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[To face p. 180, Vol. II.

ascended 1170 feet. On the way we had recourse to a loop, the line crossing the valley winding up its side, then crossing back again by a lofty viaduct and thus overcoming the greatest abrupt rise in the valley, making, in fact, an aërial instead of a subterranean corkscrew as they so often do under similar circumtances in the Alps. At Graymount we found a tolerable hotel, where we stayed a few days to explore. There were two valleys from here, the most northerly and larger, called Grizzly Gulch, penetrated further into the mountains to the north of Gray's Peak ; the smaller and steeper leading to a small collection of miners' huts called Kelso's Cabin, and then along a wide, upland valley just above timber-line up to the very foot of Gray's Peak, whence a winding mule-track led to its summit.

On the second day, when going up Grizzly Gulch, we came to a miner's cabin, and two men we saw there asked us to have dinner with them. They gave us some good soup, pork, and peas, with hot coffee. They told us that a little higher up there was a fine place for flowers, and that they were going by there to their work. So we went with them, and about a quarter of a mile up we came to some patches of snow at the foot of a fine alpine, rocky slope, and all around it was a complete flower-garden. We remained here some hours to botanize, and gathered thirty-five species of alpine plants in Aower. Some, as Mertensia alpina, Parnassia fimbriata, Phacelia sericea, and Primula angustifolia, were among the gems of the Rocky Mountain flora. Others were European, as Anemone narcissiflora, Ranunculus nivalis, Astragalus alpina, and Androsace septentrionalis; while others, again, were British, as Silene acaulis, Dryas octopetala, and the rare Swertia perennis, which here dotted the grass with its curious slaty-blue flowers. The scenery was just like many a Swiss Alp, where snow-peaks were not in sight, and the flowers, if not quite so brilliant or so numerous in species, were especially charming to me from the curious mixture of European and American species.

On our second visit to Kelso's Cabin we were overtaken by Mr. Thomas West, an English mining engineer, in whose

house in Grizzly Gulch we had dined the day before, and he asked us to make use of his hut high up the valley, so as to have plenty of time for our visit to Gray's Peak. We took our lunch in a miner's hut, and I was greatly pleased with the little chipmunks—a very small ground-squirrel—which came round the door to pick up crumbs, and after a little time entered the house and ate whatever we gave them without any fear. The miners are as fond of these little creatures as we are of robins, and thus they become quite pets about houses in the wilds where they abound. In the evening we made our way to the cabin, said to be the highest house in the States (about thirteen thousand feet), where it freezes at night nearly all the year round. Some of Mr. West's men had brought up stores, the house being used for prospecting purposes and trial-workings. They made us quite welcome, and we had supper together.

The next morning we walked up to the top of Gray's Peak (14,340 feet), one of the highest in the Rocky Mountains. On this side the ascent was very easy, over grassy slopes interspersed with streams of loose stone fragments, everywhere dotted with interesting alpine plants. The summit was a nearly level plateau, with precipices on the north-west, and with a magnificent view all round, only limited by the yellow haze which cuts off the horizon. We had, however, a view of the celebrated Holy Cross mountain, about thirty-five miles to the south-west, below the summit of which some deep gorges preserve perpetual snow in the shape of a cross.

Over an area of about three hundred miles from north to south, and two hundred from east to west, there are said to be over thirty summits which reach fourteen thousand feet, and many more above thirteen thousand-a clear indication of this whole region having been once a nearly level plateau, which, during the process of elevation, has been cut into innumerable valleys and cañons by sub-aërial denuda on. This is the more remarkable, as the geological structure of the region is very complex, consisting of ancient rocks, and has 'probably once been covered by the Secondary and Tertiary deposits which now everywhere surround it, as

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