range, we encountered far more difficulty; the scrub was very dense, a great quantity having withered and fallen down: we could scarcely get the horses to face it. Our course was also intercepted by deep, perpendicular ravines, which we were obliged to round after a great deal of trouble, having our saddlebags torn to pieces, and our skin and clothes in the same predicament. We arrived at the foot nearly naked, and got into open sandy rises and valleys, with mulga and plenty of grass, among which there is some spinifex growing. At sundown, after having gone about eight miles further, we made a large gum creek, in which we found some water; it is very broad, with a sand and gravel bottom. Camped, both men and horses being very tired.