July 29, 1865: Big Meadow
[Today] I was up at half-past three and in the saddle by four, rode out of town in the early dawn, a lovely quiet morning, and arrived at Big Trees in time for breakfast.
Nora, Professor Whitney’s child, was unwell, so he resolved to stop another day. I, however, went on and camped some fifteen or twenty miles east, killing a tremendous rattlesnake on the way. They grow huge here in the foothills of the Sierra. I took John and our pack mules along. A Doctor Hillebrand goes with us this trip as visitor. He is a resident of Honolulu, Sandwich Islands, where he has lived fourteen years. He is a man of much ability and importance there—a doctor, has charge of botanical and horticultural gardens there, a good botanist. He and his family are spending a few months in this state and will return in a few weeks to the Islands. He carried a package of papers with him and collected plants on the trip.