Lake Damalia is one of the many landscapes that resulted from Miller’s trip into the lake country with Captain Stewart following the rendezvous. Stewart invited a number of his friends to a couple of weeks sojourn of hunting and relaxing around the campfire while enjoying his exotic cheeses, wines, and brandy, accompanied by the retelling of many mountain man tales of valor.
Miller was smitten by the scenery and struggled, in the small format of his sketches, to cope with its majesty. “From the right a promontory of bluff projects out boldly into the midst of the Lake throwing a broad reflection into the water,” he recalled. “Beyond this the mountains begin to rise until they reach their ultimatum in cold barren peaks of solid rock covered with snow.” Even though it was yet August, the weather was growing colder, and the frequent snow and hail storms reminded them that the revelry needed to end and that they would be on their way soon. (Ross, 1968, text accompanying plate 154; De Voto, 1947, pp. 333 – 334)
J.D. (Sam) Drucker, a Bureau of Land Management archaeologist in Pinedale, Wyoming, suggests that this sketch is of New Fork Lake. The name that Miller gave the lake may be a reference to the Greek city of Troezen, which was known as Damala during the Middle Ages.