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July 31, 1863: Silver Valley

July 31, 2013


Lake Alpine (near Camp 130); by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

Camp 130

[Today] we came on a few miles to Silver Valley, where we stopped—a pretty, grassy, mountain valley. We are already up to a considerable altitude. We examined and climbed a steep volcanic hill lying on the granite near, where volcanic explosions have been reported. We found no traces of such, but had a fine view, commanding a wide extent of country—the snowy Sierra lying along east of us, a wild, rocky, and desolate landscape. The family who live in Silver Valley leave in the fall.

Shaggy Hawkweed 02

Hieracium horridum; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

Here let me anticipate. Recent reputed discoveries of silver ore at Silver Mountain, just east of the crest, on the head-waters of the Carson River, near Ebbetts Pass on your maps, has caused much excitement. An old emigrant road over the mountains, via the Big Trees, runs within ten or twelve miles of it, and now, suddenly, travel is pouring over this route. A stage runs part of the way, until the road becomes very rough; then a “saddle train,” with a few pack animals, takes the passengers and their luggage to the promised land. So horses in these mountain valleys all at once become important, and at Silver Valley the stages stop and saddle trains start.

Specimens collected: Hieracium horridum; Pellaea bridgesii; Carex heteroneura; Carex raynoldsii; Carex specifica; Carex nebrascensis; Acer glabrum var. glabrum; Pinus monticola; Carex multicostata.

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