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April 4, 1861: Nojoqui Valley

April 4, 2011

Gaviota Rest Area 01

Gaviota Pass; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

Camp 21

[Today], we came on about twenty miles, through the Gaviota Pass, crossed it, and camped in a most lovely valley on its north side, at the Nojoqui Ranch. After leaving the previous camp the mountains began to approach the sea; the green hills were scarcely half a mile wide, the barren,

Nojoqui Falls 01

Nojoqui Falls; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

rugged, sandstone hills rising immediately back of these slaty green hills. This sandstone ridge is a continuous one, and has but one break, the Gaviota Pass, for a hundred miles or more. At the Gaviota a rent or fissure divides the ridge, but a few feet wide at the narrowest part and several hundred feet high. The road passes this “gate” and then winds up a wild rocky canyon, the wildest pass I have yet seen here. The mountains rise very rugged about 2,000 feet on each side. The narrowest part is not the highest; the road continues to ascend for about six miles where we cross the summit. A horrible trail ran through this formerly, but now the road is good.

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