CHAPTER VII. JIMMY GOES OVER THE MOUNTAIN
Mr. Chew also told us of the Snyders, who had lost their boat in upper Lodore Canyon, and of how he had given them a horse and provisions to aid them in reaching the settlements. This did not prevent the elder Snyder from coming back to trap the next year, much to Mr. Chew's disgust. He thought one experience should be enough for any man.
While we were talking, a very old, bearded man rode in on a horse. He was Pat Lynch, the owner of the little ranch by the river. He was a real old-timer, having been in Brown's Park when Major Powell was surveying that section of the country. He told us that he had been hired to get some meat for the party, and had killed five mountain sheep. He was so old that he scarcely knew what he was talking about, rambling from one subject to another; and would have us listening with impatience to hear the end of some wonderful tale of the early days, when he would suddenly switch off on to an entirely different subject, leaving the first unfinished.
In spite of his years he was quite active, having broken the horses on which he rode, bareback, without assistance. We were told that he placed a spring or trap gun in his houses at the river, ready to greet any prying marauder The last we saw of him he was on his way to the post-office, miles away, to draw his pension for service in the Civil War.
Returning to the transportation of Jimmy, it was settled that the Chews were to leave early the next morning. They also agreed to take out our exposed films and plate for us - something we had not counted on, but too good a chance to lose. We all three returned to the boats and packed the stuff that was to go out; then went back to the ranch with Jimmy. It was late - after midnight - when we reached there, and we did not disturb any one. Jimmy's blankets were unrolled in the wagon, so there would be no question about his going out. He was to go to Jensen, or Vernal, and there await us, keeping our films until we arrived. We knew they were in good hands. It was with some difficulty that we found our way back to our camp. The trail was difficult and it was pitch dark. My boat had been taken down to where Emery left the Edith when the horses were driven across, and this extra distance was added to our walk.
We were laggard the next morning, and in no hurry to resume our work. We rearranged our loads in the boats; with one less man and considerable less baggage as well, they were lighter by far. Our chances looked much more favourable for an easier passage. Not only were these things in our favour, but in addition we felt that we had served our apprenticeship at navigation in rapid water, and we were just as capable of meeting the rapids to follow as if we had years of experience to our record. On summing up we found that the river had dropped 1000 feet since leaving Green River, Wyoming, and that 5000 feet remained, to put us on a level with the ocean. Our difficulties would depend, of course, on how this fall was distributed. Most of the fall behind was found in Lodore and Red canyons. It was doubtful indeed if any section would have a more rapid fall than Lodore Canyon.
There is a certain verse of wisdom which says that "Pride goeth before a fall," but perhaps it was just as well for us if we were a little bit elated by our past achievements as long as we had to go through with the balance of our self-imposed task. Confidence, in a proper degree, is a great help when real difficulties have to be surmounted. We were full of confidence that day when we pulled away about noon into Whirlpool Canyon, Whirlpool Canyon being next on the list. The camp we were about to leave was directly opposite Lodore Canyon, where it ran against the upended cliff. The gorgeous colours were the same as those on the opposite side, and, to a certain degree, were also found in Whirlpool Canyon.