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January 25, 1861: Temescal Mines; Coldwater Canyon

January 25, 2011

Test Track

Temescal Hills, looking toward the Santa Ana Mountains; by marj k, on Flickr

Camp 10

[Today] we rode to the principal tin mine, four miles distant—found it a splendid humbug. These hills are desolate beyond description, rough and dry, no trees, scarcely a bush, very little water and that quite strongly alkaline and nauseous. Many black streaks are found in the rocks; some of which contain some tin. Many claims are made and entered. One man has invested $14,500, and has commenced mining operations, that is, has sunk a shaft in the granite to look for richer ore. All thus far is mere speculation, and will end in that, I think. We carried a barometer and measured the height of the hill at the mine—found it about a thousand feet above the sea.

We were back soon after noon, when Professor Whitney, Pete, Guirado, and I took our small tent and went about seven miles to Camp 10, at the base of the mountains across the valley from the ridge of tin, and camped in the mouth of a wild canyon, Cañon Agua Fria, or “Cold Water Canyon.” A fine stream of pure cold water here issues from the mountain. We were in bed early for an early rise. The Professor and I were to climb the mountain the next day, so all was got in readiness.

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