May 12, 1863: Walker Basin
May 12, 2013
[Today] we went up the canyon a few miles, then over a high ridge to Walker’s Basin. This is “The Park” on your map, and lies in the center of the chain about fifteen miles south of Kern River. The trail for the first twelve miles was horrible, a hill 1,000 or 1,500 feet high was so steep that we could scarcely lead our mules up it. The ridge is not sharp, but opens out into pretty little valleys with scattered trees and grass. The view of Walker’s Basin from this ridge is lovely in the extreme—a pretty basin of three or four square miles, perhaps more, green as emerald, surrounded on all sides by very high, rugged, granite mountains, whose gray, bleak, and barren sides are in striking contrast with the green basin below. The creek on which the basin is, flows out through an impassable canyon. We met in the basin a band of Indians, mostly women and children, the widows and orphans of the “braves” killed in the recent battles on Kern River. They were a hard looking set. On passing out of Walker’s Basin we fell in with a man on foot, and we camped together on a stream. Company is desirable in a hostile Indian country, where, sleeping out, the lonely traveler is liable to be “picked off” in the night.