h we were travelling, although uninhabited and almost unexplored by the Mexican Spaniards, was yet part of their territory; and such objects as were known to them, through hunters or others, had received names in their language.
We crossed the Pecos, and travelled for some days up its left bank, in hopes of reaching some other stream that might run into it from the east, which we could follow. No such stream appeared; and we were forced at times to leave the Pecos itself, and take out into the open country for a distance of miles, before we could get back to its waters. This was on account of the deep channel which the river--working for long ages--had cut through hills that opposed its course, leaving on both sides vast precipices for its banks.
Having got farther to the north than we wished, our party at length determined to attempt the passage of the arid plain which stretched away eastward as far as the eye could reach. It was a perilous enterprise to leave the river, without some knowledge