John Palliser describes the land
The expedition reached Lower Fort Carry on 11 July, and departed two days later on horseback along the main ‘road’ south to the 49th parallel. This route offered the men their first view of the grasslands: “The country to the west,” wrote Palliser baldly, “is dead flat, and the eye rests in that direction on nothing but extensive swamps” (90).
Yet, despite their initial feeling that the land was “dead,” they discovered that the region teemed with life: the following description of a day’s travel north of Pembina, if it indicates no modulation of the initial sublime response, does serve to show that when the surveyors looked at the terrain in proximity and with care, they rather ?noticed ?wondrous variety than ?felt ?sublime uniformity:
After again proceeding on the march we encountered irregular country with many hollows, and traversed by small creeks, thus rendering the road very bad. The heat throughout the day has been excessive, and, towards evening, a cloud of great density appeared in the northwest, and before we could erect our tents a heavy thundershower