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June 17, 1862: Orestimba Canyon

June 17, 2012

Camp 76

streamers

Epipactis gigantea; by randomtruth, on Flickr

[Today] was still hotter. Hoffmann and I rode a few miles up the canyon, then a laborious walk up a ridge 2,400 feet high, to get bearings. Whew, how hot it was! On the top, where there was a breeze, it was 89°. How hot it was in some of the still canyons I have no idea, but in one, not the hottest, I got in the “cool shade” of a tree, where there was some breeze and found it 105°. It seemed positively parching. But on sinking into the deep, narrow canyon we came to a stream, found a deep hole, and took a most delicious bath. We saw a deer, also a panther—were quite near the latter, but he made off. This is the panther which is known here as the California lion. I have heard much of them, but had no idea that they were such formidable looking animals. This fellow could have carried off a man easily. Bear signs were numerous.

A hot night followed this hot day—few slept well. Mosquitoes, numerous, huge in size, and ferocious in disposition, haunted us, but they molest me less than the other men.

Specimens collected: Epipactis gigantea.

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