June 20, 1864: Shell Mountain
[Today] three of us went on a peak about five miles east to spy out the country. The view was grand—on the west the whole slope of the Sierra and the great plain, ending in haze—around us the roughest region imaginable—along in front the crest of the Sierra, its more prominent points not less than twelve thousand feet high, with rocks, precipices, pinnacles, canyons, and all the elements to make a sublime landscape. We were up about 9,700 feet, and it was very cold—only three degrees above freezing—and yet there were trees three to four feet in diameter. We had a weary and rough walk back by missing the way; but a hearty supper awaited us and we slept well…regardless of the cold.