A TRIP THROUGH SOUTHERN OREGON.Last winter I was traveling south of Glen Run, Benton County, Oregon, as far as Siskiyou County, California, and I have penned a few recollections as they occur to me:
BY PHILIP RITZ.
From this place (Glen Run) to the Calapooia Mountains, there is but little of interest at the present time. The country is in a state of bankruptcy. There is no cash offered for any kind of farm produce excepting a small amount of oats and hay at the stage stations.
Eugene City, 40 miles south, is a neat, pretty, little town on the west bank of the river, has a splendid water power, and a district school that is scarcely excelled in the state; I think it perhaps excels our Corvallis College.
The stage route up the coast fork is naturally a good road, but the route over the Calapooia Mountains is perfectly awful. There is a route through the mountains down what is called Pass Creek, that can be made a splendid road. There are no hills on it, it is even difficult to tell where the summit is. It is certainly a natural pass for a railroad. What appeared strange to me was that there has been no more travel on it. Often as I have crossed the mountains, I never heard of it before.
Oakland, 50 miles south of Eugene City, on the Calapooia Creek, is a thriving little village, surrounded by one of the best tracts of farming land in Umpqua Valley. There is a good flouring mill, and they have been doing something in the way of bacon. Messrs. Lord, Peters & Co., the principal merchants, have cured 100,000 pounds this season. The Umpqua salt works are near this place, where a superior article of salt is manufactured and sold at the works for 3 cents per pound. There is also near this place a sandstone quarry, where is made an excellent article of grind or whet stones, equal, it is said, to the very best imported.
The Umpqua Valley I consider about the best fruit country on the Pacific Coast. Peaches and grapes can be raised here to perfection, and the Lawton blackberry and other small fruits can be carried in quantities to supply all the country south until their orchards get old enough to bear. I sold dried peaches at Yreka for 45 cents per lb. They can be raised profitably in the Umpqua for 15 cts. Pears will pay even better to dry than peaches.
Roseburg, 16 miles further south, is an enterprising little place, with a good water power and a good flouring mill. They say they can bring the South Umpqua into town which will afford an unlimited power. When I went south they were talking considerable about the enterprise, and of building a good woolen factory, the very thing that the Umpqua Valley needs. When I returned two months afterwards, it was entirely given up. They found it was impossible to get sufficient capital without paying the ruinous three percent, and they very prudently gave it up. Thus Umpqua Valley, one of the best sheep-raising countries in the world, drags along, selling their wool at a great disadvantage, and buying woolen fabrics at an enormous price, which by all means should be made at home, all because this cursed three percent is tolerated in this country.
The Cañon, 25 miles further south, is pretty well improved, so as to be quite passable, but there ought to be a first-rate plank road through it for the amount of money expended on it. I have been informed that not less than $100,000 has been expended there.
From the Cañon to Rogue River there is less improvements and less land under cultivation, than there was before the Indian war, six years ago.
Up the Rogue River there are some good farms in a creditable state of cultivation, and at Rock Point is a good toll bridge. At the Dardanelles there is a good steam quartz crusher that was put up to crush the quartz from Gold Hill. It cost $12,000, and is now idle, after crushing out $120,000 of the precious stuff. It is interesting to see the vast pile of ground quartz that has been washed out. One of the proprietors told me there was considerable gold in it yet. I remarked that it would make a most splendid article of glass. "Yes," said one of the gentlemen, "if we did not have a much cheaper article right at hand." He then told me of a great quantity of a substance up on Gold Hill that he mistook for iron ore, when on melting some of it he found it to be pure glass without adding any further ingredient. He said it made a coarse article of glassware but would be splendid for fruit jars, &c. He also told me of a clay on the same mountain that intelligent Chinese told him would make the purest quality of china ware. So tenacious is it that on working it between the thumb and finger it could be worked so thin as to become nearly transparent. The manufacture of these articles I should think could be made quite profitable, and of great advantage to Southern Oregon and Northern California, where freight and insurance are so very high on such articles.
Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, July 6, 1861, page 4
California to Oregon Overland.In the Oregon Farmer we notice an interesting account of an overland trip from Sacramento to Portland, written by J. B. Knapp, portions of which we append. The writer traveled by stagecoach:
Leaving the Sacramento Valley and river at Red Bluff, the country is rough and hilly to Shasta, with very little land suitable for tillage, except on the Cottonwood. From Shasta to Yreka the country is decidedly mountainous, the road passing over Trinity and Scott mountains at a high elevation by a tortuous course around the rocky points and angles, and along declivities so steep and at such dizzy heights as to give me a feeling of insecurity as we followed the narrow track--a notch or shelf as it were--cut into the side of the mountain. The whole ascent from the base to the summit is about five miles, with a continued easy grade of about 15 inches to the rod, so that loaded teams pass easily what would otherwise be an insurmountable barrier to travel. So much for man's engineering skill to overcome natural obstacles. After passing Scott's Mountain I came to the conclusion that it would be difficult to find mountains as steep, high, or rocky, that Californians could not render easily passable. At Yreka, which is a neat, thriving mining town of considerable importance, the stage stops overnight. From this place to Jacksonville we cross the Siskiyou Mountains, which is about the dividing line between California and Oregon. Here the climate, soil and scenery changes. Everything in appearance was emphatically Oregon. So great was the change I remarked to the driver that we must have passed the dividing line, which he assured me was the case. Instead of the warm, dry atmosphere and dusty roads, we found the temperature several degrees colder, damp and chilly, and muddy roads. Descending the mountains we came into Rogue River Valley, which, though only a few miles in width, has a fine soil, all fenced up into fine farms which have a thriving, well-to-do appearance.
Considerable mining is carried on at Jacksonville, which makes a home market for farmers, and the town and surrounding country betokens more thrift and prosperity than any part of Oregon I have visited. Still farmers complain of low prices and hard times. Leaving Jacksonville, we pass down the valley and Rogue River a few miles, leaving which the route takes a northerly direction, passing over a rough, hilly country, crossing a number of small streams running in the direction of the coast, through the Grave Creek Hills. In going from Jacksonville to the Umpqua Valley we pass several objects of historical interest to Oregonians--such as Gold Hill, Table Rock, where the Indians fortified themselves in the last war; the remains of several old forts erected by the settlers for self-protection; the deserted farm and charred remnants of the house where the heroine Mrs. Harris defended herself and child, and kept a horde of savages at bay for a whole night after her husband was shot before her eyes. Oregonians well remember the thrill of horror when the first news of this outbreak reached us; how Harris fell as he entered his own door, pierced by the fatal shot; how his dying moments, while life was fast ebbing, were spent in teaching his wife how to load and fire his rifle; how successfully she practiced his last sad lesson, heroically defending herself and escaping unhurt with her wounded child.
We passed several houses and fine farms which were deserted during the war, which still remain tenantless. The last object of interest is the passing through the Canyon; all who have traveled South know the Canyon, and few would care to know it the second time if it could possibly be avoided. I should not know which way to travel to find a worse and more difficult road. Were I to attempt a description of it, I should entirely fail, and will only say that although government expended thousands of dollars in building it, it remains an enduring monument of the incapacity and want of engineering skill in the officers who laid it out. From Canyonville through the Umpqua Valley the country changes. Though rough and hilly, the soil is very rich and well adapted to grazing and farming. Still they are so far from market that they are much embarrassed by the hard times and low prices. In leaving Umpqua we pass through the Calapooya Mountains, through Pass Creek, which is another few miles of horrible road leading into the head of the Willamette Valley, which for beauty, rich soil, fine streams and timber, is hardly surpassed by any country.
The trip, though rough, I found rather a pleasant one. The stage company have stocked the route with first-rate teams, coaches and wagons; have intelligent and obliging drivers and agents, and certainly deserve a liberal patronage. The complaint of hard times is universal the whole route, yet all admit that times are no worse than last year, and it is generally conceded that they are somewhat improved. The cost of a through ticket from Sacramento or Marysville to Portland is $60. If paid only from place to place at the usual rates, it would probably amount to thrice that amount. For the benefit of those who may desire such information, I carefully noted the distances from place to place.
From San Francisco to Sacramento, by water, 125 miles; thence to Marysville, 45 miles; to Oroville, 28 miles; Chico 23; Tehama, 28; Red Bluff, 13; Shasta, 45; Yreka, 110; Jacksonville, 65; Canyonville, 75; Roseburg, 26; Oakland, 20; Eugene City, 56; Corvallis, 40; Albany, 10; Salem, 25; Portland, 50 miles. Making a total distance of over 750 miles.
Mining and Scientific Press, San Francisco, August 3, 1861, page 2
[For the Sentinel.]
Rough Sketches of a Few Days in the Mountains.Everybody knows, or ought to know, that exercise, cool air and water, and relaxation from biz, are good for health; but many persons have not the time, or will not take it, to have a change of air in the hot summer months. Surrounded by mountains easily accessible, the denizens of this delightful town could jump the game of grab, and in twelve hours sniff the mountain breeze in another climate, jump the game among the hills, and have most salutary exercise, thereby persuade old age not to be in such a hurry to finish plowing that last wrinkle under contract, and also to save his chemicals and whitewash, as it is not altogether important about bleaching those three or four hairs for a few days yet. Arriving at this conclusion, we depart for the Klamath basin and plateau, and
For the highest peaks thereaboutThree of us cadaverous-looking individuals, who, to tell the truth, had to draw largely on the art of dress to make a respectable shadow in the sun, constituted the personnel of the expedition. Three respectable, though venerable, Cayuse horses, with almost antediluvian trappings, served as transports, and with the exception of an occasional elevation of the rear pedals, which would cause a rather uncomfortable forward precipitation of the fearless riders, the transportation department was all right. One aged mule, with the regulation spinal ulcer, served admirably as the commissariat of the expedition. Our armament consisted of two double-barreled stub and twists, one rifle, one revolver and one of the improved, hooped, six-inch columbiads, the latter, by the way, loaded to the muzzle.
Which accounts for milk in the coconut.
Tuesday, M., July 16th--took an observation of the weather, and found the mercury manifesting a disposition to secede from the machine above the figures. All ready, armed and equipped, for Dead Siwash [Dead Indian], Mount McLoughlin and Klamath Lakes. Bugle sounds mount, when we vault into our dilapidated saddles in regular Zouave style. The machinery of the expedition now slowly revolves, heading south, on the Yreka road, we work up speed on the John Donkeys, and are soon in medias res, especially dust, which we denominate a young sirocco, and enjoy it something like Munchausen, Bayard Taylor, and other eminent Oriental travelers did the friendly squalls of the Great Sahara--of course if they could stand it we could. Five miles out, hove to, to coil up ropes and square rigging of Donkey. While here our friend Winkle sights game and the sport commences. Winkle dismounts like a finished sportsman, flourishes the Squire's double stub and twist with considerable artistic skill, bangs away--only he didn't--cap snaps and Winkle execrates! Tries again, but misses, says there was no shot in the gun, which oversight may be incidental to all great expeditions, which accounts for the lacteal fluid in the coconut. Music John!
After a little diversion on the Derringer, we again plunge into the dust and make headway some few miles and come to the conclusion that the thermometer has bursted, at least we have the pleasure of sniffing the sirocco a little too much warm; hove to at a spring and quaffed some water that was about warm enough for tea; philosophically took it as such and would recommend the same to invalids generally, after filtration, with some ice in it. While engaged in counting the number of inhabitants to the square inch of this spring, we providentially get sight of a flock of quails and a consumptive-looking John Donkey rabbit; in double quick time the irons are unlimbered, and a charge made, but some evil or good genius protects them from our well-directed shots, several of which made the brush fly around about; however, we have not the range of the pieces yet, except the Colt and Derringer, on which we have a round by way of practice. No blood yet. Water the rolling stock of [the] expedition, pull up and head for Eagle Mills; here we water quadrupeds--nothing else. Bipeds get up a spirited discussion about the modus operandi of the lager biz, and after effervescing, we get aboard again. A few miles further and we arrive at the picturesque little village of Ashland, which, by the way, is the most delicious spot in Rogue River Valley. Here we unlimber and stable the expedition, or a part thereof, and the balance find really excellent quarters at the pleasant hotel, the proprietor of which is a most estimable piece of burned earth--yclept Brick.* At this place we have the pleasure of making the acquaintance of sundry Yreka invalids, who are on the hunt, like ourselves, for some cool nook by the shade of the brook, where the trout serve to beguile the time and make the pan give forth a most delicious odor.
Nearly sundown, thermometer 68--conclude to circulate up the creek. Winkle takes the double stub and twist for an onslaught on the jackass rabbits. Scripti, that's me, and Bolus, my confrere-estimable, borrow fishing tackle of Yreka tourists, and wend our way up the streams where the cold water gives calmness to our heated imaginations and cools the fevered corpus. Proceeding up the creek some distance, invested the fly, with small piece of beef attached, in the pure and limpid waters; immediate tension of the line and simultaneous rush under the brush, caused us to fondly imagine that at least a half-pound trout was in limbo, played science on him, according to Walton, and otherwise tried to persuade him out, but he was incorrigible; next alternative was force, the result of which was a general mashup of tackle; made an investigation and found the hook was fast to a large-sized brush. Arriving at the conclusion that angling was not our forte, and as sundry nondescript bugs, constituting the avant courier of old Nox, reached into our presence and kindly intimated that the great curtain was about dropping on the Pacific side of things terrestrial, we, Scripti, Bolus and Co., adjourn to quarters and cultivate relations with his majesty Señor Somnus.
JULY 17th, temperature 65--cool and delightful morning. Took the tackle and went down the creek to fish up an appetite for breakfast; not very successful; made a few casts in the region of the old sawmill amidst the slabs; hooked a small trout that had probably been chased up here from lower Bear Creek, by some foul fish epidemic, as it looked rather sickly. However, it was a beginning, and experience is necessary to establish a fishy reputation. By the way, let us mention that the Yreka gents above mentioned catch most beautiful trout every day; but they have been here some time and know the disposition, habits, customs and weak points of the wary trout of Ashland. We were rude enough to try them with beef, but we soon found they were well educated and accomplished trout, and that nothing less than the delicate bumblebee or the regulation grasshopper would captivate their fastidious attention.
All ready! all aboard! The commissary department leads off and heads for Tolman's famous medical springs, and here the expedition, while en route, take leave of the Reader, until, perhaps, next week.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 3, 1861, page 2 *Possibly a member of the Brickley family.
[For the Sentinel.]
Rough Sketches of a Few Days in the Mountains.JULY 11th.--Lovely morning; mercury docile as a pet whale (similitudo magnitudo). Think our friend Sirocco will not be around today.
Nothing of import occurs to mar speed of the picturesque, calico-colored cayuse cavalcade, whilst we wend our winding way, with Winkle working wonderful Wopsie down Derry down, from a series of playful but terrific tumbling, that threatened to tear trousers, through the too-close proximity of an impending gate post--but didn't, and the animal is now tame (Winkle reads "Rarey"). And thus we greatly bulge before the Boreal breeze up the beautiful bottoms of Bear Creek.
Arrived at Judge Tolman's ranch, about four miles above Ashland, where we halt, tie up the calico cavalcade to a cowshed, in juxtaposition to the triweekly sawmill and a blacksmith shop, which latter is operated by a gentlemanly contraband, possibly from the Sunny South.
Called on Judge Tolman, and were entertained by his estimable lady, who was kind enough to chaperone us through the medical bath-rooms, where waters from the caloric springs in the vicinity flow into the cisterns in quantity sufficient for the convalescence of all the afflicted of this region. Of a tepid temperature, the water is just right for baths; their medical properties have been proved and acknowledged. The Judge would confer a favor by throwing them open for public use, or renting them out to some professional Teuton, who is entrusted with the ropes d'eau seltzer.
To be on the safe side, we drink a few quarts of this water to wet down the dust and counteract the effect of the sirocco blasts of yesterday.
After seeing the points of the Judge's beautiful farm (which, by the way, is quite a little principality, well appointed, furnished and governed, and he is a whole-souled monarch--long may he reign and survey!) we unroll the calico transports from their moorings, near the residence of the "contraband" aforesaid, and get under way again. Crossing Bear Creek below the triweekly sawmill, we leave the Yreka road and head eastward, up Walker Creek and the mountain at the same time.
Forged up and ahead eight miles, at right angle from Yreka road, where we moored in a cool shade, on the bank of Walker Creek. Here, with gusto, we liquided, sardined, lunched and snoozed two hours, with stiff breeze from north'ard. No dust; everything cool and refreshing; thermometer 65° Fahrenheit. Appetites improving--say 30% gastronometer--on the strength of which we cracker, cheese and smile.
Time up! Boots and saddles sound, and in five minutes we get headway on the cattle.
Every mile now takes us up a little further among the clouds--up the creek, over bald spurs (covered with grass)--up to the head of trout navigation and Walker Creek, which consists of a few dozen beautiful springs and small lakes, tastefully fringed by different branches of the willow family, and residing in an amphitheater [Sharon Lake area] constructed a few thousand years age by the Master Architect and Attrition; indenting this fragment of the great Cascade mountain range for that purpose, and, possibly, in the fitness of things and economy de Dieu, to cool the choleric citizens in the valley below; for, in a wonderful cave on the South--impervious to Old Sol, with walls little less than a thousand feet high, perpendic.--is a huge refrigerator, from which ice is now furnished to the towns below by a cool and enterprising gentleman.
Immense yellow sandstone rocks, cut up into all kinds of fancy shapes, fringe the parapet, making a beautiful basso relievo cornice to the picture; and chalk cliffs in the distance, which, if near the sea shore and under the observation of one of Leo's sons, would be taken for the chalk cliffs of auld England.
Here we are at the summit. Unlimber the columbiad, commissary, and let us give one of those peculiar salutes in honor of the magnificent picture spread out before us, around the base of Mount Pitt, where things are decidedly cool and wintry. Thermometer 50°. Commissary, pass my coat and something else warm. Quite another climate this; only six hours from Hades to Heaven.
We now descend into the beautiful valley of Dead Siwash, or Grub's [Grubb] Prairie, which we insist is cool and pretty enough to please the captious denizens from warm places generally, and most particularly delighted is the calico cavalcade. Such a sight would cause old Typhoid, Spring, or any of the Fever family to quiver in their boots, and otherwise manifest symptoms of seceding from their biped compañeros during the prevalent heated term.
This valley will become famous for the production of cheese and butter, which are excellent, on account of the purity of the grasses and geographical, geological and climatic position. There is about room for five hundred families in the thousand and one glades on the plateau between Rogue River Valley and Klamath Lakes. The glades vary in size from twenty-five to twenty-five thousand acres, set in belts of gigantic pines, running to all points of the compass over the plateau, which is generally level, and bounded by Klamath Lakes on the east, Mount Pitt and transverse chain on the north, Summit Ridge or rim of plateau on the west, on the south by the Siskiyou Mountains. The openings or glades are covered with a magnificent carpet of grass and clover, and, at the present writing, lying loose roundabout may be found plenty of luscious strawberries. No, the officers of the expedition didn't have any with cream.
Nobody would suppose that so many beautiful glades, interspersed with cool and sparkling springs, were hid away under blockade by grim hills in this forlorn-looking plateau, around the base of old patriarchal, snow-capped Pitt! But while we have been wrapt in admiration of the magnific panorama, once more the indefatigable Winkle scents the game and exhibits hostility thereat. Supposed to be a turkey; rushes to the attack, and the same old gun snaps again! True, by Bolus!--must be the cap's fault--absence. Better luck next time, however, for slam-bang went a handful of buckshot right into the breadbasket of a venerable owl, who, in all probability, will never have the pleasure of hooting more in his usual happy nocturnal serenades, in concert with the long-necked crane and other large-eyed and long-legged amateurs. Peace to his feathers?--but sorry he was not a turkey, or something else acceptable to the gastric juice.
Evening crawls on, and the beasts evince a disposition to forage by the way--take clover on the wing.
Halt! cries the cargadora. Three minutes, and four quadrupeds, long- and short-eared, start in on gymnastics and lateral tumbling, and three wolfish tourists straighten out the cuisine. Having camped in the vicinity of a milk station, viz: summer resort of R.R.V. citizens, where they milk numbers of cows--we lay in a supply of butter and considerable lacteal fluid, wherewith we make up sundry compounds described by Punch, which, with strawberries and cream, serve as no bad mountain dessert.
There is nothing so comfortable and healthy as camp, after a good day's locomotion over the hills. A good large fire blazing and crackling in the cool evening air, throwing fantastic shadows among the branches of the forest pine; cool running brook within five yards, lending its music and liquid; huge bug comes flying at tremendous rate at an angle of forty-eight degrees through the smoke, heading directly for the fry-pan, from which latter there issues an odor, from the grilled grouse and "old Ned," which not only fascinates mortal homme, but attracts all the inhabitants of the night air within various radii, the most of whom, however, stop outside of the smoke circle, lending their music while we eat; and, like most entertainments, when the feast is over, the music subsides. This evening had a splendid supper; and whilst discussing future operations and planning the campaign, we descry an old chum and compagnon du voyage, who is returning from a cruise in the adjacent glades, in quest of the antlered lord of the forest.
We are all right now, as our friend Pryus is familiar with the ropes and paraphernalia of the hunt and topography of the country. We press him into the engineer department of the expedish, and commence operations on the columbiad, on the range of which, with the engineer's assistance, we are enabled to arrive at some considerable degree of accuracy.
The expedish, now consisting of four fearless hunters, will tomorrow morning plunge into the forest in quest of game, heading for Crane Prairie, or Deadwood, as it is called hereabout. At present, we build a huge fire to keep our pertinacious friends, the bugs and mosquitoes, at a respectful distance, spread our blankets, light the pipes, and pitch into the topics of the day or the humors of the hour with a relish little understood by the uninitiated. After chasing several subjects into conclusion or thin air, and the Commissary (may his shadow ever elongate) had chased the animals over the highest peaks and through the deserts to the tune of "Music John," we wrap up in blankets and go over by easy stages to the dominions of the drowsy god, enveloped in the ample mantle of Nox.
SCRIPTI.Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 10, 1861, page 2
[For the Sentinel.]
Rough Sketches of a Few Days in the Mountains.
NUMBER THREE.JULY 18th.--Pleasant morning to you chasseur Pryus, my compliments to compañeros Winkle and Bolus, with supplication to cease that snoring, as we are in the game district, and the pleasure of their company at breakfast, out on the monde under the pines, to solicited instanter. Temperature froid at sunrise.
En route early, heading north, up a tributary glade to Grub's Prairie, in the direction of Mount Pitt; make four miles without seeing any game; turn east through a belt of giant pines and thick jungle, a distance of about five miles, when we emerge into Dead Wood Prairie, in the neighborhood of which we confidently expect to commit sad havoc among the inhabitants of the forest wilds. How all this timber departed life at the same time is a question. Probably Pitt, in a former age, when eruptions were fashionable in this latitude, grew seasick and turned out his stomach to cool, and hence bois mort. The valley is small, flat and marshy, trending toward Pitt, whose features are seen from base to cap ten miles away, north by west. There are some pretty glades putting in from the south with good grass, so we travel down some half mile and heave to at a beautiful spring branch, almost padded over with rich grass and clover, which, it is quite a pleasure to see, the quads pitch into. We formally take possession of the Dead District and celebrate the event with the field piece. That done, we spread the tricks du cuisine and lunch the inner homme. It being noon, or thereabout, the bucks are supposed to be on the rocky points near Pitt, hardening their horns. We spread ourselves promiscuously on the clover pad, and give up command of the expedish to our esteemed friend Gen. Sommeil, who is officer of the day principally, and by the way, it may be said, discharges his duty admirably on all such occasions in this cool, delicious, mountain breeze, wafted fresh from the snow-capped peak of Pitt, whose Titan head, by some means or other, has courageously worked its way several thousand feet up into space and the fleecy fleeting clouds.
"What the deuce is that?" shouts Winkle. Which query resurrects the bold expedish en masse from the grass and deep slumber, and in a trice the armament is in posish--pipes fired up and powder dry, ready for the enemy or any other man. "Don't see anything," says Bolus, whose eyes sweep the horizon in a scientific way, with the seeming sang-froid of an old Ranger, with a firm grip on the death-dealing double-barreled stub and twist. "Hist!" says Winkle, advancing from the brush, ni peur ["no fear"], with the agility and reticence of the feline family, as a grating round came booming on the evening air from the marshy flats, reverberating in the desolate dead timber above us. Candor compels Scripti to mention that he was about this time buckling on revolver and otherwise getting on a war footing and into posish; at which critical juncture the fair features of the placid Pryus were exhibiting a remarkable degree of risibility, which finally culminated with an extensive guffaw at our expense. The idea commenced flashing slowly through our pericraniums, that three of the daring expedish exhibited a remote resemblance to the animal said to be owned by Balaam, some time ago, which fact is readily realized by the sudden flight of two huge sandhill cranes, with flapping terrific and noise discordant, the echo of which from the solitary dead woods of this dreary place, reminding us of the sublime effect of theatrical sheet-iron thunder, on the organism of the uninitiated. The funny termination of this alarum, like bushes in the dreary desert, mashed the monotony and spread the handsome countenances of the bold expedish, which we wind up again with further field piece practice. We name this place Crane Prairie in commem. of the ludicrous contretemps, Winkle pursues the cranes with impetuosity! and feels for them among the dead pines with buckshot, but didn't find them. Pryus takes an evening hunt toward the base of Pitt. Both come back light--no blood--bold! welcome, worthy Winkle; thou hast a grouse, and deserve to smile with us. Meantime, Bolus is coiled up in the commissary department on a bed improvised from the trappings of the cavalcade, sleeping at the rate of twenty knots per hour.
About this time the fry-pan could be seen taking sundry artistic revolutions in the skillful flippers of Scripti, in the manipulation of a flapjack, of which poor man's plaster there was a respectable pyramid piled up, flanked by bastions of old Ned, which preparation, in the absence of the Antler's ribs roasting before the fire on two convenient sticks, le mode de chasseur, it will be observed is to sustain the status of the Fearless Four, while fortune frowns on the hunt. Did we attack the above fortifications? Veni vidi, etc. Supported by the columbiad in easy range, we storm the front and flanks and soon Edward [old Ned] was non est and not a flap J, left for lunch. Before leaving this subject honorable mention must be made of the gallant conduct of Bolus, Winkle and, in truth, the expedish generally, in the above spirited action; and in this connection we would say: If there is any skepticism concerning the manufacture of an appetite, come up on the plateau and fill up with pure air, chase the cranes or something else through this solitary deadening--per se--the wildest-looking place between the two great oceans, and you will no longer doubt the strict vo-e-racity [voracity/veracity] of the appetite question. The pipes in full play sending up graceful wreaths of smoke to soothe the fearless; snatches of the opera of Vite Shutes, from the artistic mug of Winkle is poured forth among the expedish, night air and dead pines. The calico cavalcade is folded up on the clover pad and with the exception of an occasional snort at an adventurous Antler on the hunt of water, they seem to appreciate the quarters. Guns and pistols all ready for emergency, superinduced by a conversation about the Rancheria Prairie tragedy which happened some time ago, some fifteen miles off, on the other side of Pitt. In time of peace prepare for war, say we; Siwash very uncertain, may be around the deadmen [dead trees]--and thus we hug the Night in this desolation, dreaming of the painted warrior; anon--arouse with a firm grip on the irons; but find no enemy; imprecate a pine burr--the soft side of which is not up, or something else that's nix there, but serves opportunely to cover the fright of the fearless.
JULY 19th, 4 A.M.--Tolerably cool; too near the patriarchal Pitt; blankets slightly fringed with frost. Winkle and Pryus, the indomitable, take a morning hunt, scour the skirts of the prairie toward the mountain, through, over and under, the nude pines, a circle of about ten miles back to camp; no game; shot at a buck, but he was too far off and on the run; in fact this is no place to still hunt, as the dead timber is piled, mixed and woven together by juvenile jungle, in the most approved weird, wizard way. The tree trunks that have probably been lying in this solitary place since the Advent afford the best approach to the game, but in stepping off to get on the next log crash! you go up to the armpits through a past generation of brush, making noise enough to scare the Antlers to the other side of Jordan.
The expedish is slightly disgusted with the deadwood district, and resolve to spread the calico cavalcade to the breeze and head south up a feeder glade of deadwood. Half-past eight and the bold Bolus still sleeps, and as the fight is about over, judging from his last remarks, which was an appeal to Winkle "to belt into him," and a further ejaculation of "I've got him," which led to the conclusion that he had captured a Siwash or cleaned out a grizzly. We roll him gently into the rill, some two feet from the couch of conflict and there left him to dress his wounds and ablute for dejeune.
Aboard once more! we square away the transports to the south'ard, and dip into a dense belt of aged pines--steering by compass and find it difficult navigation--touch and go, no charts, not even an elk trail, and shoals of logs to work round or over, pour le moins, we get through in about three hours, having traveled about five miles, emerging suddenly on the border of a youthful Paradise--le jolie clariere, entre vert arbres ["the pretty glade, between green trees"] in pleasant contrast to the noir bois mort ["dead dark woods"] near Pitt. Whoop de doodendoo! and other exclamations exuberantly ecstatic were starting up among the pines, when a low whistle from the lofty Pryus warned us to simmer down as there is game around. Rode down the border of the glade some three hundred yards, when instanter off went Lofty and bang went Winkle; off went the buck and off went the calico cavalcade, unrolling itself with the speed of the irrepressible conflict, down the glade scattering the valuable commissary stores and baggage for about half a mile. Fortunately Bolus did not dismount when the broadside was fired into the buck. So Scripti boards his transport and sails after the fleet, run alongside the donkey, throw the grapples into rigging and brought him to. Field piece all safe. Moor him to a tree, and gave chase to the other quads, which are brought to after an exciting chase.
Rough note en passant, that the commissariat is amply equal to toute emergency, and it matters little whether we slay the Antler today or tomorrow, so we have exercise and adventure, like the above stampede for instance, smell the pure air and get the range of the guns, especially the large one. We are content to wait until fortune sends our shot into a vital spot. Hunting is hard work, and the cadaverous invalids could soon run down and defeat the end sought in the mountains, viz: health; so we will take it easy if you please and create an impression on the plateau, among the game, that we are well fortified with smoked hog and don't care much about roasted ribs; in fact, as placid Pryus sagely said--"go slow." Under this impression having gathered up the traps, and the fearless tout ensemble we mount the fleet and travel down the glade to its confluence with a small valley of most pleasing front, running east and west; take the east end for two miles and chase it into the traverse timber belt, out of which we chase, at the same time. an immense Antler, whose horns look like they had arrived at proper petrifaction. The cavalcade ran right aboard of him in chaparral, skirting the wood. Strange to say, the fearless did not fire into him, but fired at him. Here we camp on a spring branch under the margin of the regulation belt of timber, and while the camp is assuming regulation shape, we will make a shellbark note of a few facts:
Primo. The plateau in so flat that it would puzzle the topographer to head the glades and find divides in the summer time. Springs break out, run ten yards and sink; other springs--down the valley seemingly--bubble forth, run a few yards towards the same center, and sink. The glades are all alike, and crossed by belts of pines like a chessboard, so that when out of sight of Pitt it is no hard matter to get mixed up in the labyrinth and per consequence be compelled to stay out in the cold, minus the regular rasher of Edward. "Sich is life" on the plateau among the novices. There are a few large prairies that have features distingue, viz: Grub's, out of one end of which water flows east to Klamath Lake and from the other into Butte Creek, finding the ocean via of Rogue and Klamath rivers nearly one hundred miles apart. Then there are Grizzly's, Deadwood and Hyatt's prairies, large enough, pretty, fertile and healthy enough to ensure a very respectable settlement, and at no distant day the indications are that the plateau will be formed into a high old cow county, the western reserve of the West, where the cream is half an inch thick, and butter of richness rarely seen below, and kase excelant that in time will rival the Switzer.
Tomorrow morning the calico force turns out for a hunt, meantime we turn in, and on the wayside to the land of dreams where Bolus may resume the conflict with the enemy--we smoke, smile, sing Dixie and Dolly Come Take Away, Hail Columbia and Hop de Dooden Doo, Winkle rolls into the reals of nod, chanting the delightful ditty of
There is nothing so goodAnd hopin' these few lines may find you injoyin' the same blessin',
For the youthful blood
As cool sparkling water.
Au revoir aujourd'hui,
SCRIPTI.Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 17, 1861, page 2
[For the Sentinel.]
Rough Sketches of a Few Days in the Mountains.
NUMBER FOUR.JULY 20th, 4 A.M.--Temperature cool; morning moite brouillard ["moist fog"]. The country comfortably covered with a wet blanket, like unto the plains of Peru in the early morning dew, which heavy [and] wet slightly dampens the ardor of the hunt. Fortified, however, with review and drill on the mystic field piece--which exercise is a part of the sanitary regulations recommended by the estimable Bolus, in order to render the courageous expedish proof against the damps and dumps--we wade through the wet grass and chaparral in dead silence. By the way, let us remark that silence is the rule in this region. No feathered opera to wake up the belts and glades to meet the early morn, but the somber plateau is wrapt in solitary grandeur, disturbed anon by the majestic tramp of the grizzly in search of another rotten log to breakfast on ants, the occasional whistle of a deer wending his way to water, and bands of elk feeling their way out of the jungle from the neighborhood of the grizzly beds; these animals are the lords of the belts, who intimate that we can wade on and in.
We head westward, keeping the border of the glade and a sharp lookout to windward for game; arriving at the junction of some half a dozen glades, we divide and dip into them, and lose sight of each other in the belt of pines. Winkle and Pryus diverge to the southwest, up their short glades, and dive into the jungle, where if you please, diligeant lecteur [diligent reader], we will follow them with the shellbark notes, with malice nix--ni extenuate.
About half an hour after entering the forest, the peculiar boom of the Tennessee rifle announces the fact that Pryus is feeling for the game somewhere in the jungle, and as he seldom sends Tennessee out without finding something, we readily reach the conclusion that he has blood. Winkle, who is a mile or two off, now heads for the report of Tennessee, joins Pryus, and together take the track of blood left by the wounded buck; follow him through the belt into a beautiful glade to the eastward, up that to a larger belt of pines on a low divide. Here three more Antlers jump up and bound off in front a hundred yards or so, where they halt and about face to take the dimensions of the fearless and to inquire into the unceremonious entree into their secluded shades. Winkle, who is up to time, plants a broadside into one of them. Pryus sends out Tennessee and finds number two,
When, alas! we must relateor to some other seaport for aught we know, leaving nothing of their valuable carcasses but some hairs and plentiful pools of pilpill [Chinook for "blood"] scattered along on the leaves and brushwood.
Although strange to state,
The venison rushed on--
To the other side of Jordan,
Three bloods and no venison! What fatality follows the fearless! Half an hour's practice at the field piece for a dog!! and other expressions of a like nature are uttered by the disappointed chasseurs. The fact is, says Winkle, seating himself on a prostrate pine, with a resigned and elongated countenance, "the lease of life of the game on the plateau is tenacious and interminable. "Nearly so," rejoined Pryus, "for last year I remember shooting a buck through the heart and he ran nearly three hundred yards, and had the brush been as thick as it is here about, probably would never have found him, as it was late in the evening, and the grizzlies don't allow venison to lay out in the cold near their rough residences." "Well," says the gay and buoyant Winkle, whose face had already shortened, "what's the hodds so we're happy!" and at the same time producing a derringer, intimated that under the circumstances it would be well to smile. "In which proposition I concur," responded Pryus--placing Tennessee against a pine within easy range--"and here is a toast, death to the first game that comes around, death to demagogues and peace will rule the monde."
The pipes are fired up--for you must know that the fearless, like all well-recognized chasseurs, revel in clouds of smoke from the fragrant weed; in fact, as well might we be without powder as tobacco; au moins nerves unstrung, the bucks walk off not damaged much by the shot. True, we have not bagged our venison yet, although well supplied with the above indispensables; but the rule, you know, "play the rules if you lose an empire; besides, the mosquitoes of the belts insist on tasting our blood and about the only way we can persuade them out of the notion is to smoke; they don't
There is nothing so goodWhich favorite stanza of Winkle's is nipped on the wing by a signal from Pryus who thinks he hears something stirring up the solitude some distance ahead. Picking up the irons, we slip through jungle as quietly as possible, following the antlers, which is easily done by the blood, and proceed something like a quarter, when a terrible crashing of the brush ahead brought us up standing, We now advance more cautiously, and emerge from the jungle into more open ground. "Ye Gods!" whispers Winkle, pointing towards a large pine, some thirty feet off, where an immense grizzly was standing on its hind legs full height, embracing the pine with her head turned towards us, exhibiting a set of ivory physiog. and physique, but for the moment paralyzed us; added to this, her terrific growls, that shook the wood for miles around, may have sent our hats up an inch or two, not more we are sure, because the hair of the expedish was trimmed to a war footing (the hair, by the way, in a good peurometer) transfixed for about half a minute in blank amazement, with a knowledge that we have no weapons of sufficient caliber to attack such a monster. Pryus remarks, sotto voce, "that we had better be making time from this neck of woods, as the toast aforesaid had no reference to grizzlies." So we move off with quiet respect for her dignity; but she does not seem to appreciate our movements; dropping from the tree, she howls and threatens us with the ivory battery, then rushed at the tree again and hugged it furiously affectionate. Meantime we had looked for trees of the proper size for speedy ascension, but found them scarce. Of course, as we moved off, we kept one eye on the battery, and the other on the lookout for means of escape, so that if she made any charge we could get up and get a few feet from the earth beyond the furious ivory. She did manifest much regard for the long part of the expedish, for she came down again with a lunge in our direction, when up shinnied Winkle, leaving the lead sprinkler on the ground; up went Pryus, slower, because a worse tree to climb, and Tennessee goes up with him, to be ready for hostilities; but his bearship passes on, making as much noise as a young earthquake.
For the youthful blood!
Winkle avers that he could not make the same time up that tree for a large wager.
It may not look respectable to see the fearless hunters treed, but at the same time it suits us; and we confess that it would suit some better if there were limbs large enough to sustain the entire weight of an expeditioner, especially if we are compelled to occupy our excelsior quarters some time. It is said that discretion is the better part of valor; we think so; we don't want our running gear smashed, clothes torn by a tussle, or stomach riled, by a set-to with the madam, as we have [had] no breakfast yet. Please to remember that it is easier to use up a grizzly while seated comfortably in the saloon with plenty of lager in front, than it is on the plateau, with the formidable battery of ivory in range, fearfully proximate.
We now take a hasty survey of our position and try to comprehend the attachment of the madam to the tree, and in about five minutes Winkle points to the top of said pine where a pair of ears and physiognomy of a juvenile griz. were quizzing us and enjoying our discomfiture. We understand it all now; the old griz. was standing guard, while the cub was getting out of danger, up the tree. Young griz., you know, can't climb, old ones can't, unless very low down in flesh, "which all account for the milk, &c." Winkle calls the attention of Pryus to the cause of our upward flight, and forgetting danger and discretion, insisted on Pryus shooting "ye blarsted cub," to get revenge for all this climbing and upward movement of the hats. Pryus sweeps the horizon on the lookout for the mère and hesitates; but Winkle insists like a hero on taking the chances of staying up in the cold all night. "Well," says Pryus, "I'll negotiate with the cub if you say so, but it is dangerous," and so it was in the highest degree; but off went Tennessee and out tumbled the cub, end over end, crawling through the limbs to the ground, falling at least 150 feet, weight about 50 lbs. Waiting some time and finding nothing to indicate the proximity of the madam, we ventured down, Pryus standing guard, while Winkle, the brave, rushes into the brush and snakes out the cub, when both make better time over the plateau than probably ever was or will be made with equal weights. Emerge from the belt into a glade running west, on which we send without stopping to think about the latitude of camp, the principal object being to make longitude from the bear belt as fast as possible. After scudding some miles we observe old Sol making some preparations to throw his whole force into the Celestial Empire, and it occurred to us that it would be well to send Tennessee out to explore the belts for camp, the usual practice when any member of the expedish gets twisted up in the labyrinth; did so, and the report found Scripti and Bolus engaged in a warm discussion of smoked hog and liquids, having returned from the morning hunt sometime without blood. Bolus lets loose the lead scatterer, in answer to Tennessee, which thunders like a park of artillery fired in detail, as the report strikes the various belt walls. "Thunder and Mars," says Winkle, is that the direction to camp, is it possible, that we have worked clear round camp since morning? This cub is getting tarnation heavy; fire another gun, Pryus; boom goes Tennessee, shaking up the solitary shades of evening; boom goes another from the battery of Bolus, who now saddles up one of the fleet which Scripti boards; puts the helm hard down and the sheet hard up, with heels under the quarter, and goes plunging into the raging belt nor'west, under the impression that something direful had nipped the longest half of the expedish; fired off the navy bow-chaser, and was answered by the forest salute from Pryus. "Ho! what craft is that?" shouts Winkle. "Goruf, of the calico cavalcade, art in distress? by the shades of the fearless!" continues Scripti, "is that all, is that the result of the hunt, and cause of this commotion," pointing to the cub, which to Winkle had grown to the weight of at least two hundred pounds, like Sinbad's man of the mountain, pressing the shoulders of the now almost hors de combat commissary, thinking at the time of making the indiscreet remarks that the above mentioned animal was a large seized coyote. Now, Scripti has occasionally seen passion on the rampage, that the dignified features of the injured fearless exhibited a new type of quiet rage as they came to a halt, and threw down the result of their prowess, with the partly suppressed emphatic words "Is that all," when discovering the surprise malheureuse [sad surprise]. Scripti hastens to smooth the contracted brows of the fearless by early eclairoir [lightning(?)] humble; and by a timely presentation of the derringer, caused them to smile often and smooth their wrinkled front. En passant, butchers are not allowed to serve on certain juries, because they deal in blood, and it is well enough to say that it is not altogether safe to trifle with men fresh from a sanguinary tussle with the ferocious grizzly, and who smelt blood on an empty stomach.
Throwing the cub aboard the Goruf, we wear around and steer for camp, where we soon arrive, and it ls hardly necessary to state the fact that portions of young griz. were twisting around on the coals soon thereafter. Winkle and Pryus now report the thrilling vicissitudes of the day's hunt, meanwhile making a furious assault on Switzer kase and Sardinia, to give forcible illustration of the fray to the astonished short half of the expedish.
The camp is now more lively, and the evening passes off with repeated sorties on the bear subject from all points. In all probability, Delmonico, the Prince of cooks, never used up bear in a more scientific shape than did the courageous 4; we certainly had some tidbits that ought to be palatable to the dieux or any other man.
The curtain is fast closing down on the belts. The light on the plateau is snuffed out. A booming fire fronts the camp and the fearless in fancy group fronts the fire; the pipes curling comfort around the night, and the dulcet voice of Winkle in chasing the animals to the Andes, cautioning the femmes with prunella shoes on, &c., and appealing to John for music. An enterprising mosquito prospecting for blood taps the nob of Bolus, who suppressedly imprecates thereat. Strips of the cub on a sharp stick before the fire is the revenge of Pryus for the rude conduct of the mère griz, and we will polish up a note of the fact that Bolus has renewed the fight with the grizzly, and we hold him, to save the blankets and keep him out of the fire; Winkle is beating his former time over the plateau, with the cub increased to about seven hundred pounds, avoirdupois, on his exhausted shoulders, with madam at his heels. Which incidents drop the blankets on the bold expedish and the 20th [of July] simultaneously, consigning both to slumber among the silent belts, the one until morning, the other forever.
SCRIPTI.Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 24, 1861, page 2
[For the Sentinel.]
Rough Sketches of a Few Days in the Mountains.
NUMBER FIVE.JULY, 21st.--Matin, très rafraîchissante [Morning, very refreshing.] Raddle-ink-a-dum-dum, dum-dum-da--stump--tail geese!! Which happy strain from the world-renowned Dan. Rice's horse opera; air--gentlemanly tourist on the classic plains of Arkansas--radiates on the morning breeze from the jovial commissary, striking the tympanums of the three still-somnolent fearless, impelling a perpendicular movement thereof in order to comprehend the phenomena. Did you ever see the happy man? Pryus the placid answers truly, no! Then behold chasseur Winkle's half-recumbent dip in the cuisine; the grace with which he manipulates the bread, bear, and coffee, flushed with the morning zephyr and exhilarating "columbiad," before the roaring fire, engrossed deep in the inspiriting opera above mentioned, and you have entrevoir l'homme contentment ["a glimpse of the contented man"].
Further inspection of the present status of the fearless discloses core important facts: That we miss some of the cadaverous angularities that prevailed among the courageous on the start-out; that we readily realize the beneficial results of rubbing against the knobs and through the jungle--tearing the wardrobe. Hilarity has stormed and carried the works of Hypochondria; Gayrisibility has cleaned out the Bluediablos; Palephiz is packing up his traps to get out of the way of the impetuous rouge sante [ruddy health]; and we find Gastricjuice on the rampage, loudly appealing for more bear and smoked hog; which appeal and an invitation to breakfast sets the daring expedish on its pins, ready to dip into the roast bear, morning air, and events of the 21st.
At breakfast we hold a conseil de guerre and conclude to board the fleet and steam to the south'ard, for the reason that "variety is the spice of life"--enjoy the kaleidoscopics and wish to push along the panorama as fast as possible, for we
"Can't stay in this wilderness,for at the expiration of that time, we must return to dust, smoke, briefs, red tape, pobiz [sic], codfish and molasses of ye mighty village; which, to this paradise parallel, is Hades on the go. The gun having fired, Bolus hauls into the stream and works up the paddles of the Goruf, leading off the fleet at a high rate of speed, and three cheers from the courageous announce that we are afloat once more on the mer of belts and glades. Head west about two miles to the grand junction of glades, which here form a rill of sparkling water; running south some two miles further intersecting an [illegible] and bubbling brook rippling westward ho! down which the fleet careers at a spanking speed for three miles or so, to the beaver dams and grizzly prairie; here is situated beaver city; and at the mouths of all the streams putting into grizzly prairie, similar thriving villages can be found; the enterprising beverians have here displayed great mechanical genius in the construction of dams, locks, and water levels--scientific engineers are they; some of the dams are at least one hundred and fifty yards long and of beautiful workmanship. Grizzly Prairie [Howard Prairie] is large, flat, marshy; about half of it covered with water some few inches deep, filled with reeds and rank watergrass--resembling a half-grown rice crop. Hauling up to windward we weather the ramparts of Beaverburg, unfurl the calico fleet to the breeze and bob along on the silent waters; working round the point of a timber belt that obtrudes on the marshes, where we get sight of a deer, and come to an anchor, while Pryus bears down on the game, which is feeding on the spongegrass near the belt; Pryus sends Tennessee out to agree on the terms of capitulation, who sustains well his former reputation in diplomatic matters de mort, which we guess from the game jumping into the air hog-backed and coming down again on its forefeet, which is a tolerably good indication that the venison is stirred up among the vitals somewhere; this one was, although as usual, running two hundred and fifty yards up the pine belt, where we found it dead as a mackerel. Cutting off the hams, we threw them aboard the donkey transport, belay all, and revolve once more on the raging rice patch, a couple miles or so south'ard, where we emerge from the damp to the dry territory of grizzly backbone, where cinders and scoria and other debris of ancient rage volcanic flourish in a high state of gloom and ashes, through which the calico fleet unrolls itself very gingerly some three miles, where we struck a trail leading up a creek southwest; which creek heads in the divide or rim range of the plateau, west. Keep up the above creek west by south and southwest, until we chase the trail into the bear jungle and strand the fleet. The bear jungle, by the way, is a long stiff brush, flattened down by platoons half its length, then suddenly rising well mixed. pointing like bayonets in a stack of arms badly stacked. We now back out and scale the mountain with the intention to take the ridge until we find a trail across--find none however; but frequently does the gay Goruf point her prow into an opening, only to point it out again by the same road, as nothing but a grizzly can migrate through such breakers. By the shades of the fearless we have been here before, remarks Pryus; and so we had, at least three times; and the idea is buzzing around making preparation to enter the fearless that we are in the circumlocution office, and the question is, how to sail out? The sun is stripping for a bath in the Pacific, and of course gets out of sight, leaving the cavalcade feeling for openings among the glades and jungle, with prospects plain for a shake down on the "cold cold" mountain; so the first thing on the tapis is water; where is the most convenient water? Which question finds no answer, and it now occurs to the bold that we have seen no water for some time. Already the jungle smells of night, dressed up in all of her most melancholy sables. A hasty council is now held, and it is determined to take the first ravine we come to without regard whither it goes, so it leads to water. Getting waked up to the emergency, we bulge through the tempestuous billows of brush without much regard to the rigging of the fleet. After one or two rotary revolutions through the labyrinths of the office, we worked through the breakers, found a gulch, and plunged into it, and down the mountain with every rag set to the breeze, making various knots per hour, which under the circumstances is fast fleeting. Dark as flugens; no water yet; with rueful visages and prospects black as the night around us, we forge ahead thus for nearly an hour, when Scripti's transport soused into a water hole at least three inches deep, and gave the glad tidings to the wings of night in a few blasts that went careering through the pines to the fearless and probably waked up some of the monarchs of the jungle. We now appreciate the lines of Winkle that
But a few days, few days"
There is nothing so goodof which the courageous drink, the fleet drink, and we all drink together, and feel much good. Camped under a huge pine, struck up a fire and hastily improvise coffee, venison and bear for four; fought fire for awhile, which spread in the pine leaf formation which is here about a foot thick near the ground; drink more coffee; plant sticks before the fire armed with strips of venison, to further appease the gastric; disentangle the calico cavalcade from the brush, and moor close round camp; thread the labyrinths of the circumlocution office and do the events of the day over the comfortable, well-filled pipes, and without further ceremony pitch into the blankets, where we sleep like the tombs of Egypt.
For the youthful blood,
As cool sparkling water.
JULY, 22nd.--"Petite gelee. Mucho frio" ["A little ice. Very cold"], says Bolus flapping his flippers to warm his fingers like another old salt, in regular nautical style. Breakfast over, we board the fleet and shove out of the grizzly cages, just as old Sol is making his appearance from the seat of war on the other side; head west up the gulch we descended last night, to the summit of the mountain; crossed over near the circumlocution office above named, and stepped off into a most beautiful opening called summit prairie--the old hunting range of Pryus; here we hunt about two days, wounding about two dozen deer, but for want of a dog, fail to catch "em John," the reason being that we shoot them late in the evening, and they take refuge in the grizzly jungle, and next morning griz breakfasts on them before we come to time; about the only shot that will stop one of these bucks short of three hundred yards is to break his back, which is most apt to nip 'em. We kill grouse during the two days, and have a good time generally, but oh! ye that sympathize with the shellbark notes listen! whilst a tale we unfold that may have a tendency to dry up your pilpill, and elevate your hat up an inch or two--owing to the length of the capillary crop, that is, provided you have rubbed much against the mountains, which you probably have. The columbiad is bustificated, and left us destitute of defense against the cruel cold! The commissariat is suffering from that fell destroyer consumption, and hence we are compelled to leave these classic belts and glades with regrets mucho. Before leaving, however, we go to the summit as it in here named, to take a last look at the most magnificent creature we ever saw; standing on the knob we see Mount Pitt to north'ard glistening in the sun's rays; to the south'ard, Mount Shasta looms up apparently only thirty miles distant, nut really 70--plainly visible from cap to truck, whose ponderous head stands high above the clouds in solitary grandeur, impressing the fearless with the vast powers of the Architect who built the glacier--the monde--the universe; whose eternal snows feed a thousand springs which tumble into the mer through the Golden Gate and Klamath, freighted with commerce; whose frosted brow is crowned with ethereal gauze; broad shoulders covered with a ruff of atmospheric air, and skirted with festoons of brilliant clouds a la mode Elizabethan. Turn to the west, northwest, and we behold the prettiest part of the world's panorama--the valley of the Rogue River--its thousand wheat fields, cottages and kaleidoscopic views cannot fail to fascinate an artist from this standpoint. To the eastward the chessboard of belts and glades with blue mountains in the dim distance, is truly picturesque, and well worth seeing.
Truth to tell, the picture is so good that we are loth to leave, and with difficulty turn the cranks of the cavalcade homeward. But "time and tide" wait not for the fearless more than any other man, and ours is out. So we plunge off the rim of the plateau down Grub's Creek, at a quarter pitch angle, to the north, northeast, through a patriarchal pine forest to Grub's Prairie, and thence to our first camp on the plateau, having made a circuit of about fifty miles. We are now back to the milk station, and within the radius of the Pony, which we are sorry for, because we had rather not hear the horrors of war--for
The silent belts have charmsChanging the subject, it is no bad thing to be seated behind a bowl of buttermilk here at the milk station, neither is it unhealthy to mix strawberries with rich cream and partake sumptuously thereof; at least the fearless lean that way somewhat. While on the milk subject imprimatur, that Col. Grub has a huge churn rigged to travel by water power, and it is a treat to witness the Grubs make the butter fly, and the article we attest is of qualite superieur. The same may be said of Stearns' works at the Mammoth Springs where we are camped; and others in the vicinity likewise.
We prefer to clash of arms;
But what can't be cured
Will have to be endured,
Until the country is secured
Beyond all chance of rupture;
Moreover the fact is,
We're compelled by biz,
To stand by indeed.
And see our stars bleed.
JULY, 24th.--Temperature balmy. Homeward Ho! The fleet bowls along under a stiff breeze with Gorulf and Wopsie dancing in the wind like unto things of life--as they are; possibly they have scared up a yellowjackets' nest. We return to R.R. Valley by the old dead wood road, over the rim of the plateau, on which we have the good fortune to find some quail, bagged by Winkle. Bolus throws out a handful or so of shot, but did not find anything; under a heavy press of canvass for 20 miles--we heave to and camp for the night, on Emigrant Creek, where we fish until 11 A.M. and catch some beautiful trout--and right here is a most salutary liquid of which the bold use vast quantities--it is soda water of a taste peculiarly pleasant, exhilarating and excelente. Camped on the premises of an Emerald Islander, and the fleet was scattered loose on the waters of the creek in a field in which the fearless fished; towards mid-nox the gentlemanly proprietor of these waters hove in sight and entered the port; hailing us, he wished to know--very naturally--"what the deuce we were sailing into his port for?"--expected he would inquire for our ship's papers. When the diplomatic Winkle boarded him and revealed the caliber of the expedish in his usual happy style, and immediately the "troubled waters were smooth" as oil, and Mr. M. very kindly gave us the last paper from town with news from outside and inside, celestial and terrestrial, which we take in by degrees, mixed with soda water; as we having fasted over a week, from motives sanitarie and the expedish being sleepy, and other circumstances various, which it is too late now to mention--being past midnight, the fearless will now be under the necessity of whispering bonsoir a'jamais ["good night forever"], and turn into review the stirring events of the past few days in profound slumber, outside of at least two gallons of soda water. And the rough notes insist on smoothing down to a simmer and severing the thread, whilom existing with the gay fearless, and slough back into space with any crude material left from No. 5--don't know about using them, but "save the pieces'' were the words of mère to fils, when the latter smashed the crockery. So, the rough notes will glide of into the relentless past with as little agony as possible under the circumstances--keep a-wavin', toujours.
SCRIPTI.Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 31, 1861, page 2
Last revised February 24, 2021