November 18, 1863: Crescent City
As before remarked, a flat stretches out into the sea here, about five or six miles wide and ten to fifteen miles long. It is mostly covered with very heavy timber and a tangled undergrowth of ferns and bushes, but here and there are openings where pretty farms abound. There are some lakes in here, beautiful sheets of water. I went out to one—with grassy swamps around it and rushes and reeds growing up in the shallow margin. Dense dark forests surrounded it. There were a few canoes tied up to the shore, and by two cabins that I passed were some really beautiful half-breed children. Myriads of ducks and geese and other waterfowl swarmed, and some white swans and pelicans enlightened the scene. These waterfowl, especially ducks, are very abundant. I saw a hunter, an Indian, coming in town with a horse loaded with them. He must have had a hundred. They cost only $1.50 per dozen, and I luxuriated on wild ducks all the time I stayed there.
The floods of two years ago brought down an immense amount of driftwood from all the rivers along the coast, and it was cast up along this part of the coast in quantities that stagger belief. It looked to me as if I saw enough in ten miles along the shore to make a million cords of wood. It is thrown up in great piles, often half a mile long, and the size of some of these logs is tremendous. I had the curiosity to measure over twenty. They were worn by the water and their bark gone, but it is not uncommon to see logs 150 feet long and 4 feet in diameter at the little end where the top is broken off. One I measured was 210 feet long and 3 1/2 feet at the little end, without the bark.