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May 28, 1864: Bell Station

May 28, 2014

Bell's Station

Bell Station, Pacheco Pass highway; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

[Today] we came on here, thirty miles farther. We followed south to Gilroy, then struck east and entered the pass, and are now camped under the same tree that we camped under two years ago when we came through the same pass. The hills are terribly dry, totally bare of forage, parched and brown. The scattered oaks, evergreen, seem dark—they are so tenacious of life that the drought fails to kill them. It must be a terrible year for the thousands of sheep that are kept here. A hot wind sweeps up the canyon in which we are camped. It is 92°, and the air intensely dry. It always draws through this gap in an almost ceaseless current—the trees and bushes are all bent by it. There is a little tavern here, a stage and telegraph station.

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