September 12, 1863: Quincy
[Today] we were off early, passed several little mining towns, Whiskey Diggings, Potosi, Rowland Flat, etc. We had a very rough trail, being in the very heart of the Sierra, which here sinks to an altitude of six thousand to eight thousand feet. We crossed a high ridge by Pilot Peak, stopped, unsaddled our horses, and went up it, as we were within five hundred feet of the top. It is a little over seven thousand feet high, and commands a grand view from the top. Lassen’s Butte in the northwest is a truly grand object. On the northeast is a rough region, cut by very deep canyons; on the southeast are the rugged peaks between us and Downieville.
We then descended into a tremendous canyon, over three thousand feet deep, of the Middle Feather River, at Nelson’s Point. It was nearly sundown, but it was such a miserable hole, and as it was Saturday night we resolved to push on to Quincy, ten miles farther—a trail much better than we had had for some time. Nelson’s Point is very picturesque—the deep, steep canyon and the rocky slates standing on edge, are peculiar. It was long after dark when we got to Quincy, where we struck a good hotel and rested over Sunday—my first for three weeks.Quincy is a pretty place, in a most charming valley, has nice houses, a pretty courthouse, etc., but no church. I heard that there is not a church or schoolhouse in the county, which has a population represented by over fifteen hundred voters.
Our expenses for one week had been over $150 in getting through these mining towns. We now struck a cheaper region.