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Miles, Nelson Appleton, 1839-1925 / Personal recollections and observations of General Nelson A. Miles embracing a brief view of the Civil War, or, From New England to the Golden Gate: and the story of his Indian campaigns, with comments on the exploration, development and progress of our great western empire

Chapter XXXIV. From Indian territory to Arizona,   pp. 432-444 PDF (5.9 MB)

Page 442

most remarkable region known as the Painted Desert, or as the Indians,
who carefully avoid the spot, call it, "the country of departed spirits.
" It
is a perfect picture of desolation, being entirely destitute of water and
vegetation, and with its entire surface covered with isolated peaks and
                                           laI, f f4--,  fqQ1,h"an c
 l-1vx trill  floods
"UL U Uqu I JO 11 X"11W11t,,~ " | E--X-A
of ages into the most fantastic
and grotesque shapes. The air
is wonderfully clear, and shows
marvelous mirages in the form
of temples, fountains, fortifi-
cations, beautiful landscapes,
companies of people, and all
painted by the atmosphere in
such a way that it seems ini-
possi1)le to doubt their reality.
   The Colorado River, which
crosses the northwest corner
and forms part of the western
boundary of Arizona, ranks
among the great rivers of the
continent.  The Grand Cafion
of the Colorado is one of the
wonders of nature, the dupli-
cate of which can nowhere be
found. This tremendous gorge,
from one thousand to seven
thousand feet in depth, cuts
its way through the solid rock
for more than four hundred
miles, and though its beauty
                                           acter, it is superbly grand.
Standing beside its rushing waters it gives one a strange sensation to real-
ize that he is over a mile below the crust of the earth. The Colorado is
one of the principal tributaries of the Pacific Ocean on the American conti-
nent, and down its course there flows a volume of water rivaling that of
Nile. and capable of irrigating a territory several times the extent of Egypt.
   The first miners in Arizona were the old Jesuit fathers. Their success
encouraged others, and mammy rich discoveries were made. The largest

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