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through." Luckily this feat was not required of me. We made the last crossing, that of Glacier Creek, without mishap, though it ran turbulently over a rough and bouldery bottom. At dusk we pitched camp in a fir-fringed meadow close under Mount Bess. The special charm of this camp was its close proximity to grizzly bears. We plucked their hair off trees for souvenirs, and found their tracks wherever we stepped, even saw drops of water shaken from their coats not yet dry on the streamside rocks, but not a bear did we see.
From the upper slopes of Bess Pass, where we climbed in the morning, we saw new ranges and valleys of desire. A high green upland and a chain of white peaks that terminated in an icy Olympian mountain aroused our keenest interest.
"Some day," we said to Donald, "we are coming back, with Sierrans and Mountaineers and three weeks' time and provisions instead of one. Save us that beautiful mountain for a first ascent."
"Sure I will," promised Donald. "I'll set all my bear traps around it in the fall.”
Then we struck camp and started the caravan along the homeward trail. Kinnikinic* and dwarf cornel berries flashed red under the trees, and though the best flower season was past, harebells and paintbrush and asters still bloomed in the open spaces. We left the long shingle bars of the Smoky Valley near sunset and rode up through the yellowing meadows of the upper valley. As we rounded Lake Adolphus, Robson and Resplendent again rose before us, banded and crowned with brilliant clouds. Down in the darkening water, too, clouds and mountains were shining as brightly. Looking into the blue depths I thought that, as far as I was concerned, Robson itself was no less unconquerable than its mirrored image or the crests of cloudland piled above it in the sky.
*Arctostaphylos uva-ursi. Kinnikinic is an Algonquin word meaning a mixture. It is applied also to a mixture of the leaves and bark of several plants willow, sumac and silky cornel-smoked by the Indians.
RECORD OF AN EARLY EXPLORATION OF
EDITED WITH NOTES BY J. N. LE CONTE
HE Sierra Club is fortunate in being able to secure a description of what was certainly the first exploration of the Tenaya Cañon, in the Yosemite National Park. Those of us who have climbed through this rugged gorge, so near to the familiar Yosemite Valley yet so little known in detail, have always considered that John Muir's trip in the early 70's was the first made by a white man. While it probably was the first complete trip through from Lake Tenaya to Mirror Lake, there has now come to light a partial exploration made in 1866 by Mr. Joseph Ferrell. This valuable historical record has been written out by his daughter, Mrs. Mary Russell Ferrell Colton, whose introduction to the diary follows:
"The following is an account, taken from an old diary, of what is probably the first exploration of Tenaya Cañon, made by two young men from Philadelphia, my father, Mr. Joseph L. Ferrell, and Mr. Alfred Jessup, in the year 1866. It will be remembered that the valley had been known to the world for but fifteen years previously, and up to this time had been visited by only six or seven hundred people, while during the year in question 382 tourists came to the Yosemite.* See Bunnell, L. H., The Discovery of the Yosemite, Los Angeles, 1911.
"This was before the days of the railroads in the Great West, and my father and his companion had already crossed the plains with a mule team, encountering many thrilling adventures along the old immigrant trail, en route to San Francisco and the Sandwich Islands.
"MARY RUSSELL FERRELL COLTON,
"Flagstaff, Arizona, September 14, 1916.”
The diary opens on October 15, 1866, at San Francisco, and
*A map and description of Tenaya Cañon will be found in "Scrambles About the Yosemite," by Joseph Le Conte, Sierra Club Bulletin, vol. 9, no. 3, January,
describes the trip by steamboat up the Sacramento River to Sacramento. From this point Mr. Ferrell and party continued by stage to Stockton, and then on by stage to Hornitas and Bear Valley. At Bear Valley the party traveled on horseback, although the road even at that early date extended beyond Mariposa. A short distance beyond White and Hatch's Mill the journey was continued over the Chowchilla Trail to Clark's Station (now known as Wawona), on the South Fork of the Merced. The following day a trip to the Mariposa Big Trees was made, and it is of interest to note that on this trip Mr. Ferrell met Clarence King, of the California Geological Survey. The next morning the party proceeded over the regular trail by Inspiration Point to Hutchings Hotel in Yosemite.
Mr. Ferrell's diary continues as follows:
"Hutchings, Monday, Oct. 22d: We got up late this morning, had a good breakfast and afterwards started up the valley to Mirror Lake, about four miles off. We reached there betimes and sat down on the banks gazing on the marvelous reflections of the huge mountains on either side in the water. We spent the whole morning here watching the different phases of scenery, ate lunch, and like great children sailed boats on the lake waters until I concluded to return to the house and fish in the river for trout and write. Mr. J. and the guide, Mr. Stegman, resolved to go beyond the lake and explore a little. I rode back alone at a good jog on my good mare Kate and fished awhile in the clear crystal water of the river without success, and talked the rest of the time with our landlady until supper, when the boys came. They had wild stories to tell of their explorations in a cañon which has never as yet been traversed above some fine falls situated there. Mr. Hutchings tells me they have never been seen and the cañon not known. Mr. J. and Mr. S. are determined to go tomorrow and explore further.
"Lincoln Cañon, Yosemite Valley, Oct. 23d: This morning we had a good early breakfast and consequently a good start and rode off up the valley toward the lake. I turned off to the cabin of an old settler by the name of 'Lamon' to enquire all about the topography of the locality to which we were bound. I found that he knew nothing about it and wheeled away and rode to the lake, passing by the rocks to an open grassy glade