We passed Loper's claim after resuming our journey the next day. His workings were a one-man proposition and very ingenious. We found a tunnel in the gravel a hundred feet above the river, and some distance back from the river bank. A track of light rails ran from the river bank to these workings; the gravel and sand was loaded into a car, and hauled or pushed to the bank, then dumped into a chute, which sent it down to the river's edge.

Loper was not at his work however, neither did we find him at his ranch, a mile down the river. He had a neat little place, with fruit trees and a garden, a horse or two, and some poultry. After resuming our rowing, when about a mile down the river, some one called to us from the shore, and Loper himself came running down to meet us. John Hite had requested us to stop and see his brother, Cass Hite, who owned a ranch and placer working nearly opposite where Loper had halted us; so Loper crossed with us, as he was anxious to know of our passage through the canyons.

We found, in Cass Hite, an interesting "old-timer," one who had followed the crowd of miners and pioneers, in the West, since the discovery of gold on the coast. He was the discoverer of the White Canyon Natural Bridges, of Southern Utah, located between this point and the San Juan River, and had been the first to open the ferry at Dandy Crossings. Hite had prospected Navajo Mountain, southwest of this point, in the early sixties, about the time of the Navajos' trouble with the United States army, under the leadership of Kit Carson, who dislodged them from their strongholds in the mountains after many others had failed. Hite's life was saved on more than one occasion by warnings from a friendly chief, or head man of the Western Navajos, known as Hoskaninni, who regarded him as a brother, and bestowed on him the name, Hosteen pes'laki, meaning "Silver man." He is still known by this name, and refers to his pretty ranch as Tick a Bo, a Ute word for "friendly." Hite proudly quoted a poem written by Cy Warman about the theme of the Indian's regard for his white friend. Warman had followed the crowd in to this spot at the time of the boom, looking for local colour - human local colour, not the glitter in the sands. It was at John Hite's home where Warman had composed the one time popular song, "Sweet Marie." It would be safe to say that he brought his inspiration with him, for this was decidedly a man's country. We were told that it had only been visited by one woman in the past twelve years. Hite insisted on our remaining until the following morning, and we concluded that the rest would do us good. He loaded us up with watermelons, and with raisins, which he was curing at that time. We spent a pleasant afternoon under a shaded arbour, listening to his reminiscences, and munching at the raisins.

That evening Loper told us his story of their canyon expedition. He felt a little bitter about some newspaper reports that had been published concerning this expedition, these reports giving the impression that his nerve had failed him, and that for this reason he had not continued on the journey. We mollified his feelings somewhat, when we told him that his companions were not responsible for these reports; but rather, that short telegraphic reports, sent out from the Grand Canyon, had been misconstrued by the papers; and that this accounted for the stories which had appeared. His companions had remained at the Grand Canyon for two days following their arrival at Bright Angel Trail. They gave Loper credit, to our certain knowledge, of being the only one of the party who knew how to handle the boats in rough water when they began the trip, and had stated that he ran all the boats through certain rapids until they caught the knack. They could not know of his reasons for the delay, and at that time had no knowledge of his arrival at Lee's Ferry, after they had gone. Naturally they were very much puzzled over his non-appearance.

It got quite cold that night, and we were glad to have shelter of Hite's hospitable roof. In our trip down the river to this point we had seemed to keep even with the first cold weather. In all places where it was open, we would usually find a little ice accompanied by frost in the mornings, or if no ice had frozen the grass would be wet with dew. In the canyons there was little or no ice, and the air was quite dry. Naturally we preferred the canyons if we had a choice of camps.

Loper looked as though he would like to accompany us as we pulled away the next morning, after having landed him on the south side of the stream. We, at least, had full confidence in his nerve to tackle the lower Colorado, after his record in Cataract Canyon. The five scattered peaks of the Henry Mountains were now to the north-northwest of us, rugged and snow-capped, supreme in their majesty above this desolate region.

Signs of an ancient Indian race were plentiful in this section. There were several small cliff dwellings, walled up in ledges in the rocks, a hundred feet or so above a low flat which banked the river. At another place there were hundreds of carvings on a similar wall which overhung a little. Drawings of mountain-sheep were plentiful; there was one representing a human figure with a bow and arrow, and with a sheep standing on the arrow - their way of telling that he got the sheep, no doubt. There were masked figures engaged in a dance, not unlike some of the Hopi dances of to-day, as they picture them. There were geometrical figures, and designs of many varieties. A small rock building half covered with sand and the accumulations of many years stood at the base of the cliff; and quantities of broken pottery were scattered about the ruin. Farther down the river a pathway was worn into the sandstone where countless bare and moccasined feet had toiled, and climbed over the sloping wall to the mesa above. The ruins in this section were not extensive, like those found in the tributary canyons of the San Juan River, for instance, not a very great distance from here. Possibly this people stopped here as they travelled back and forth, trading with their cousins to the north; or the dwellings may have been built by the scattered members of the tribe, when their strongholds were assailed by the more warlike tribes that crowded in on them from all sides.

What a story these cliffs could tell! What a romance they could narrate of various tribes, as distinct from each other as the nations of Europe, crowding each other; and at the last of this inoffensive race, coming from the far south, it may be; driven from pillar to post, making their last stand in this desert land; to perish of pestilence, or to be almost exterminated by the blood-thirsty tribes that surrounded them - then again, when the tide changed, and a new type of invader travelled from the east, pushing ever to the west, conquering all before them! But like the sphinx, the cliffs are silent and voiceless as the hillocks and sand-dunes along the Nile, that other desert stream, with a history no more ancient and momentous than this.

That night we camped opposite the ruins of a dredge, sunk in the low water at the edge of the river. This dredge had once represented the outlay of a great deal of money. It is conceded by nearly all experts that the sands of these rivers contain gold, but it is of such a fine grain - what is known as flour gold - and the expense of saving it is so great, that it has not paid when operated on such a large scale. A few placers in Glen Canyon have paid individual operators, some of these claims being in gravel deposits from six hundred to eight hundred feet above the present level of the river.

On the following day we again entered deep canyon; sheer for several hundred feet, creamy white above, with a dark red colour in the lower sandstone walls. That afternoon we passed a small muddy stream flowing from the north, in a narrow, rock-walled canyon. This was the Escalante River, a stream rising far to the north, named for one of the Spanish priests who had travelled this country, both to the north and the south of this point, as early as the year 1776, about the time when the New England colonists were in the midst of their struggle with the mother country.

Just below the Escalante River, the canyon turned almost directly south, continuing in this general direction for several miles. A glimpse or two was had of the top of a tree-covered snow-capped peak directly ahead of us, or a little to the southwest. This could be none other than Navajo Mountain, a peak we could see from the Grand Canyon, and had often talked of climbing, but debated if we could spare the time, now that we were close to it.

In all this run through Glen Canyon we had a good current, but only one place resembling a rapid. Here, below the Escalante, it was very quiet, and hard pulling was necessary to make any headway. We were anxious to reach the San Juan River that evening, but the days were growing short, and we were still many miles away when it began to grow dusk; so we kept a lookout for a suitable camp. The same conditions that had bothered us on one or two previous occasions were found here; slippery, muddy banks, and quicksand, together with an absence of firewood. We had learned before this to expect these conditions where the water was not swift. The slower stream had a chance to deposit its silt, and if the high water had been very quiet, we could expect to find it soft, or boggy. In the canyons containing swift water and rapids we seldom found mud, but found a firm sand, instead. Here in Glen Canyon we had plenty of mud, for the river had been falling the last few days. Time and again we inspected seemingly favourable places, only to be disappointed. The willows and dense shrubbery came down close to the river; the mud was black, deep, and sticky; all driftwood had gone out on the last flood. Meanwhile a glorious full moon had risen, spreading a soft, weird light over the canyon walls and the river; so that we now had a light much better than the dusk of half an hour previous, our course being almost due south. Finally, becoming discouraged, we decided to pull for the San Juan River, feeling sure that we would find a sand-bar there. It was late when we reached it, and instead of a sand-bar we found a delta of bottomless mud. We had drifted past the point where the rivers joined, before noticing that the stream turned directly to the west, with canyon walls two or three hundred feet high, and no moonlight entered there. Instead, it was black as a dungeon. From down in that darkness there came a muffled roar, reverberating against the walls, and sounding decidedly like a rapid. There was not a minute to lose. We pulled, and pulled hard - for the stream was now quite swift close to the right shore, and a sheer bank of earth about ten feet high made it difficult to land. Jumping into the mud at the edge of the water, we tied the boats to some bushes, then tore down the bank and climbed out on a dry, sandy point of land. At the end or sharp turn of the sheer wall we found a fair camp, with driftwood enough for that night. Emery, weak from his former illness and the long day's run, went to bed as soon as we had eaten a light supper. I looked after the cooking that evening, making some baking-powder bread, - otherwise known as a flapjack, - along with other arrangements for the next day; but I fear my efforts as a cook always resulted rather poorly.

We had breakfast at an early hour the next morning and were ready for the boats at 7.15, the earliest start to our record. Our rapid of the night before proved to be a false alarm, being nothing more than the breaking of swift water as it swept the banks of rocks at the turn. It was quite different from what we had pictured in our minds.

We had long looked forward to this day. Navajo Mountain, with bare, jagged sides and tree-covered dome, was located just a few miles below this camp. It was a sandstone mountain peak, towering 7000 feet above the river, the steep slope beginning some five or six miles back from the stream. The base on which it rested was of sandstone, rounded and gullied into curious forms, a warm red and orange colour predominating. The north side, facing the river, was steep of slope, covered with the fragments of crumbled cliffs and with soft cream-tinted pinnacles rising from its slope. The south side, we had reason, to believe, was tree-covered from top to bottom; the north side held only a few scattered cedar pinon We had often seen the hazy blue dome from the Grand Canyon, one hundred and twenty miles away, and while it was fifty miles farther by the river, we felt as if we were entered on the home stretch; as if we were in a country with which we were somewhat familiar.

The Colorado and the San Juan rivers form the northern boundary of the Navajo Indian Reservation, comprising a tract of land as large as many Eastern states, extending over a hundred miles, both east and west from this point. Embodied in this reservation, and directly opposite our camp, was a small section of rugged land set aside for some Utes, who had friendly dealings, and who had intermarried with the Navajo. But if we expected to find the Navajo, or Utes on the shore, ready to greet us, we were doomed to disappointment.

We explored a few side canyons this morning, hoping to find a spot where some of Major Powell's party - particularly those men who were afterwards killed by the Indians - had chiselled their names, which record we were told was to be found near the San Juan, but on which side we were not sure. While in one of these canyons, or what was really nothing more than a crooked overhanging slit in the rocks, containing a small stream, Emery found himself in some soft quicksand, plunged instantly above his knees, and sinking rapidly. He would have had a difficult time in getting out of this quicksand without help, for a smooth, rock wall was on one side, the other bank of the stream was sheer above him for a few feet, and there was nothing solid which he could reach. We had seen a great deal of quicksand before this, but nothing of this treacherous nature. Usually we could walk quickly over these sands without any danger of being held in them, or if caught - while lifting on a boat for instance - had no difficulty in getting out. When once out of this canyon we gave up our search for the carved record.

But it was not the hope of shortening our homeward run, or the prospect of meeting Indians on the shores, or of finding historical records, even, that caused us to make this early start. It was the knowledge that the wonderful Rainbow Natural Bridge, recently discovered, and only visited by three parties of whites, lay hidden in one of the side canyons that ran from the north slope of Navajo Mountain. No one had gone into it from the river, but we were told it could be done. We hoped to find this bridge.

The current was swift, and we travelled fast, in spite of a stiff wind which blew up the stream, getting a very good view of the mountain from the river a few miles below our camp, and another view of the extreme top, a short distance below this place, not over six miles from the San Juan. We had directions describing the canyon in which the bridge was located, our informant surmising that it was thirty miles below the San Juan. We thought it must be less than that, for the river was very direct at this place, and a person travelling over the extremely rough country which surrounded this side of the mountain slope would naturally have to travel much farther, so began to look for it about twelve miles below camp. But mile after mile went by without any sign of the landmarks that would tell us we were at the "Bridge Canyon." Then the river, which had circled the northern side of the peak, turned directly away from it, and we knew that we had missed the bridge. At no point on the trip had we met with a disappointment to equal that; even the loss of our moving-picture film, after our spill in Lodore, was small when compared with it.

On looking back over the lay of the land, we felt sure that the bridge was at one of the two places, where we had seen the top of the mountain from the river. To go back against the current would take at least three days. Our provisions were limited in quantity and would not permit it; the canyon had deepened, and a second bench of sheer cliffs rose above the plateau, making it impossible to climb out: so we concluded to make the best of it, and pulled down the stream, trying to put as many miles as possible between ourselves and our great disappointment. This afternoon we passed from Utah into Arizona. For the remainder of the trip we would have Arizona on one side of the river at least. We had much the same difficulty this evening as we had the night before in finding a camp. Judging by the evidence along the shore, the high water which came down the San Juan had been a torrent, much greater than the flood on the Colorado and its upper tributaries.