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worth while to be worthy of his confidence; he was found in every part of the vast machinery whose steam lay in his audacious force of character, and whose governor consisted of his unrivaled business tact. Just before I left New York I saw him at an artists' reception at Dodworth's. I ask the Pine Grove hermit if he ever saw Mr. Holladay. “You bet!” replies my hermit; “he was here day before yesterday.” With the exception of the abrupt descent made by us from the plateau of the remarkable trap dikes, down the terraces where John Calvin frowns in eternal petrifaction to the last crossing of the Platte, we had been climbing steadily to this cabin, from the sunset which saw us over the lesser fork of Laramie and the moonlight which made silver filagree of the splash from our horses' hoofs as we forded Cooper's Creek. We were now, by the most reasonable estimate, at an altitude of more than ten thousand feet. Our calculations were corroborated by the character of the surrounding vegetation. We had parted from cotton-woods on the western verge of Laramie Plains. Then the osiers left us, and the dry Artemisia fringed the snow-cold rivulets that traversed our trail—coming, with the grease wood, clear down to the margin where at less elevations we might have looked for a swaying willowy fringe. Now, at Pine Grove, deciduous vegetation failed almost entirely. The hardiest of the succulent-leaved trees gave way to that sturdy growth which is separated only by the moss and the lichen from absolute barrenness. We saw no longer the “quaking-asp” (Populus tremuloides) nor the cañon maple (Acer macrophyllum, var. Utahense 2). Here was the kingdom of the Coniferae, and even these were stinted. Around the young hunter's and stationkeeper's cabin, the funereal foliage of spruce, and fir, and pine, attained a growth of but forty or fifty feet, though dense enough to add a strange solemnity to the obscure loneliness of this lofty mountain crest. Emerging from the black shadows of the pines, we came into a tract whose colossal wildness of scenery stands apart in my recollection, by virtue of the same class of traits which isolate certain lonely and severe human characters. In no one particular was it measured on so vast a scale as certain other savage landscapes I have visited. But its toute ensemble was that of utter, unbroken solitude. We hardly needed the information vouchsafed us by the driver, that we were now crossing the dividing ridge between the Atlantic and Pacific— the great water-shed of the Rocky Mountains. Even after my long experience of the breadth of the range, I was not fully prepared to find this ridge so unostentatious of its true character. True, I had not expected when I reached it to see, as from the summit range of our narrow Alleghanies, the bird’s-eye view of either slope and the plains below mottled with cloud and sunshine, and arabesqued in every direction by the silver threads of rivers belonging to the two systems of drainage; but neither, on the other hand, had I looked for such a complete absence of all the distinctive traits proper to that idea of a mountain chain and water-shed which we get from maps and charts of physical geography. We were completely shut in by a chaos of mountains. Our track kept the summit of a sinuous divide, for the most part narrow as a railway embankment, save where it inosculated with other like ridges, coming, seemingly without system of distribution, from every direction, and separated by deep gullies, pits, and trenches, bare of all vegetation, save here and there a scanty tuft of bunch grass, which seemed rather to have been calked into the dry seams of the soilless granite than to grow out of them. Our divide possibly varied from a few hundred to a thousand feet in height above the holes and chasms; while on either hand, looking in that crystal atmosphere of the upper world but a stone's cast off, and in reality at a distance to be measured by miles, the transverse convolutions of the range (those in fact which give propriety to its name of a “chain”) rose two or three thousand feet higher still. These cross ranges were very precipitous, ascending, without regard to the irregular glacis of detritus at their base, at an angle of 60° to 70°, seamed with mighty scars where the frost had toppled over and slid off acre-large fragments of their battlements, furrowing their naked flanks all the way down—bare of all vegetation even in these channels—bare even of soil, until the eye paused just below their perpetual snow-line on a slender rim, green as emerald, fed by the meltings from above. It was almost midsummer, —a week after the solstice,— yet in many scars the snow lay uninterrupted from crest to base; and along the whole irregular line of the ridges it was the packed accumulation of numberless years, solidified to the consistency of a glacier, and wearing that peculiar pearl-blue or opalescent tint belonging to that formation. On the average the snow-line of these transverse ridges was drawn about a fifth of the distance downward from their crest, and the emerald band which ran almost exactly parallel, ranged half that distance further down the declivity. Below that, and in all directions around us, the congeries of mountains and lesser divides were bare as the pavement of a city, a quarry, or the driest thing known either to nature or to art. The prevailing color on the heights was a dull reddish brown; in the pits and chasms, a leaden gray. Up in the emerald band was ice-cold water and succulent pasturage for the bighorn; thither must his hunter climb; there, freezing through long nights when the mercury fell to zero, must he wait patiently; there must he watch for days, with no food but a strip of jerked buffalo; thence might he never return at all, his hunter, the grizzly or the cougar, having “gobbled ” him unaware; or returning, have nought to bring down with him but a set of frozen toes and the humiliating experience of a long-range shot at some Ulysses among rams, who had jumped a chasm with an ounce ball in his shoulder, and gained his inaccessible fastness in a peak a thousand feet higher yet. Just beyond the water-shed this basin of mountains contracts into a narrow gallery, walled by noble precipices of red granite and metamorphic sandstone, rising directly from the traveller's side to the almost perpendicular height of from a thousand to twentyfive hundred feet. In some places this gallery appears scarcely more than a crevice of dislocation, a mere crack between stupendous naked rocks which would match joints exactly if slid back to their old position. In no part of it does the resemblance to a work of engineering art cease to strike one. Though the passage is in reality abundantly ample for an army, the vast height of its lateral walls makes it seem proportionally so narrow that it might be the rock-cut of some bygone race of road-builders. This American Simplon is Bridger's Pass. It is several miles in length, and has a main westerly direction with a slope toward the same point of compass. It is quite sinuous, but nowhere turns so abruptly that its passage is difficult to a four-horse team, nor is its descent anywhere so sudden as to be liable to a like objection. I was astonished at finding the art of the engineer so far anticipated for the purpose of a convenient transit route between the two coasts of our country, as everywhere appears in Bridger's Pass. It is named after the celebrated explorer and trader, Major James Bridger, who was either its first white discoverer, or the first to make it widely known as a convenient means of access to the vast interior basin of the Continent. He came to this region nearly forty-five years ago, and during much of the period since then, remained in constant relation with the Indian tribes ranging between New Mexico and the Great South Pass—including those of the Upper Missouri, Green, and Columbia Rivers. He had established a trading post and an important depot and resting place for emigrants to California, at the fort which bears his name, long before it became a military station of the United States government. Just at the western portal of this magnificent gallery, and at a depression of perhaps fifteen hundred feet below its eastern entrance, we emerged into another basin-shaped valley, walled by snow-crested ridges like those surrounding the water-shed, but having a luxuriant green bottom, irrigated by rivulets from the meltings above. A large emigrant train had just made its halt there for the night. We felt an almost bovine sympathy for the cattle, who were eagerly browsing up to their bellies in the rank herbage of the stream-margins. It was half an hour after

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