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round numbers, of 1,000 miles, the fall is about 3,000 feet, or three feet to the mile. In this 1,000 miles there are two lifts, of over 600 feet each, which serve to divide the prairie country into three great subdivisions, having the same general characteristics.

Under the name of the First Prairie Steppe, is included the low plain of Manitoba, bounded by a line of elevated country which commences on the International Boundary, at a point some distance west of Emerson, and extends northwestwardly under the names of Pembina, Riding, Duck, Porcupine, and Pas Mountains to near Cumberland House, on the Saskatchewan, in long. 102° west and lat. 53° 37' north. This plain, in its southern part, being more elevated, is drier and better fitted for agriculture than the northwestern part, where Lakes Manitoba and Winnipegoosis and their surrounding marshy lands take up much of the surface. The soil, however, in the northern part is exceedingly rich, and marshy meadows covered with tall grass, take the place of the weedy or grassy prairies of the south. The soil of this lower plain is a dark-colored or black alluvium of great depth and almost inexhaustible fertility.

Ascending the broken hills, or face of the escarpment which is the eastern slope of the “Mountains” spoken of above, the traveller is surprised to find that the “ Mountain " has disappeared, and he stands on a plain almost as level as the one left behind, but much better adapted to farming purposes, as the soil is warmer, the surface more rolling, and therefore drier, and water of a better quality and more plentiful in the form of brooks. This is the Second Prairie Steppe, and contains an enormous quantity of excellent land.

Its boundary on the east has been already described, and the International Boundary, for 270 miles, is its southern one. The Coteau de Missouri, crossing the Boundary

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in long. 103°30' west, sweeps up to the northwest and crosses the South Saskatchewan in lat. 50° 45', where it takes the name of the Bad or Bear Hills. Passing northward it becomes the Eagle Hills, about fifty miles to the east of Battleford. This range of hills is about ten miles to the south of Battleford, in lat. 52° 35', and from thence the elevated country extends northwesterly to Lac la Biche, in lat. 55o. Groups of drift hills are scattered at intervals over this plateau, but anything to be called a mountain has no existence. The Turtle and Moose Mountains, Brandon Hills, Pheasant Hills, File Hills, Touchwood Hills, and other small

groups found at various points can scarcely be called hills. They are in most cases merely a series of ridges, and rounded drift eminences encompassed by marshes and lakelets, which prevent the destruction of their forests at uncertain intervals. Therefore the wood ranges on them from mere twigs of a year old, up to trees eighteen inches in diameter.

The Third Prairie Steppe, or Lignite Tertiary Plateau, is bounded on the east by the western boundary of the preceding one, and includes the remainder of the great plain south of Lac la Biche. Wood Mountain and the Cypress Hills are both on this plateau, and deserve the name of hills, the latter even that of " mountain," as the western part attains an elevation of 4,000 feet above the sea, or 2,000 feet above the plain to the north.

the north. This section of the country is more broken than the others, and large tracts are better suited for pasturage than for the plough. Salt lakes and ponds, rolling hills, alkaline flats, deep ravines called coulées, and rivers flowing in deep channels, are the leading features of the district. Cactus flats, hills of pure sand, and large areas of excellent agricultural lands will attract the attention of different observers, so that varied and conflicting accounts are being and have been given of it.

Leaving out the areas covered with gravel, or which consist principally of drifting sand, the remaining level country will sooner or later become farming lands, and the broken country pasturage. It is within this area that all, or nearly all, the coal exposures noticed in this book are to be found, and as a rule at no great distance from the surface. Ninety per cent. then of the first two areas consists of excellent soil. On the third steppe are areas such as the one south of Battleford, where 10,000 square miles of good land may be found in one block. Further investigation is required before the more southern part can be definitely described.

That part of the prairie lying west of Moose Mountain, and a line connecting it with the Touchwood Hills, may be said to be wholly without wood, between the Boundary and lat. 52° north. Wood Mountain and the Cypress Hills,

. together with the narrow river valleys, are the only exceptions. Although at present without wood or even a bush for more than one hundred miles at a stretch, yet the only cause of this absence of trees is the ever recurring fires which burn off the grass and shrubby plants almost every season. Permanent water in abundance is found where not a willow or poplar twig has been seen for years. Should a range or group of sand hills intervene, shrubbery and even trees are found amongst them, though the plain in the vicinity is without a single twig. It requires very little observation to detect the reason. All fires cease when they touch those hills. Theories regarding an insufficient rainfall, based on the absence of trees, are fallacious, as all grasses form a sward on every part of the southern prairie, except where the soils are either too sandy, or the opposite-Cretaceous clay. With these exceptions all the surface is covered with grass, though much of it is very short.

Passing north of lat. 52° west of the Touchwood Hills, the traveller advancing from the south will notice first little tufts of willows nestling close to the north eastern corner of a little pond of clear water. Still advancing north, he will notice these clumps becoming more common and occasionally showing stems two or three years old; these are soon followed by little poplars, and should a larger pond than usual be seen, a small group is sure to cling to it. Having frequently passed from south to north on the great prairie, and never having seen any change in the mode of arrangement as above briefly described, I came to the conclusion that the prairie fires explain the absence of wood.

In the partially wooded region which lies north of the prairie, ponds are more frequent and often marshes abound. The soil is very rich, and as the newly cleared land produces longer grass, this section and the more northern forest belt along the Saskatchewan were called the “ Fertile Belt” by Captain Palliser, and others, who merely reiterated his statements, The mixed forest and prairie extending from Rapid City westward, including the Pheasant, File, and Touchwood Hills, and the country north of lat. 52o and south of the North Saskatchewan is of this nature. All the surveyors who have located the lands in this mixed prairie and poplar belt complain of numerous ponds and marshes that retard their work and cause them to suffer much from wet clothes while “ chaining” in the fall when the water is cold.

The broken front of prairie and forest land has no definite line either to the north or to the south. The wetter the land towards the south the farther the wood extends in that direction, and the drier towards the north the farther the prairie extends northward. Prairie then means a dry and generally level tract in the north; and the occurrence of wood towards the south implies an elevated region of ponds and lakelets, as the Turtle and Moose Mountains.

Continuous forest extends from the south end of Lake Manitoba by the Riding, Duck, and Porcupine Mountains, and northwestward to Fort à la Corne, east of Prince Albert. It thence ascends more to the north and follows the height of land south of the Beaver River, and includes the whole valley of the Athabasca and its tributaries.

Lake Winnipeg, as may be seen by an examination of the

map, is the lower part of a basin, of which the First Prairie Steppe was formerly a part. On the east it receives Winnipeg River, a large and turbulent stream, which discharges the Lake of the Woods and its accumulated waters. Farther to the north, Beren's River flows into the lake, and by means of this stream and the Severn, which flows north, the Hudson's Bay Company kept open a summer route independent of the more regular highway of Hayes River, usually spoken of as the Nelson River Route.

At its southern extremity Lake Winnipeg receives the Red River, which at the city of Winnipeg is 900 feet wide, and averages ten feet in depth. Winnipeg is at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, and from its situation must be a city of great importance in the future. The Red River rises in Northern Minnesota, and after forming the boundary of this State and Dakota, enters Manitoba at Emerson. Many people think that because Minnesota and Dakota are south of Manitoba they must necessarily be warmer, but a little reflection shows that the greater altitude more than compensates for the higher latitude. Manitoba is actually warmer, both in winter and summer, than either Northern Dakota or Minnesota.

In ascending the Assiniboine we have, in succession, the Souris and Qu'Appelle, both draining a very extensive region, which is nearly all prairie, and both flowing in deep narrow valleys through the Second Prairie Steppe. On the north side of the river we have the Little Saskatchewan and Bird Tail Creek, both taking their rise in the

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