Wednesday, July 26th.—This day we struck our camp before sunrise, and had the horses securely packed and all in motion in the early cool of the morning. The march was a fatiguing one; the country appearing to be a succession of woody bottoms, or valleys and steep rocky ridges, which tried the metal of our loaded horses severely. From the summit of one of the hills more elevated than the rest we obtained a distant view of the valley of the Sacramento. Our general course was north north-west. The trapper, who proved an able guide, varied the direction from time to time so as to lead us through the easiest paths, taking care to steer clear of the deep canones that split up the hills in every direction. We dined at noon as usual, and that very well, on some hare soup made from a couple of hares which we had shot during the morning, and some dried beef. The signs of deer were very frequent. After mounting and descending a very precipitous and rocky ridge, we encamped near some waterfalls in a wide open valley. The night was somewhat cold, and we enjoyed a blazing fire of pine sticks, which we cut from the dried trees in the vicinity.
Friday, July 28th.—Yesterday morning dawned clear and rather coolish. In the forenoon we crossed the north fork of the Americanos, which was here but a trifling stream. The general character of the country was becoming more and more mountainous and difficult to traverse, and we found the labour of the journey sufficiently severe. A great number of water-courses crossed our path, but the channels were quite dry, the stones and shingle white and bleaching in the sun. An unfortunate accident occurred during the afternoon’s march to one of the pack-horses, which stumbled over a heap of rough stones in clambering up from the bed of a torrent, and broke its leg. We had to shoot the poor animal to put it out of pain. Its burden was equally distributed between its more fortunate fellows. We encamped amongst rocks, and had a poor supper of flour cakes and bacon scraps. During the night Don Luis was attacked with aguish symptoms. I prescribed bark, which appeared to relieve him.