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November 17, 1861: San Francisco

November 18, 2011

Kearny & Pyramid

Transamerica Pyramid from Kearny; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

And now we are fairly at work—and irksome enough it is, I assure you. To sit down in the office, write, compare maps, make calculations, and plot sections, is harder work than mountain climbing. I begin to long for the field again—were it not so wet, for it has rained much since.

A few items in summing up. I have been the entire year in the Coast Range between San Bernardino and Clear Lake. The Coast Range is not a single chain, nor even parallel chains, but a system, radiating, like the spokes of a wheel, from a point near the great mass of San Bernardino. I find on looking at my notes, that since taking the field I have traveled 2,650 miles on my mule; 1,027 on foot, and 1,153 by other means—total in the field, 4,830 miles. During the same time my letters, official and otherwise, have amounted to just 1,800 pages (note size), of which 604 (including this letter) were my “Home Journal,” and about 400 were my letters to Whitney reporting progress, etc. In addition to this, over a thousand pages of “Field Notes” of about the same size—some writing to do amid the inconveniences of camp life, surely! These figures will show that I have not been entirely idle, as the data are strictly accurate….

Thankful to an overruling Providence who has thus far guarded me and kept me in times of danger—this is Thanksgiving night—I have just returned from a dinner at Professor Whitney’s.

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