June 16, 1862: Orestimba Canyon
As we came on farther and farther, the air grew day by day hotter and drier, and all the evidences of a drier climate increased. All the herbage on the hills was dry enough to burn, and the plain brown and dry as hay. At Orestimba the ranch runs to the river, six or eight miles distant, and often for several summers in succession all the cattle must be driven there for water. Until this past winter and spring it has been five or six years since there was water in the canyon where we were now camped!
[Today] we climbed some hills about 2,200 feet high, a few miles from camp. It was intensely hot. I know not how hot, but over 90° all day in camp where there was wind, and vastly hotter in some of the canyons we had to cross. It was 81° long after sunset. The Sierra seemed but a few miles away, and the night was intensely clear.