September 11, 1863: Poker Flat
[Today] we passed Galena Hill, with extensive hydraulic diggings; then a deep canyon of the North Yuba, to Brandy City, with tremendous hydraulic diggings; then up a long volcanic ridge, ten miles, to Eureka. At places we attained an elevation of over five thousand feet and commanded wide views of the Sierra, the great tables of lava in the south, the rugged Downieville Buttes in the east, Pilot Peak, Table Mountain, etc.
At Eureka we came upon the slates again, with gold—a mining town. Then a vile trail, nine miles, very rough, across canyons and ridges, with high peaks with patches of snow. We at last sank into a very deep canyon, perhaps two thousand feet deep, to Poker Flat, a miserable hole—but what we lacked in accommodations was made up in prices. Ten white men and two Chinamen slept in the little garret of the “hotel.” Our horses fared but little better, and our bill was the modest little sum of fifteen dollars.