Torowoto to Cooper Creek
14th to 20th Novbr 1860
[Friday 16 November 1860]
Rode out for the purpose of reconnoitring the country and to ascertain the best route acroß the rotten plains to the next water found the country very bad for traveling over being nothing but extensive earthy flats subject to inundation, the soil cracked and broken in every direction like the surface of a xxx xxx mud pond. the vegetation is dense but of an inferior quality, it consists of Chrysanthemums and Marsh Mallows with here & there a little graß and some [?] saltbushes water is abundant and may be found in small creeks which are formed wherever the water has been prevented from spreading out on the plain by the interference of sand hills or other inequalities in the surface
and so had had its action concentrated on narrow portions of land. I very much doubt whether in many of these places the water is permanent and as we have no data from which to ascertain how or when the creeks are supplied with water it is impossible to form an idea as to how long they will last. the water in most of them is at present very low and if they depend for a supply on winter rains they will no doubt be soon dry, but If they are filled by summer rains it is possible that most of them are permanent. The plains traversed from 7h to 9h am were the worst we have yet met with, the cracks and chasms in the soil are so large that horses can scarcely avoid getting their feet jammed and most of the ground is covered with a dense marsh mallow scrub from six to eight feet high. The water holes at Camp LXI are about 150 links broad (30m -DGP) and there is about 10 chains (200m DGP) of Box Forest on each side of the creek.