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October 9, 1861: Marsh Creek Canyon

October 9, 2011

Morgan Territory 05

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve, southeast of Mount Diablo; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

Camp 59

[Today] the wagon returned for Averill and to bring the rest of our things. Professor Whitney returned with it, much to my regret, for we were now on our way to a hard region, its geology complicated and its “accommodations” horrible, but he thought it best.

Hoffmann and I visited a high ridge southeast of Mount Diablo, a ridge over 2,600 feet high. The wind was high, but it died down about noon, and in two hours more we had a fine view of the surrounding country for many miles—not clear, however—but we got the bearings we desired from the summit. To the south of Mount Diablo the range is depressed in the middle and there is a great valley basin, of probably two hundred square miles or more—a great plain, once probably an inland lake. It is the Livermore Valley. Livermore Pass is on the east side. The valley is not marked on the maps. It is a great basin, branching off into several valleys—Calaveras Valley, Amador Valley, San Ramon, etc.—but the streams do not follow them at present, so great have been the changes in modern geological times. This great valley was spread out beneath us. We had seen it before from various points, and had been in its western edge from Haywards, but this was the best view.

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