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thickly-wooded country to the summit
of the mountain, from which seven-
teen lakes may be viewed in the im-
mediate surroundings. Of these lakes,
the largest and most beautiful is Fallen
I v eaf — its outline and curiously tinted
surface resembling a great leaf. Glen-
brook is the only important landing
on the Nevada side save at Incline, a
mining settlement. A long stay is



made at Hot Springs, for besides the
boiling springs of sulphur water, a
pebbly beach is found here. For rich
pebbles of various sizes, however,
Carnelian Bay offers the greatest at-
traction, and to this sunny cove tourists
and guests from all parts of the lake
gather in large numbers.

The lake is twenty -one miles long
and twelve miles wide, with a depth
of 1,645 f ee t> alu l au altitude of 6,202
feet. There are so few streams flow-
ing into it, that its source is supposed
to lie in underground streams and
springs. The beaches are few, for the
mountains, many of which are snow-
capped perpetually, reach down to the
water's edge, forming steep banks
that are almost perpendicular. The
eastern bank has a marked abruptness,
the only cove or shore possible for a
settlement being Glenbrook.

Although encompassed by snow-
fields, Lake Tahoe never freezes, per-
haps owing to the frequency of squalls,
which ruffle its bosom into thousands
of tossing waves. At sunset the breeze



THE HEART OF THE SIERRAS.



247



subsides. The surface, as smooth as
Mirror Lake, reflects not only the
snow-clad mountains and the borders
of pines, but also the iris-hued sky.
The light strikes only the profile of
the western mountains, sending a
flood of golden beams upon the blue,
hazy peaks of the east, tinting the sky
with rose and purple. This brilliant,
fantastic picture, thrown upon the
glinting surface of the lake, displays
several belts of color. A yellowish
gray near the edge deepens from violet
into rich purple ; patches of green
follow ; then spreads out, as far as
eye can reach, a field of golden light.
It is a dream of beaut)* — too delicate,
too transparent for the artist's colors,
and almost too beautiful to be less than
an illusion.

One of the most interesting retreats




HER OF THE FOREST. CALAVERAS GROVE



in the heart of the great Sierras is the
Calaveras Grove of Big Trees.

From two to four thousand years,
these giants of the forest have reared
their lofty heads on high. They have
battled the severest gales ; the snows
have fallen thick upon them, and
many of their graceful limbs have
been hurled to the ground ; they have
witnessed the fur}* of the forest fires,
which have swept away their more
youthful companions, singeing their
own sturdy trunks ; and yet they
stand, solemn and majestic sentinels
of the mountains.

Entering the grove by the left-hand
gateway, and walking about 120 yards
down the path made of the deep-red
sequoia bark, one comes upon a noble
group of trees, named respectively,
Grant, Sherman and McPherson.
The plume-like foliage
unites at the top in a mass
of rich green. '* General
Grant" is a particularly
fine tree and may be viewed
to advantage from the ve-
randa of the hotel.

A few steps farther on is
the " Pride of the Forest,"
which is twenty -three feet
in diameter, three hundred
feet in height, and is one of
the healthiest and most
erect trees in the grove. To
the east of the Miner's Cab-,
in, a fallen tree whose name
may have been suggested
by the hollow formed in the
roots and base, is a row of
three trees, called the Three
Graces. "Andrew Jack-
son" forms the central
figure of a most imposing
cluster, just north of the
Three Graces. Around him
have gathered ' ' Florence
Nightingale," ''W.C.Bry-
ant, ' ' and ' 'W. H. Seward. ' '
The Pioneer's Cabin stands
on the main path, and has
an opening through which
a stage may drive. The
cabin-like interior with a



THE HEART OF THE SIERRAS.



249



hollow resembling a
chimney extending
through the center of
the tree, gave rise to the
name. The Pioneer's
Cabin is thirty-two feet
in diameter, and is one
of the most curious trees
in the grove. At the
end of the northward
course, stands the som-
ber ' ' Mother of the
Forest." In 1854, the
bark was stripped from
this tree to a height of
116 feet for exhibition
purposes at the East.
One may gain an idea
of its gigantic propor-
tions, when told that
without the bark (and
the average thickness
of the bark is eleven
inches), the circumfer-
ence measures eighty -
four feet, while the
height is three hundred
and twenty -one feet.

The "Father of the
Forest ' ' lies prostrate
upon the ground, a
short distance from the
aged "Mother." The
height of this tree must
have been 450 feet ; its
circumference is at present 112 feet.
We stood contemplating the immensity
of the fallen monarch, when suddenly
our eyes rested upon one of the party,
who was rapidly scaling the giant by
means of a series of steps at one side.
When he had climbed to the topmost
roots, he began taking regular paces
to the other extremity of the tree.
As we knew that he was calculating
the distance to where the first branch
must have been, we stood waiting for
his estimate of the distance ; but upon
hearing 200 feet as the report, our
surprise at the "Father's" unusual
measurements, reached its climax.
And this is not all — for the heart of
the tree has long since been con-
sumed, and through the capacious




THE SENTINKLS AND PAVILION, CALAVERAS GROVE.



hollow, horsemen are wont to travel.
The knot-hole, too, is a most interest-
ing feature, into which the sunshine
streams, lighting up the dark, cabin
interior of the tree.

The " Father, " is not the only one
that lies in the dust. Old " Hercules "
at one time the largest standing tree in
the Grove, measuring ninety-five feet
in circumference and three hundred
and twenty-five feet in height, met
with his downfall in 1862, during a
heavy storm. The Miner's Cabin
was deposed two years sooner, while
the Fallen Monarch has probably lain
prostrate for centuries.

For symmetry and beauty combined,
the tree known as "Abraham Lin-
coln " stands in the first ranks. This



2 SO



THE HEART OF THE SIERRAS.




HALF-DOME FROM TRAIL, YOSEM1TE VALLEY.

stately sequoia is perfectly erect, its
foliage is well grown, and it is sound
from base to top. Perhaps its beauty
is more apparent because of its solitary
and unguarded position, close to the
winding pathway. Only the stump
of the original or first discovered tree
remains. Like the " Mother of the
Forest. " this noble sequoia wasstripped
of its bark, and afterwards, not satis-
fied with this despoliation, the heart-
less destroyers succeeded in completing
its overthrow. A pavilion now covers
the stump, insuring protection against
further destruction.

The only noted tree that stands
without the enclosure is " OldDowd,"
named in honor of the discoverer of the
Grove. Besides the Sequoia gigantea
in all stages of development, the gen-
eral flora of the Big Trees region is
also a striking feature. On the route
to the Grove, the tall evergreens have
full sway. No leafy ravines, no vine
entwined bousrhs, rival the beaut v of



the lonely pines and firs. But in the
temple of the sequoias, all is changed.
Hazel, with its velvety leaves ; maple,
clad in brightest green ; dogwood in
its summer dress of snowy blossoms,
or robed in crimson by the autumn
frosts — all mingle harmoniously w T ith
the rugged pillars of the sequoias, or
the tall brown shafts of the silver fir
and sugar pine. Lilies, delicate and
fair, peep up from the green sward,
while columbines and bells look out
from their mossy glens as we walk
down the shady, deviating path.
Dainty yellow mimulus sprinkle the
green floor, and the moss-covered logs
only enhance the wildness of the
scene.

It was in the cool of the early morn-
ing that we started on a journey to
South Grove, situated seven miles
from the Mammoth Grove Hotel.
We drank in the delicious fragrance
of the pines as we rode in the shadow
of the tall trees. The narrow trail
conducted us to the top of the ridge,
whence we descended to the Stanislaus
River, the dividing line between Cal-
averas and Tuolumne counties. After
winding in and out among the moun-
tains, climbing steep ledges, passing
tli rough dark ravines and sunny
glades, we reached Beaver Creek,
which with the Stanislaus, constitutes
the chief trout-fishing grounds of the
region. Then, climbing one more
ridge, we descended into the South
Grove. The Calaveras Grove covers
an area of fifty acres, and contains
ninety-three sequoias, twenty of which
are over twenty-five feet in diameter ;
but the South Grove is more exten-
sive, containing 1,380 trees ranging
from one foot to thirty-four feet across.

The first tree that attracted our at-
tention was " Columbus," a magnifi-
cent representative of the species ; tall,
solitary, and with unusually wide-
spreading branches. At the south end
of the grove stands " New York," the
largest living tree, measuring 104 feet.
Near a large stump is a tree whose
shaft has been struck by lightning,
the top having been shivered into



THE HEART OF THE SIERRAS.



251








mi



GRIZZLY GIANT, MARIPOSA GROVE.



fragments and the trunk rent in twain.
Even the topmost part of the remain-
ing stem is twelve feet in diameter.
" Old Goliah," a fallen tree, is among
the largest sequoias that have ever
grown. The gale that overthrew this
royal tree also deposed his neigh-



bor, "Hercules," of the Calaveras
Grove.

Like the Calaveras Grove, South
Grove lies in a sort of valley sheltered
by mountains. It is three and one-
half miles in length, and contains,
besides the sequoias, avenues and



252



THE HEART OF THE SIERRAS.



clusters of sugar-pine, yellow-pine,
silver fir, red spruce, cedar and other
genera, with an unlimited variety of
shrubs and wild flowers.

For a combination of all that is
magnificent and inspiring in the
Sierras, the great Yosemite Valley
wields the sceptre. The graceful,
foamy falls, the flowery ravines, the
well-forested slopes, the huge granite
walls, combine to make one of the
most attractive valleys known to the
world. From Inspiration Point to
Cloud's Rest, falling water and tower-
ing rock mingle in a most harmonious
picture of beauty and grandeur. And



although there is another canon,
equaling in some respects this mighty
valley, nowhere can the sublimity of
Yosemite be surpassed.

This most accessible canon of Cali-
fornia is 4,000 feet above the level of
the sea. It is seven miles long,
and half a mile to a mile in width,
with walls of solid granite, which
sometimes fall back gracefully, or stand
out in bold relief against a background
of feather)' foliage of pine, fir or
spruce. The forest trees and wild
flowers grow more rich and beautiful
as we ascend the canon. The sun-
light falls between the boughs of the




1LACIER MONUMENT, KING'S RIVER CA&ON.



THE HEART OF THE SIERRAS.



253



mighty conifers in checkered patches
on the ground beneath, and the exhil-
arating air is in harmony with the
gorgeous dress of the mountains. A
general view of the valley may be
gained from turns on the road, which
reveal the fresh, green floor, with its
sparkling stream, the stupendous cliffs
on every side, and the tuneful, foam-
ing waterfalls. The first object of in-
terest is Pohono, or Bridal Veil Fall.
The top of the fall is 900 feet from the
great caldron of tossing water at the
base, and the stream is forty feet
wide. On the brink a soft velvety
moss grows in abundance, affording,
when dry, a safe foothold in walking
to the edge, but usually it is very
slippery and dangerous to tread upon.
The stream that forms this picturesque
fall gains its source in a lake thirty
miles distant, flowing through rich
meadows and extensive forests of sil-
ver fir.

Among the remarkable falls of the
valley, the Yosemite is the most won-
derful. The Yosemite Creek Basin is
lined with glacier-polished granite,
smooth masses of which rise far above
the forest. Through the undulating
walls of granite, the water flows with
a steady current, then slipping over
the brink of the precipice, it falls into
an immense basin where it rests but
for a moment, only to plunge over
another abrupt ledge. Two falls com-
pose the Yosemite, making in all a
height of 2,600 feet, but when seen
from below, with the cascade between
them, they appear as one immense
comet-shaped mass.

The Nevada Falls stand next to the
Yosemite in grandeur. The Merced
River, flowing through the Little
Yosemite Valley, is broken into a
series of rapids ; then, passing through
a rough, rocky channel, it is tossed
into foam and hurled over the brow of
the precipice, striking a granite pro-
trusion half way down, which powders
it into finer spray, and gives it the ap-
pearance of a fleecy cloud resting
against the mountain side. From a
projecting granite cliff at one side, an
Vol. IV— 17



excellent view may be gained of the
network of streams below, uniting and
reuniting, until they finally merge
into one river, which continues on its
way to Emerald Pool, and then makes
another plunge into mid-air. The
angry tossing of the Nevada Falls pre-
sents a strong contrast to the calm,
orderly movement of the Vernal Falls.
In the latter, the water pours down in
a broad, steady, unbroken sheet,
eighty feet wide and 400 feet high.
Its beautiful rainbows and the fact
that it is so easily accessible have
doubtless given it its marked popular-
ity.

Illilouette Falls resembles Nevada
Falls in its foamy, cloud-like aspect,
though it is far less magnificent. Both
these falls are about 600 feet in height.
The former is difficult to reach on ac-
count of the rough, craggy canon it
inhabits, and naturally is less fre-
quently visited than the other falls.
The Ribbon or Widow's Tears Falls is
a narrow band of water, falling from a
height of 3,000 feet. It is situated
just opposite Bridal Veil, being formed
by Fall Creek, a tributary of the Mer-
ced. In the early spring the stream
resembles the finest lace.

Beyond Ribbon Falls on the north
wall, stands El Capitan, a simple,
massive, imposing rock, nearly or
quite 4,000 feet high. Across the river,
just above Bridal Veil, Cathedral Rocks
loom up to a height of 2,700 feet.
Following El Capitan, on the same
side of the valley, are three pillars of
granite, the highest reaching a height
of 4,000 feet. They are named the
Three Brothers, for the sons of Tenaya,
the oldest Yosemite chief.

Opposite the Three Brothers, on
the south wall, the Sentinel rears
himself to a height of over 3,000 feet.
He stands in the central point of the
valley, tall, slender, stately, ever
keeping watch over the glorious wealth
of his realm. No feature of the valley
is more prominent than the Sentinel,
no form more commanding. When in
front of this massive monument, the
Yosemite Fall is plainly revealed,



254



THE HEART OF THE SIERRAS.



gushing from the mountain in a roar-
ing torrent. Stretching out before us
is the wide upper part of the valley,
with the North Dome, Royal Arches
and Washington Column on the left,
and Glacier Point on the right ; while
in the middle, Half Dome, perhaps
the most beautiful of all the rocks,
towers 4,750 feet against the clear,
blue sky.

At this point there is a division of
the valley into three branches — Ten-
aya, Nevada and Illilouette canons.
Ascending the Nevada or middle
branch, we pass Vernal and Nevada
Falls, when we come to the Little
Yosemite Valley, which resembles in
some details the great parent valley.
It is three miles long, with walls from
1,500 to 2,000 feet high, and an
abundance of rugged cascades. Green,
mossy meadows light up the floor of
the valley, tall pines and firs adorn
the slopes, and ragged, precipitous
granites jut out in somber, dignified
magnificence.

For a preponderance of rock forma-
tion, the north, or Tenaya branch, ex-
cels its neighboring canons ; nor is the
display of waterfalls and lakes less
attractive. This canon is more densely
mountainous than the other two, and
naturally more picturesque. Between
the North Dome and the Half Dome,
two of the most remarkable rock struc-
tures of the Yosemite, is situated that
marvelously beautiful Mirror Lake,
with Tenaya Canon for both inlet and
outlet. The reflected shadows are
strongest at daybreak. To the left of
Mirror Lake, Mt. Watkins, resembling
El Capitan in its massiveness, rises
4,000 feet above the valley ; on the
right, Cloud's Rest is faintly outlined
in the lake, while the rocks and trees
in the immediate vicinity can admire
their likenesses in the most wonderful
natural reflector of which we have
knowledge. For a mile above the
lake, the caflon is comparatively level,
the water flowing in an even current
for a considerable distance. At Tenaya
Fall, the end of the valley, the scenery
is quite changed. The stream above



makes a succession of plunges, dash-
ing the water into a foam, and just as
it is about to slip over the granite lip
it divides, one branch making a verti-
cal fall of eighty feet, while the other
swirls and roars in a series of disor-
derly cascades. Tenaya Fall is cer-
tainly one of the most fascinating of
which the Yosemite Valley may
boast.

Lake Tenaya, which is about two
miles long and three-quarters of a
mile wide, is the fountain head of
all this beauty, and the terminus of
the Tenaya Canon. Nearly concealed
by a thick border of firs, it lies hol-
lowed out of the highest mountains.
From the south and east the tall
mountains rise almost vertically, while
on the north and west, the slopes are
less severe.

Just south of Tenaya Fall, is situ-
ated Cloud's Rest, an imposing fold
of granite, rising 6,000 feet above the
valley, and named from the presence
of a cloud seen frequently resting above
its summit. From its lofty crest, a
tract reaching over an area of fifty
miles stretches out before us. Below,
the polished crown of Half Dome
gleams in the sunlight ; Mirror Lake
looks like a sheet of shining silver ;
North Dome, Eagle Point, El Capi-
tan, Sentinel Dome and Glacier Point
repose in solemnity in the wide ex-
panse of valley, while Yosemite Fall is
a mere bit of vapor clinging to the
mountain. The climb to "this point
of vantage is a difficult one, and only
experienced mountaineers .should at-
tempt to scale the rocky, precipitous
wall.

Winding our way through the
wild, rugged mountains, for about a
mile, we come to the Sierra Cathedral
— a solid rock, beautifully sculptured
into spires, domes and gables ; a verit-
able work of art. It stands upon a
plateau 9,000 feet high, towering
2,500 feet and may thus be viewed
from all directions. Its prominence
affords an excellent opportunity of
studying its peculiar architecture,
while from its ornamental pinnacles,



THE HEART OF THE SIERRAS.



255











STANISLAUS BRIDGE.



superb views may be obtained of the
valley of the glorious Merced.

The excursion to Glacier Point is
one that should not be neglected by
visitors to this enchanting valley.
The trail leads through rock-walled
canons, where huge boulders are
heaped in the utmost disorder ; up
grassy inclines, flowered with the
Mariposa lily, the bright purplish
blossoms of the Penstemon, or the
closed evening primrose, which lights
the meadows at sunset with its daz-
zling golden blooms ; and after the
cool shade of the forest one comes into
the glare of the noonday sun, climb-
ing over barren, rocky soil, until
Union Point is reached. From here,
on an elevated flat, the valley, well
planted with fir and spruce, reminds
one of a rich green velvet carpet, and
the Merced River looks like a mere
thread of silver. We soon reach
Agassiz's Column, a mass of rock
thirty feet high which looks ready
to topple to the ground at any mo-
ment. A great sweep of mountains
spread out on all sides, but when we
have gained the topmost pinnacle of
Glacier Point the grandeur is incom-
prehensible. Peak after peak of the
noble ranges loom up in stately mag-
nificence, gradually growing fainter



and fainter, until the dim outlines are
lost in the haze of the distance. The
Vernal and Nevada Falls appear like
little patches of white, and at this
elevation of 3,257 feet above the val-
ley, Mt. Starr King, Mt. Lyell,
Cloud's Rest, and Half Dome are mere
points in the wilderness of spires and
domes.

King's River Canon compares most
favorably with the famous Yosemite.
The valley of the former is longer and
deeper, the rock precipices are more
majestic, the waterfalls, though less
sublime, exceed in height and volume,
and it is only a question of time when
the fame of this magnificent cafion
will equal that of its more prominent
rival. From Visalia, the nearest
point to this canon on the Southern
Pacific Railroad, the journey is made
by stage. After passing through
miles and miles of grain fields and
grassy flats, and hot foothills reeking
with desolation, the mountains, which
had been visible for miles through the
hot atmosphere, grew nearer. A
breath of the fragrant pines had not
infrequently been wafted toward us
and very soon we were in a dense
forest of sequoias. How refreshing
the cool shade after the glare of the
sun ! We passed through shady



256



THE HEART OF THE SIERRAS.



ravines, whose banks fairly glittered
with their gorgeous array of flowers
— bells, lilies and gilias waving and
nodding a welcome in the gentle
breeze.

At the height of 5,000 feet or more,
in an opening of the thickly grown
evergreens, we gained an excellent
view of the central valley of California
with its protecting coast mountains,
its fields, orange groves and vine-
yards, its towns dotted about in
irregular lines and circles. We soon
reached the limit of the stage line,
and were compelled to travel the re-
maining eighteen miles on horseback,
over a steep, narrow trail, crossing
the basins of the Big and Little
Boulder Creeks — tributaries of King's
River. We soon gained the summit
of the ridge that forms the boundary
of Little Boulder Creek Basin, and
then descending, reached Bearskin
Meadows — a perfect sea of gilias,
larkspurs, columbines and lilies.
Rich shrubs and tall, graceful leaves



One more tremendous climb and we
reached Grand Lookout, the highest
point of the trail, 8,300 feet above sea
level, from which we obtained an un-
interrupted general view of the valley.

King's River Canon is situated
south of the Yosemite, forty-five miles
from Visalia, and is the valley of the
south fork of King's River. It is ten
miles long, one-half a mile wide, with
walls that tower to a height of from
2,500 to 5,000 feet. The depth of the
valley is more than a mile, while the
floor is comparatively level, with
groves and parks of willow, poplar,
fir, and pine, rising from a carpet of
exquisite flowers. The abrupt walls
rear themselves almost perpendicu-
larly, and the changing river flows
down through its dazzling caflon, now
gliding gently, and then leaping and
dashing over huge rocks and boulders
through a narrow gorge into deep,
clear pools below. Numerous streams
from the surrounding mountains find
their way down the slopes, seeking at




A BIG TREES SCHOOL.



bend down to kiss the sparkling stream
that ripples and laughs through the
center of the meadow. The melodi-
ous rapture of the birds mingle in the
glorious harmony of earth, sky and
sunshine.



last this mighty river, where they
mingle in the soft ripple, or in the
furious roar of the cascades. Great
masses of rock, curiously fashioned,
jut out from the ponderous walls in
artistic architectural forms, like forts



THE HEART OF THE SIERRAS.



257



and buttresses built upon a high preci-
pice.

The first rock upon which the eye
rests at the foot of the north wall is
the Palisades, a curious structure,
apparently crystallized into geometri-
cal cubes, so square and regular are its
faces. It measures 2,000 feet from
base of upright portion to summit.
Following the Palisades, we behold a
collection composed of Hermit Tower
and Three Hermits, standing out dis-
connected and alone. They present a
striking appearance in their isolation
and quaint construction. East of the
Hermits, a stream rushes and roars in
clamorous disorder over a succession
of rocks to form the booming cascades.
How merrily the water swirls and
splashes over the precipitous ledges !
The stream has its rise from the melt-
ing snows which trickle down the



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