Wednesday, 25th May, Dry Gum Creek.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Second Expedition
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Wednesday, 25th May, Dry Gum Creek. Examined the creek for water, but found none. Started on the same course as yesterday, 313 degrees, for the north-east highest point, which I suppose to be the Mount Margaret of Major Warburton. Native tracks seen in the creek. There may be water some distance down the creek, but here it is too sandy to retain it. At four miles struck another gum creek in turning round the south side of the range; it was of the same description as the others, too sandy to hold water. Proceeded towards the highest point of the range, and obtained an observation of the sun within a mile and a half of the mount. Left the horses in charge of Muller and ascended the mount, which was very difficult; it took us an hour to go up, and three-quarters of an hour to come down. The hill is composed of a greenish slate, lying horizontally at the base, and courses of quartz and granite, with ironstone; but I can see nothing of Major Warburton's quartz cliffs; they must be more to the south-west. The range has a very peculiar appearance from a short distance off; it seems to be an immense number of rugged conical hills all thrown together. From the top, the view to the north-west was hidden by a higher point of the range. To the north-north-west there is another range, about twenty miles distant, apparently higher than this, running south-west and north-east. To the north is another far-distant range; to the east, broken hill and stony plain, with a number of clay-pans. A number of creeks run to the eastward from this range; they become gum creeks further down, but in and close to the range they have myall bushes, and other shrubs. No water to be obtained in this range. Changed my course to the north-east to examine a white clay-pan that I thought might contain some fresh water. At three miles came upon it, and was very much disappointed to find it salt. This being the second day that the horses have been without water, I must give up the search for springs and return to one mile south of the Douglas, where we had found a little rain water. It being nearly sundown, I made for the last large gum creek, striking it lower down, also cutting the other creeks between, hoping to find water in some, but there was none. Made the large gum creek at 10 o'clock. Camped for the night. Horses very much done up, in consequence of the ground that we have been travelling over being so rotten and stony. The country is not good, nor the range; but at three miles to the east it becomes less stony and better grassed. No water.