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glorious view of the valley of the Sahwatch. It was quite level, and from two to five miles in breadth, gradually narrowing to the westward; the rise was imperceptible, appearing like a continuation of the plain of San Luis. An abundant stream, the Sahwatch, nearly as broad as the Huerfano, but deeper, flows through its centre, and empties into the lagoon in San Luis valley. Its surface was clothed with nutritious grasses, and the hills and mountains by which it is hemmed in were covered with a thick growth of firs, aspens, and pines.

We proceeded fourteen miles farther up, and encamped at noon in a small valley running into the main one. There is an abundance of water in all the lateral valleys, as well as grass; in the main one, I noticed a superior quality of sandstone. The weather was clear and pleasant, and wind west.

On resuming our march in the afternoon, we ascended the small valley, as it shortened the distance a couple of miles, and re-entered that of the Sahwatch. After a ride of eight miles we crossed Sahwatch Creek, its waters reaching to our saddles, and encamped, as the sun was setting, at the entrance of the celebrated CoochATOPE Pass.

Sahwatch valley maintains its level character to this point, and for several miles above, where it was shut from view by

The entrance to the Carnero Pass is about a mile above the Coochatope, and we regretted that we had not time to examine it.

A military post placed in Sahwatch valley, between these two passes, would do important service in holding the Utahs in check. These Indians most frequently enter San Luis valley through these passes, and it is here that a fort would be best placed to prevent their incursions, or to intercept their retreat with booty. The mountains are clothed with timber from their base to their summit, the valley with luxuriant and nutritious grasses, and clear, brawling mountain streams pour into them on every side. The distance to the nearest New Mexican settlements is about one hundred and twenty miles, and the intervening country is a dead level. If undisturbed by the incursions of Indians, these valleys would soon be settled and cultivated; for it is only of late, since the establishment of a military post on Utah Creek, that settlements of any consequence have been made on Costilla and Culebra creeks.

a curve.

CHAPTER III.

FROM THE COOCHATOPE PASS TO GRAND RIVER-LOSSES ON

GRAND RIVER.

COOCHATOPE Pass is a wonderful gap, or, more properly speaking, a natural GATE, as its name denotes in the Utah language. On each side, mountains rise in abrupt and rocky precipices, the one on the eastern side being the highest. We climbed

up

the one on the left, which is but a confused mass of rocks, but in their crevices were many beautiful and sweetscented flowers. The bottom of the Pass was level and at right angles with Sahwatch valley; and we had thus far reached twenty-five miles into the mountains, from San Luis valley, without any apparent change of level. Singular as it may appear, it is nevertheless a fact that, notwithstanding the distance that we had penetrated into these mountains, had it not been for the course of the waters, it would have been difficult to have determined whether we were ascending or descending.

A stream issues from Coochatope Pass and joins the Sahwatch; it is called Coochumpah by the Utahs, and Rio de los Cibolos by the Mexicans: both names have the same signification-River of buffaloes. Coochatope signifies, in the Utah language, Buffalo gate, and the Mexicans have the same name for it, El Puerto de los Cibolos. The pass and creek are so called, from the large herds of these animals which entered Sahwatch and San Luis valleys through this pass, from the Three Parks and Upper Arkansas, before they were destroyed, or the direction of their migration changed, by the constant warfare carried on against them by Indians and New Mexicans. A few still remain in the mountains, and are described as very wild and savage. We saw a great number of elk-horns scattered through these val. leys; and, from the comparatively fresh traces of buffaloes, it

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