|[This excerpt is from one of the six chapters describing Carson's service as a guide with Fremont's 1842 expedition to explore the country westward from Missouri to the Rocky Mountains.]|
|But the reader is already familiar with this condition of
things in the country, because the hero of our story has been
here before, and to apply the term explorer here to Fremont,
and to call this an exploring expedition, seems farcical,
only as we remember that there had not yet been written any
scientific description of this region, so long familiar to
the trappers, and to none more than Carson.
They had now approached the road at what is called the South Pass. The ascent had been so gradual, that, with all the intimate knowledge possessed by Carson, who had made this country his home for seventeen years, they were obliged to watch very closely to find the place at which they reached the culminating point. This was between two low hills, rising on either hand fifty or sixty feet.
Approaching it from the mouth of the Sweet Water, a sandy plain, one hundred and twenty miles long, conducts, by a gradual and regular ascent, to the summit, about seven thousand feet above the sea; and the traveler, without being reminded of any change by toilsome ascents, suddenly finds himself on the waters which flow to the Pacific ocean. . . .
They continued on till they came to a tributary of the Green River, and then followed the stream up to a lake at its source in the mountains, and had here a view of extraordinary magnificence and grandeur, beyond what is seen in any part of the Alps . . .