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July 21, 1863: Stanislaus River

July 21, 2013

Camp 127

[Today] we climbed the ridge south of the canyon of the Stanislaus to get a look over the country—up a steep hill, perhaps three thousand feet above camp. The tops of all the hills here are capped with lava, with granite under, as if a rough granite country with rounded hills and long valleys had had beds of lava poured over it. Such, indeed, was the case. It covered the summits and streamed down the valleys, sometimes nearly a hundred miles, forming those remarkable features called “table mountains” that I have so often written about before.

Well, in the higher Sierra, along our line of travel, all our highest points were capped with lava, often worn into strange and fantastic forms—rounded hills of granite, capped by rugged masses of lava, sometimes looking like old castles with their towers and buttresses and walls, sometimes like old churches with their pinnacles, all on a gigantic scale, and then again shooting up in curious forms that defy description. We climbed on such a lava point, and had a wide view in all directions. We had a rather hard day’s work.

Specimens collected: Melica stricta; Eucephalus breweri; Ceanothus cordulatus; Cryptogramma acrostichoides.

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