August 1, 1864: Rock Creek
[This] morning…we were up early. Some of the horses strayed away and two hours were spent in finding them, so we got a late start. We struck into the mountains by a blind Indian trail. Last year some soldiers were piloted over the summit by friendly Indians, in pursuit of hostile ones, by this trail. One of them was with us and knew the way. Our way was continually up and we had grand views of the desert plain below and the desert mountains beyond. The Sierra lay ahead, with high peaks and cool snows.
We camped in the canyon of the southwest fork of Owens River at over eight thousand feet. As soon as we halted signal smokes rose from the hills around, and after dark signal fires blazed, the Indians telegraphing our progress. The fires were bright, but short. Ice formed that night, a pleasant change from the heat of the last few days.