May 26, 1861: Pebble Beach
Judge Haight came over and invited Averill and me to dinner yesterday. We rode to Point Cypress in the morning—a granite, rocky point, covered with a kind of cedar called “cypress,” more like the cedar of Lebanon than any other tree I have seen. Some of the trees were beautiful—and often three or four feet in diameter. I measured one that was eighteen feet eight inches in circumference as high as I could reach. Another, twenty-three feet at two feet from the ground.Returning to camp, we took other mules and rode to Mr. Haight’s, about five miles. We rode through the old Mission again—and paused a short time among the ruins. We were on hand at two o’clock, the appointed time.
Judge Haight is a fine old man, a man of much intellect, lives in a comfortable house, has with him two daughters, most lovely young women, of perhaps eighteen and twenty-two years—pretty, agreeable, cultivated, and sensible. I don’t know when I have spent an afternoon so pleasantly. The dinner was good, not brilliant—champagne was partaken of moderately. His library was well stocked with choice works. It was indeed a luxury to meet with ladies—the first time we had sat at a table with them since New Year’s at Mr. Wilson’s. We weredecidedly pleased, and we think they were, for they are much isolated here. They had a fine piano, and one of the girls played well. We climbed a hill just above the valley, and had a pretty view of the Carmelo Valley, the sea beyond, and the mountains in the south. He has a fine ranch, keeps about twelve hundred sheep, much better animals than one generally sees here. We were so urged to stay to tea that we did, and rode home by twilight. One dared not wait later for fear of grizzlies. Where our trail ran through dense chaparral we came on fresh tracks made but a few minutes before—after a man had passed an hour before—but we were spared a sight of any animals.
Specimens collected: Cupressus macrocarpa; Lotus formosissimus; Castilleja ambigua subsp. ambigua; Plagiobothrys chorisianus; Sidalcea malviflora subsp. laciniata; Lepechinia calycina; Castilleja exserta; Eriodictyon californicum; Lotus benthamii; Carex barbarae.