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August 18, 1863: Hope Valley

August 18, 2013

Hope Valley

Hope Valley; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

Camp 137

[Today] we crossed the pass and descended into Hope Valley, at the head of Carson Canyon—a beautiful basin, surrounded by high mountains on all sides—itself high, over seven thousand feet. We were hungry enough, and as we were getting dinner some Indians came to camp—two squaws, who had been out digging nuts. The younger, perhaps seventeen or eighteen years old, had a papoose on her back, tied to a willow frame, flat, with a willow flap above to keep the sun off. An old Indian, husband of the elder squaw, soon came up with his boy. He had his bows and arrows and a few squirrels he had shot. They were better looking and much better formed than the Diggers west of the mountains—better features, noses not so flat, mouths not so large, skin lighter—the younger squaw even had well-formed legs and small ankles, both very rare among the Indians west of the mountains. Just before we finished our dinner the old Indian sent the squaws away and gallantly ate up the remains of our dinner, while the squaws looked wistfully back.

We were nearly out of money, but I figured that we could get to Lake Tahoe, with tight calculation, [tomorrow] afternoon; so I rode up the valley about four miles to visit a copper mine, and, to my great astonishment, found an old acquaintance there, who had been buying into the mine with another partner. He was anxious to get my advice in regard to it, and after I had seen all and given the advice he was only too glad to lend me twenty dollars, which relieved my anxiety immensely.

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