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August 5, 1863: Silver Peak

August 5, 2013

Highland Peak from Silver Peak summit; photo courtesy of Bob Burd

Highland Peak from Silver Peak summit; photo courtesy of Bob Burd

Camp 132

While visiting the region we kept our camp up the canyon some three miles from town. [Today] Professor Whitney and I climbed the Silver Mountain, a long walk of twelve or fifteen miles, and a very rugged climb. It is over eleven thousand feet high, the highest in the region, and commands a very extensive view. In the north we look into the Carson Valley and even see the mountains of Washoe; in the west is the summit of the Sierra Nevada, the volcanic crests here worn into fantastic outlines; on the southeast are the mountains near Mono Lake and about Aurora; and in the east chain after chain, extending far beyond the state line into the territories. I collected some fine alpine plants and, curious enough, among the stones on the top are myriads of red bugs—beetles—red and brilliant—a pint could easily be collected. We have seen them on many of the peaks, even on Mount Dana, at over thirteen thousand feet.

Sierra Linanthus

Linanthus (Leptosiphon) pachyphyllus; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

We got back to camp tired enough, but a hearty supper and sound sleep brought us out all straight again.

Specimens collected: Linanthus pachyphyllus; Erigeron tener; Carex straminiformis; Primula suffrutescens; Hieracium horridum; Eriogonum lobbii var. lobbii; Phacelia hastata subsp. compacta; Ipomopsis congesta.

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