The banks of the river, for a considerable distance, both above and below the falls, have a volcanic character: masses of basaltic rock are piled one upon another; the water makes its way through their broken chasms, boiling through narrow channels, or pitching in beautiful cascades over ridges of basaltic columns.
Whenever he approached Snake River, he found it running through a broad chasm, with steep, perpendicular sides of basaltic rock.
After encamping at this place all night, Captain Bonneville, at sunrise, descended with his party through a narrow ravine, or rather crevice, in the vast wall of basaltic rock which bordered the river; this being the only mode, for many miles, of getting to the margin of the stream.
We had left the beach early in the morning, and after an uninterrupted, though at times difficult and dangerous ascent, during which we had never once turned our faces to the sea, we found ourselves, about three hours before sunset, standing on the top of what seemed to be the highest land on the island, an immense overhanging cliff composed of basaltic
rocks, hung round with parasitical plants.
There was a pale-green foreground of feathery vegetation, which sloped upwards and ended in a line of cliffs dark red in color, and curiously ribbed like some basaltic formations which I have seen.
These cliffs, I may remark, are basaltic, and therefore plutonic.
The walls were smooth and appeared to be composed of a black, basaltic
Nothing could be more weird than the appearance of these seemingly basaltic
summits; they stood out in fantastic profile against the sombre sky, and the beholder might have fancied them to be the legendary ruins of some vast city of the middle ages, such as the icebergs of the polar seas sometimes mimic them in nights of gloom.
Santa Cruz -- Expedition up the River -- Indians -- Immense Streams of Basaltic Lava -- Fragments not transported by the River -- Excavations of the Valley -- Condor, Habits of -- Cordillera -- Erratic Boulders of great size -- Indian Relics -- Return to the Ship -- Falkland Islands -- Wild Horses, Cattle, Rabbits -- Wolf-like Fox -- Fire made of Bones -- Manner of Hunting Wild Cattle -- Geology -- Streams of Stones -- Scenes of Violence -- Penguins -- Geese -- Eggs of Doris -- Compound Animals.
This morning, however, pebbles of the same rock but more compact, suddenly became abundant, and in th course of half an hour we saw, at the distance of five o six miles, the angular edge of a great basaltic platform When we arrived at its base we found the stream bubblin among the fallen blocks.
At the first glance of th basaltic cliffs on the opposite sides of the valley, it wa evident that the strata once were united.
On the one side a great crag towered up a thousand feet or more, black, stern, and menacing, with long basaltic
columns upon its rugged surface like the ribs of some petrified monster.