July 23, 1861: New Idria
But oh, how hot it was, even at that height! The sand burned our feet through our boots, and a stiff breeze, dry and hot as if from a furnace, played over the ridge. We saw much of geological interest and got back to camp before night.[Tonight] I returned on foot to a cragged ridge, 1,500 or 2,000 feet above camp, for specimens. It was a toilsome walk, but I was repaid. The sun set while I was there, coloring with orange light the barren mountains north and east and even showing plainly the snowy Sierra in the distance. The view was glorious but desolate as a desert. A few clouds curled over the distant snowy peaks, crimson in the rays of the setting sun. But the shades drew on, the valleys grew darker, and I took my way back. It was cooler, but still hot. I stopped often with my load of specimens. How still it was!—no sound of a bird in the evening twilight, no chirrup of insect, but silence, deathly stillness reigned.
Specimens collected: Eremocarpus setigerus; Mimulus fremontii var. fremontii; Astragalus purshii var. tinctus; Bloomeria crocea; Berberis aquifolium var. dictyota; Salix breweri; Epilobium brachycarpum; Streptanthus breweri.