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June 15, 1862: Orestimba Canyon

June 15, 2012

Camp 76

[T]he feed was poor, so, early this morning…we raised camp and moved up the canyon about a mile to where the feed was better and camped in a most charming spot—a little plain with high hills each side, feed tolerable (though dry as hay), a clear stream of pretty good water, and a great sycamore for shade. We were in camp again and all in order before ten o’clock….

[Today] was a lovely and quiet Sunday. It followed a hard week’s work, and was spent quietly as could be—no one but ourselves to molest. The day was intensely hot, we could see the Sierra with marvelous distinctness out of the mouth of the canyon, which expands to over a mile wide, and the night [is] yet clearer than the day—the sky of the intensest blue, and the stars as numerous as on a clear winter’s night at home….

I have been interrupted while writing this page by a great rumpus outside the tent—Schmidt calls for a light—something in his trousers leg—the lights are carried out—his pants carefully rolled up, for scorpions, centipedes, and tarantulas are all abundant—but only a huge mole cricket is found under his drawers—a common insect, but harmless—a perfectly huge, wingless cricket, as thick as a man’s little finger. We laugh over the affair—the rest go to bed, and I return to writing.

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