July 10, 1863: Paoha Island
[Today], luckily, a man was going to the islands in the lake and invited us to go with him. Myriads of ducks and sea gulls live here in the summer and breed on the islands. Hens’ eggs are worth from $1.00 to $1.50 per dozen in Aurora, thirty miles distant, so an old mountaineer conceived the idea of gathering these gulls’ eggs for market. He dug out a neat canoe from a tree, and in the spring hired two Indians to help him collect the eggs. He drives a good business for two months in the spring.This man wanted to go to the island to see about some things he had left there last spring. The day was nearly still—thunderclouds hung over the mountains, and occasionally there was a light breeze. At 3 P.M. we started; we had but little wind, and that in fitful puffs, so we did not arrive until nearly dark. There is fresh water in only one spot, on the larger island, in a little swamp and patch of tule a few rods in extent; here we camped and slept on the soft grass.