September 6, 1862: Bass’s Ranch
[Today] Averill and I were up at the first tints of dawn and had our wagon loaded before sunrise. While waiting for breakfast, which we got at a neighboring house, we had a most glorious sunrise, the sun rising directly beyond the high, snow-covered Lassen’s Butte. The peak was gloriously illuminated. We drove into town, where the rest had gone the previous evening, and started. Schmidt and Hoffmann were barely able to ride, Rémond had to be left behind. So we left a barometer with him, that he might keep up a series of observations to aid us in our determinations of the height of Mount Shasta.
We started east, crossed the Sacramento, struck northeast, passed through Buckeye, and camped at Bass’s Ranch, seventeen miles from Shasta. The Sacramento is a clear, swift, cold stream, in a narrow valley, almost a gorge where we crossed it. Then we rode over a table-land, much gullied into gulches, covered with sparse, scattered trees, such as are indicative of an intensely hot and dry soil and climate. Scattering gold diggings occurred the whole way, but all were dry now—they can only be worked in the wet months. We arrived at Bass’s Ranch, in a very pretty but dry valley, at noon (thermometer 100°), where we held up for the day. Heat, watching, anxiety, and perhaps also indiscretion in eating had almost made me sick again.