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RÉSUMÉ.

CENTRAL ROUTE FROM WESTPORT, MISSOURI,

TO LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA.

SECTION I.

From Westport, Missouri, to Council Grove, 122 miles. This portion of the route is over a broad wagon-road, excellent in summer, but heavy rains render it impassable at certain points, where slight bridges would obviate all difficulties.

Bridges are required at Bull Creek, One Hundred and Ten, Dragoon Creek, Council Grove, and two other points. Trains are sometimes detained at these runs for weeks by heavy rains. A few thousand dollars ($3,000) would be sufficient to render this road as good as any in the States, at all

seasons.

Grass along this section is abundant, and camping places frequent.

At Council Grove, there is a large, well-furnished store, where a constant supply of everything required for the road is kept. Also, a good farrier and blacksmith. Parties from New Mexico can here obtain a refit at prices much under those they have to pay in New Mexico.

The country around Council Grove is rich in pasturage, and well timbered. When the Indian titles are extinguished, and a territorial government established, this country will be immediately and thickly settled.

SECTION II.

From Council Grove to Fort Atkinson, Arkansas River, 239 miles.

The face of the country is level. It is all prairie, gently undulating. Cottonwood Creek, Little Arkansas, and Pawnee Fork, require bridging; with these exceptions, the road is firm and good.

Except at three or four points, the country is destitute of timber. Pasturage good.

SECTION III.

From Fort Atkinson (Arkansas River) to mouth of Huerfano River,

247 miles.

The country is a rolling prairie, and its surface more uneven, with a gradual ascent to the westward of about seven feet to the mile.

No timber on the left bank of the Arkansas (it having all been destroyed) until we reach the Big Timbers, where there is an extensive grove of cottonwoods. From thence to the Huerfano there is an abundance of timber.

The soil is dry and hard, and the road excellent. The grass is more rank in the river bottom, and scantier on the plains. Good camping grounds are to be found every few miles.

SECTION IV.

From the mouth of the Huerfano to Fort Massachusetts, 85 miles.

A gently undulating plain leads from the Arkansas to the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Sierra Mojada, from which the Huerfano issues. It is covered with good bunch grass, and the river bottom is well timbered, and affords excellent pasturage.

The Huerfano, at the season that we crossed it (early in June), was swollen by melting snows, but we had no difficulty in finding a good ford.

These plains abound with game—deer, antelopes, and hares; and, near the river, wild turkeys.

The Huerfano enters a cañon about thirty-four miles from its mouth, through which it runs for about ten miles; and both sides of the river are here much broken by gullies. These may be avoided by keeping at a distance of from two to three miles from it. After passing the cañon, the best road is near the stream.

Following the river, the road enters the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, about forty-three miles above its mouth.

The best pass through these mountains is Roubideau's. Its elevation is so moderate, that some sandhills in San Luis Valley, of moderate elevation, can be perceived some time before reaching the pass. It is obstructed with dead timber, which is the principal difficulty to overcome. Another pass, traversed by travellers on horseback, crosses an elevated ridge near the head waters of Sangre de Cristo, which flows west into San Luis Valley, and down this to Utah Creek.

Rich pasturage, timber, and water abound all through these mountains, and they teem with game.

SECTION V.

From Fort Massachusetts to Coochatope Pass, 124 miles. Eighty-one miles of this distance is over a perfectly level country. The road leaves Utah Creek, and in twenty-five miles, course N. W., descends into the bottom lands of the Del Norte. It then crosses numerous sloughs, until it reaches a point 30 miles beyond, where it leaves the river, and goes in a N. by W. course for the entrance of Sahwatch Valley, and up that to the entrance of Coochatope Pass. After entering this pass, for seven miles the ascent is very gradual; it then becomes more rapid until the dividing ridge is crossed. The sloughs of the Del Norte can be avoided by a detour to the right.

San Luis Valley is quite level, and from twenty to twenty-five miles in breadth. Sahwatch Valley is five miles broad at its entrance, and gradually narrows to one mile, and is also perfectly level. The valley of the Coochumpah, in which is the Puerto de los Cibolas (Coochatope), is closely hemmed in by hills, and its ascent is scarcely perceptible until we reach within a couple of miles of the divide.

Good pasturage is found on numerous points on the Del Norte; scanty grass in San Luis Valley, except at the crossing of Garita Creek, fourteen miles from the Del Norte, and at a spring, about ten miles north of the Garita, at both of which good pasturage is abundant. Throughout Sawatch and Coochumpah valleys, abundant grass, timber, and water are found.

Coochatope Pass is much obstructed by trees and underwood, and it had only been travelled by Indians and Indian traders with pack mules, at the time of our passing through; since then two wagon trains have gone through.

The Carnero Pass leads from San Luis Valley to Grand River. Its principal obstruction is a quantity of dead timber in one of the valleys, which might soon be removed by burning. Grass, wood, and water as abundant as in the Coochatope Pass. The trail to the Carnero leaves the Del Norte about eighteen miles above where that to the Coochatope leaves it, and joins the trail through the latter, near the Rio Jaroso (Willow Creek).

SECTION VI.

From Coochatope Pass to Grand River, 134 miles.

This section passes over the mountainous country comprised within the Sahwatch range. The road is entirely practicable for wagons. A more level road makes a detour of eighty miles.

Early in summer, the Coochatope, Estrendoso, Jaroso, Rio de la Laguna, and the Nawaquasitch, all except the first, rising in the Sierra de la Plata, and crossing the road at right angles, are so swollen, as to be impassable for wagons without much trouble; bridges, for which abundant timber grows on their banks, are required over them.

Timber, grass, and water are abundant all through this range; about twenty miles from Grand River, the country becomes level, and is destitute of pasturage, except near the River Uncompagre, down which the road goes until reaching Grand River.

SECTION VII.

From Grand River to Green River, 154 miles.

All level country, and many good camping grounds at easy distances. Timber near the streams.

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