art so near and yet so far! April
have my ticket to San Francisco and we start at 11 o'clock. Now we
drive. Nothing to be seen on this part of the road.
24th We now take breakfast in Hamberg, Mo.
Near the Iowa line, pass through the western part of Iowa to
Omaha where we take dinner and change cars. Here we meet with
a great many going through to S.F. both ladies and gentlemen.
Here we strike our first Indians, Jackson about 100 miles west
of Omaha. About 20 Pawnees with their bows and arrows. Squaws
with their pawpusies strapped across their backs, very hard looking
creatures. The night passed off very pleasantly, we saw nothing
of course to amount to anything in the night, slept most of the
25th McPherson 277m We see our first
antelope and prarie dogs. I can see the dogs and owls sitting
on the same mounds often. They will sit up there in 10 steps
of the train and it running. Sidney 414 miles we came to
snow drifts and nice green grass growing by the side of it that
stock could live nicily. 423 miles Brownson we are now getting
into the pine and cedar on the bluffs of the north Platt River.
I now discover the Rocky Mountains at Archer 508 miles. From
here they look as I expected to see them. Thursday night we passed
Sherman the summit of the R.M.
Morning 26th We are now decending the R.M.
will soon be to Green River. We can now see antelope by the thousands,
hird after hird with hundreds in a hird. Nothing else to be seen
except sage brush and mountains. We left the P. dogs when we
left the planes. From Green River we meet the Chinus men every
6 miles working on the road. They are a hard looking set to be
called humans with their broad bottom shoes & hats like baskets
(or more so). At Piedmont 937 miles we saw a band of Indians
coming down out of the mountains regular Indian style with their
ponies packed. Squaws riding on the packs draging their tent
poles on behind. It is guite comical to see them. We are now
getting down into the valies of Utah where the snow is drifted
from 1 to 30 feet deep and the grass green right by and a variety
of flowers though wild they are very pretty. After leaving the
barren planes and "snow capped mountains" it seems
that new life has entered into the hearts of all and when the
mighty iron horse ceases to pull with all this grandeur, velscity,
and power, they are out gathering bouguets and beholding the
beauties of nature.
are now beholding the beautiful scenery between Omaha and Salt Lake.
The hanging rocks, thousands in fact high, hanging over the track.
It is grand and pecular but looks very dangerous, next comes the
echo canyon which is delightful, but I dont fancy going through so
many tunnels. Then comes the Devils slide which is a strange looking
sight, two thin rocks about four feet apart setting on edge running
for thousands of feet up the side of the mountain on the south. The
scenery is beautiful now, I can look off to my right and see it snowing
jest on the mountain top and the sum shining warm and nice where
we are. Men plowing & sowing, trees in bloom. I (or even
a good writer) might attempt to describe the grandeur of the scenery
in this part but they would fail to do so.
am now happy to say we are driving swiftly on the last half of the
road. We passed the 1000 mile tree some time ago and are now gliding
along by the side of the great Salt Lake, 40 miles north of Salt
Lake City. This is 6 oclock Friday.
morning 27th We are now in Nevada in the Humbolt
Mountains, nothing very grand as yet. At Elco we saw quite a
number of Indians.
oclock Sat. mor. the scenery is quite good here, high mountains whose
tops tower toward the heavens & covered with snow & ever
greens (pine and cedar trees), the rocks are very pecular, all kins
colors, shapes, & sizes. 12 oclock Sat. brings us into
the hot springs country. We can see the smoke boiling up on each
side of the road hundreds of feet high from the looks of them it
seems as though the shell of this our old foot stool is very thin
in this part.
morning 28th We are now winding our way through
the Sierra Nevada mountains. There are very heavy pineries through
this part & very steep mountains. Snow is from 1 to 40 feet
deep, snow shed over most of the road which makes it very disagreeable
on account of not seeing much. You can see two rivers, one running
west and another coming into it from the southwest & the
former has a greenish cast, the latter a yelloish, they look
as though they are little branches although said to be considerable
streams. It is such an enormous distance down to them, makes
them look so small. There is just room enough on the side of
the mountain for the track. If the train was to happen
to run off it would go for thousands of feet which is almost
perpindicular. It looks very dangerous as well as very grand.
I am very happy to say we are at last in to the vally of California
which extends to Sacramento, the land is level and nice through
here but not very rich.
are now in sight of Sacramento, every one is delighted. The flower
gardins so very nice. Wheat and oats heading out and everything looks
green and nice. We stopped but a short time in Sacramento. We then
started for San Francisco. I concluded to stop at Stocton for a day
or two. I stayed there till Monday evening. Enjoyed myself very much,
drove out Monday with the propreator of the hotel who was acquainted.
Stocton is a gay place of about 10,000 in habitants. We drove over
most of the nicest streets in south town, then we drove over to the
lunatic assilum which has the finest grounds that I ever saw, the
finest shrubry, nicest flowers, most fruit and the greatest varieties
of all. Fig trees, century plants which is the greatest curosity
I ever saw, palm trees, peper trees & everything that could be
thought of. Then we drove over to the city Garden which is
in the South West town which is beautiful. There are some beautiful
residences in this place. I am delighted with the flowers which everyone
seems to take great pride in growing in their yards and gardens.
I like the country close around this place better than anywhere I
have seen as yet, but havent seen much.
court house square, which has about 4 acres in it, is perfectly splendid.
They keep a man in there whose business is to mow and keep things
in order. There is an artesian well in the yard which is said to
be 180 feet deep, it is the finest one I ever saw. It is quite a
curiosity to me to see the water boiling up and the cause of which
not being visable and then to see the Gold fish swimming around in
the clear water is delightful. Cactus growing from six to ten feet
have a stop over ticket and will not go on to San Francisco for a
while, will leave this place for Mariposa this evening at 7 oclock.
I stay tonight in Merced about 60 miles southeast of Stocton, thence
to Mariposa about 55 miles east by stage. A great portion of the
way up and down mountains, a fearful rough road. I reached Mariposa
about 4 oclock in the evening Tuesday. Then I had to go about 7 miles
south to get to my Grandmothers whom I hadnt seen since I was three
years old. I got there about sundown, of course Grandma didnt know
me. My uncle knew me who left the same time Grandma did and he didnt
know I had any idea I was coming to California. He said he knew me
by my eyes. I have been here ever since with my relatives.
that is May 7 my Uncle & I went out prospecting for gold, we
found some specimins. My first mining. We visited some Indian camps & an
Indian grave yard which was quite a curiosity to see so many beads
of different colors & sizes all scattered on the graves. I picked
up several, could have picked up half a bushel.
19 Attended a Methodist meeting,
there is a vast difference between the customs of our state and
20 I start on a visit to
the great Yosemity Vallie which is about 50 miles from Mariposa,
right through the mountains. The first day I only travelled 25
miles beyond Mar., I was alone. The next morning, 21th,
I got into the halfway house and they told me there was a party
of 14 consisting of Ladies and gentlemen 2 hours ahead accompanied
by two guides and if I could overtake them before I reached the
snow I was all right but if I didnt it was dangerous for the
snow was melting very fast and the trail would be very hard to
follow. However I concluded to risk it and struck out about 5
miles from the halfway house.