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John Gilbert diary entry

5 March 1845

Page 42. Volume 2

[in left margin]

768

which [it] ran to the Northward a slight cut for a few hundred yards when others sim=ilar in size α form met it and I saw at once I was on the first of a new water course my only hope α reflection at the moment was, that this might prove to us the head of prominent and Northern α western water. following down the banks which in less than a mile assumed the form of a small creek, I was agreably surprised to find it well supplied with water, in fact the whole country bore the appearance of having been lately visited by a much more copious supply of rain than we have met with at any time as part of the Isaacs although Thunder storms have continually past over during the whole of the last week, as we proceeded down numerous creeks were observed com=ing in on each side, and when seven miles from its source, it assumed the form of a river equal in magnitude to Comet Creek373. and nearly the whole of this distance well supplied with water in large pools, in many of which we observed Turtle numerous and Cormorants374, which would seem to point out the almost certainty of some of them being permanent water, but the late rains have principally supplied them now to the brim, many pools of water are several hundred feet in length, with a breadth of from 30 to fifty, so much water has not been seen by us since leaving the Mackenzie. pursuing the river downwards, it assumed the character exactly of the Isaacs, the same sandy bed and the same character α species of vegetation every where in its bed and on its banks, at first it kept nearly a Northerly course for about 7 miles, from this I followed it down 9 miles farther when it turned off very considerably to the westward - and often many of its bends inclined very much to the Southward, during the latter part of the distance the water was not so frequent, although several very large creeks come in. here and there the bed of the river has several hundred yards of rocky bed and generally in each case I found fine pools of water, but in the inter=mediate spaces being sandy it had absorbed all the water, though it bore marks of a torrent having apparantly within a few days rushed down, and which has in fact filled so many of the stony α rocky water holes, as I now considered I had ex=plored a sufficient distance for two days stages375, and being anxious to get back to

Note 373

Seven miles from the Suttor’s source takes us to approximately where the expedition made their Second Camp on the Suttor on 8th March, near the present-day landing ground for Glenden station. This is just past the point where the Suttor changes course from north-westerly to westerly, or (as Gilbert wrote) even to bending southwards.

Note 374

The “Turtle” would have been from the freshwater turtle family Chelidae, of which several – such as Krefft’s River Turtle Emydura macquarii kreffti - would occur in the Suttor River. Any or all of the Australian cormorants – Little Pied, Little Black, Great or Pied – might have been present in this area.

Note 375

Gilbert and Charlie had ridden west down Suttor Creek to where the expedition later camped on the nights of March 9th – 11th, Whip Snake Camp. This is now the site of Suttor Creek station (Byerwen 1: 100,000 map 8455, at GR 025 397.