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November 25, 1860: Port San Luis (En Route to San Pedro)

November 25, 2010
The Point San Luis, CA lighthouse and light station

by mikebaird, on Flickr

[This] morning we arrived at San Luis Obispo. The port is but a single house, and the village is about four miles distant. As we lay there all day, I went ashore with a friend, a doctor from the United States Army, and spent several hours, saw the country and collected some plants, all strange to me. The steamer was anchored a mile from the shore, and the freight, some seventy

California Bee Plant by randomtruth, on Flickr

or eighty tons, had to be landed in yawls or rowboats. There is no dock, so it is landed on a rock.

The land was very dry, the rains had hardly begun, so the vegetation looked very scanty and the land desolate. Scrub oaks, crabbed sycamores, and scrubby undershrubs composed the scanty vegetation. We wandered along the beach and picked up a few shells, some of great beauty. The sea has worn the rocks in fantastic shapes; there

coastal goldenbush - isocoma menziesii by randomtruth, on Flickr

Coastal Goldenbush by randomtruth, on Flickr

are several natural arches, one of great size.

On our return to the ship, we found the passengers playing cards, singing songs, drinking whiskey, etc.—a Californian sabbath. The Boundary Commission, to run the line between California and countries east, were aboard, a hard set, who were making much noise and drinking much whiskey.

Specimens collected: Scrophularia californica; Polypodium californicum; Woodwardia fimbriata; Scirpus cernuus; Isocoma menziesii; Deinandra increscens; Artemisia californica; Dryopteris arguta; Eriogonum parvifolium.

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