against the rocks, while all beyond was
Mendocino City. 31
gloom and darkness. The ocean had
disappointed us. After coming so far
to behold her majesty, how cruel! She
seemed to cover her fair face with her
own thick veil and refuse to be seen.
Mendocino City is "set on a hill;"
and we found it to be a very attractive
and flourishing little town, containing
the usual amount of business tact and
energy generally found in California
cities and villages. It is the central
point of trade for the lumbermen of an
extensive region which alone is capable
of assuring permanent growth. Fish-
ing is quite an industry here and will,
no doubt, become a profitable business.
The town has about one thousand in-
habitants, broad streets and an excellent
class of buildings.
Our attention was especially attracted
by the fuchsias which grew in great pro-
fusion and beauty, and so luxuriantly
that they reached the eaves of the houses,
and drooped over porches and fences;
even the yards of the vacant houses
Camping Out in California.
were made bright with their presence
as they bloomed in lonely grace and
The next we noticed was the Pres-
byterian church, a large neat building
and the only Protestant church in the
town. We were told that it was gen-
erally filled on the Sabbath by a class
of moral, intelligent and religious peo-
ple who were united in supporting the
gospel. This seemed glorious and very
different from most small towns in Cal-
ifornia. I know one about the same
size where there are eight churches,
each weak and barely able to survive.
When the church-going people of a com-
munity are divided into so many denom-
inations, each congregation must of
necessity be small and feeble.
We spent several hours in this cool
little city of the coast, not attracting
any special attention, as campers'
wagons, throughout the long summer,
are daily passing and repassing through
this town, which, to the inhabitants of
Mendocino City. 33
a vast mountain and inland region, is
the chief point of sea-side attraction.
Here we found it necessary to obtain
another supply of provisions, for the
pure mountain air and the cold sea
breeze proved to be wonderful tonics.
Never once in all the time we were
camping did I hear one of the company
complain of having no appetite.
One ol our number was dyspeptic.
Before leaving home he ate but twice
a day, and only crackers, broth, rice, or
such light articles of diet usually rec-
ommended to invalids. Now he ate
three hearty meals consisting of coffee,
bacon, hot biscuits and wild game, be-
sides vegetables and fruit.
We bought some delicious honey in
the comb, and as it was considerable
trouble to pack it safely away, Eda
volunteered to hold it. The box leaked,
and before we reached our camping
ground she was as sweet as she had
been blue a few hours before. She
took the laughter and joking quite
34 Camping Out in California.
coolly, and said: "Now if I hadn't
washed oft' the blue-berries I should
have been pretty good sauce." She re-
ceived immediate assurances that she
was saucy enough as it was. The brac-
ing air put fire into the youthful blood,
and as they had started out for a good
time we did not object to their merri-
We camped near a pretty little cove
and went to bed early, for a gentleman
told us it would be low tide about six
o'clock in the morning, and a good time
to gather abalones.
The roar of the ocean wind and the
loud and continuous booming of the
waves against the rocky coast were so
different from the pleasant music of
the forest, which had so long acted as
a lullaby in soothing us to rest, that
we found it almost impossible to sleep.
While lying awake listening to the
"steady beat of the sad sea waves," we
thought of Mrs. Heman's poem:
Mendocino City. 35
Thou art sounding on, thou mighty sea,
Forever and the same ;
The ancient rocks still cling to thee,
Whose thunders naught can tame ;
Oh! many a glorious voice is gone
From the rich bowers of earth,
And hushed is many a lovely one
Of mournf illness, or mirth ;
But thou art swelling on, thou deep,
Through many an olden clime,
Thy billowy anthems ne'er to sleep
Until the close of time."
TREASURES OF THE DEEP.
Iii the morning we found that the
ocean had not lifted her veil, but we
did not fret about that, for Ave were
determined to remain at the coast until
we could have a good view of the
We did not wait for breakfast but
made ready to go hunting abalones.
When the gentleman came along with
an iron rod, and a sack, he said if we
would go with him he would show us
the best place to find them. He led
the way along the cliff' and finally
began to descend an almost perpendicu-
lar path. It looked as if it was a peril-
ous undertaking, but the boys and girls
went ahead and told me if I fell I could
fall on them so I would be all right.
For some distance the path wound
Treasures of the Deep. 37
under trailing vines, so dense we could
not part them, and so low we could not
stand erect. When we came to the
ledge we found crevices in it which en-
abled us to cling with more safety, but
it was so damp with the ocean spray
that we had to "make haste slowly."
The rocks left bare by the tide were
covered with sea-moss and weeds. The
gentleman lifted some of it and point-
ing to something beneath said, "That
is an abalone." We had never seen
an abalone, and the object to which he
called our attention looked to us like a
bulge in the rock covered with a grey-
ish looking moss, but he inserted his
rod at one edge and in a moment more
it fell upon the sand. Then the girls
said, "Ugh! who could eat such a horrid
black thing as that?"
The boys gathered about a dozen,
then we went to the camp to have our
breakfast. They dug the abalone out
of the shells and trimmed off the out-
side until it could hardlv be distin-
38 Camping Out in California.
guished from a peeled white turnip;
then it had to be sliced and beaten
like a piece of tough steak, and fried in
hot lard. The children liked them
very well, but we never ate anything
that had the least resemblance in taste
to an abalone.
The shells in their natural state are
very pretty. The outside is a dark
red, blue and grey tint, while the inside
reflects the bright colors of the rainbow.
After they are treated with a chemical
preparation, and polished, they are the
most beautiful shells we have ever
After breakfast we hastened to the
beach, The young folks had made
plans for having a fine time bathing
in the sea, but the change from the
heat of the valley was so great that we
could scarcely keep comfortable with
our winter flannels on, so there was no
temptation to try a sea bath.
But we clambered over the rocks and
examined the treasures of the deep.
Treasures of the Deep. 39
We found clinging tightly to the rocks
with its dozens of suckers, the star-fish
or five-fingers. The name sea-star is
sometimes applied to it from its shape,
and we thought while examining them
that truly the stars of the ocean were
more of a curiosity than the stars of
the heavens, because these stars have
life while the others have none. It is
said that if some of the rays or fingers
were cut off others would be formed to
take their places, or if one were cut in
two and put back in the water each
piece would grow and form a star-fish.
It is also said that if the eggs which are
attached to the under side should be
moved a short distance the fish would
crawl to them and gather them under
her again. Looking at a star-fish it
was hard to believe there could be so
much mother-love existing in it. We
found them of all sizes, from the baby
star, as Harry called it, to a large one
which measured ten inches from one
point to another.
40 Camping Out in California.
In England they are called Devil's
fingers, and people are afraid to touch
them for fear of being poisoned. But
the boys gathered quite a number of
each color to take home. We also
found the sea urchin, or sea hedgehog
as they are sometimes called. They
are a great curiosity with their hun-
dreds of dark red spines bristling in
every direction. We found their shells
after the spines had been worn off by
the rolling waves; then they are called
sea eggs. They were of different sizes
and were ornamented with regular rows
of tiny buttons or knobs, varying in size
from the point to the head of a large
There were ugly looking crabs of all
sizes crawling in every direction among
the rocks. Harry was especially in-
terested in them, and had great fun in
making them run backwards and side-
ways, until one nipped his finger and
then the rest of us had the fun.
Ben had wandered out some distance
Treasures of the Deep. 41
on the rocks, when he called excitedly
for us to come and see his flowers. He
had found the lovely sea anemones.
In the water their bright tinted petals
were gently moving as flower petals
move in a breeze, so they looked like
real living flowers. They were of sev-
eral different colors and some were
really beautiful, and when we went to
touch them we found they possessed
more life than ordinary garden flowers
for they closed instantly. We dis-
covered the gorgonia or sea fan and
many different varieties of sea mosses
When the tide was in so we could
not go down the cliffs to the rocks we
visited the little sheltered cove, where
we never tired of watching the billows
as they came gently gliding up to the
beach, one after the other like children
We found a species of kelp with a
turnip-shaped bulb, and a root from
one to twenty feet long. The boys con-
42 Camping Out in California.
sidered them a good substitute for
whips and had a lively time chasing
each other up and down the beach.
There was quite a variety of shells, and
the girls gathered more than we had
room to carry.
The fog still hid the ocean from view
and we concluded to go farther up the
coast, "Seeking new worlds to conquer,"
Will said, so we "folded our tents like
the Arabs," but not silently, for that
was impossible with our merry crowd.
We were soon moving slowly along
the coast road, winding first to the
right and then to the left, now climb-
ing a sharp hill and then descending to
the valley, while the dark, cold and
heavy mist limited our view of the
After going down a long but smooth
grade we came to a beautiful stream
which was spanned by a rickety and
dangerous looking bridge. Above the
bridge was a deep mill-pond into which
massive redwood logs were leaping one
Treasures of the Deep. 43
after another. These bulky logs were
sent into a chute down a steep hill
and really seemed like living creatures
plunging into the pond, dashing the
water into a spray and sending it fly-
ing several feet in the air. Sometimes
orie of these swiftly flying logs would
spring on the back of its fellow, and
with a roar arid a bound and a strug-
gle for the ascendency they would settle
down half buried in the water, then
quietly swim side by side toward the
By the side of the pond stood a large
mill, in and around which a great
number of men were at work. We
yielded to the wish of the young peo-
ple, and entered the building, which
seemed like a busy hive of industry
The gentlemen were very kind and
explained some of the machinery,
which was altogether new to us.
We gazed with amazement upon the
roaring, whirling, angry saws with
44 Camping Out in California.
teeth stronger and sharper than those
of a lion, as they seemed to march
through the solid logs (one above and
the other below), splitting the thick
sound-hearted wood into planks, boards,
and other lumber ready for the me-
chanic. We were told that single trees
had been sawed into eighty thousand
feet of lumber.
One man was busy removing the
refuse lumber with a hand car which
ran on a track to the end of a bridge or
scaffold, a short distance from the mill,
where he dumped it off into a roaring
fire which burned continually. It
seemed too bad to burn up such quan-
tities of lumber which if on the plains
would be valuable for barns, sheds, and
fences, but the man said there was no
other way of getting rid of it.
On either side' of the stream were
good houses, which, with a neat school
house and church, made a very pleas-
Passing along northward, we came
Treasures of the Deep. 45
to the town of Noyo, where we imme-
diately laid in another supply of pro-
visions, after which we endeavored to
find a camping place, where we in-
tended to remain a few days.
But in this we found much difficulty.
As we passed along, one of our party
went to several houses making inquiries
as to where we could pitch our tent, but
without success. Some of the people
were deaf, some were dumb or fright-
ened, and others, judging from their
looks and actions, were very unfriendly
and inclined to look upon us as high-
waymen, tramps or spies.
The yards and fields were enclosed
by high board fences on which were
notices warning all persons to keep out
of the enclosure, threatening the full
penalties of the law to trespassers.
At last, quite disgusted with the place
and people, we drove beyond the town
and found a quiet spot among the
trees beside the road where a pile of
stones and ashes showed us that other
46 Camping Out in California.
campers had ventured to stop, so we
pitched our tent without asking per-
But we found that if the human in-
habitants were inhospitable, so were the
other dwellers in the land. They gath-
ered around us with songs of welcome,
but instantly demanded tribute for our
presence among them. "Oh dear! mos-
quitoes!" exclaimed one and another,
and in a moment was heard the falling
of hands, and exclamations of disap-
pointment, when it was found that
although a red spot was left where the
blow fell, the savage tormenter had
We had expected to find poisonous
insects and reptiles and had taken an-
tidotes with us, but this was our first
annoyance,and by keeping on the smoky
side of the fire we managed to finish
our supper and prepare for bed. We
built a fire near the door of the tent
and had a good night's rest, despite the
protests of our musical visitors. But
Treasures of the Deep. 47
the poor boys, who always slept in the
wagon, showed unmistakable signs of
The next morning the sun was shin-
ing brightly, but we were out of sight
of the ocean, and the girls prepared
breakfast in a hurry, fearing they would
not have a good look at the Pacific be-
fore the fog came down again.
A gentleman told us that the road
up the coast wound along a high cliff,
where, if we should be unfortunate
enough to go off, we would fall about
five hundred feet into the ocean beneath,
so, when we were ready to start once
more, we took a vote to decide which
way to go, three voting to go across the
mountains into Humboldt County and
five voting to go down the coast.
As we were all Presbyterians, the
minority yielded without a murmur,
and we turned and journeyed south-
ward, passing through Noyo as quickly
as possible, having no desire for fur-
48 Camping Out in California.
We soon reached a point where right
before us, bathed in the splendor of the
morning sunlight, lay the vast and
mighty ocean. The girls could scarcely
find adjectives enough to express their
delight and admiration of the glorious
scene and I really think the boys used
about as many adjectives as the girls
but who could w r onder. They were
watching for the first time the restless
rolling billows of the vast and mighty
ocean, and words cannot express our
feelings > of awe and admiration as we
found ourselves repeating with rever-
ence and solemnity Bryant's "Hymn
to the Sea:"
"The sea is mighty, but a mightier sways
His restless billows, Thou whose hands have scooped
His boundless gulfs, and built his shores, Thy breath
That moved in the beginning o'er his face,
Moves o'er it evermore."
The grandeur of the mountain forests
oh our left, and the majestic sublimity
of the ocean on our right, seemed to
join in a perpetual hymn of praise, lift-
Treasures of the Deep. 49
ing our hearts nearer the Creator of all.
Far out from the. shore were huge rocks
over which the waves dashed almost
continuously. When Harry noticed
them, he cried out, "Oh, see the whales!
Look quick, their backs are coming out
of the water !" and it looked so real, that
he still talks about the whales we saw
playing in the ocean.
Away in the distance, we could see
the white-winged ships moving swiftly
and majestically over the billows, and
we wondered if the happy hearted pas-
sengers and sailors on those stately
vessels would safely reach their homes,
or if they would sink
"Into the depths with pitying groan
Without a grave, unknelled, uncoffinedand unknown,"
while loving friends would wait long
and anxiously until weary and heart-
sick, they could nevermore hear the
sound of the sad sea waves without a
All along the cliff we noticed that
the pines were very different from those
50 Camping Out in California.
we had passed in the seclusion of the
forest. Here, instead of being tall and
massive and sy metrical, we found them
stunted, dwarfed and gnarled. Contin-
ually shaken and beaten by the mighty
ocean wind, they leaned toward the
mountains, and with their branches all
extending in the same direction, they
seemed to implore assistance from their
sheltered and more favored brethren.
The scrubby, woeful looking trees
brought to mind the stories we had
read of the innocent country lads and
lassies, who, tempted from their quiet
and peaceful homes by the attractions
of a city life, had been buffeted by the
allies of the evil one, and had dwarfed
and blighted until their sin-sick souls
were fain to cry out for the joys arid
purities of their country homes.
HUNTING A WHALE.
The report reached us that a large
whale had been cast ashore between
Noyo and Mendocino City. The shore
at this point was a long distance from
the road. We drove through a gate
and then along a rough and narrow
lane a distance of perhaps a half a mile,
when we came into a pasture and found
ourselves among rocks, stumps, rotten
logs, and dead trees.
Unable to proceed farther with the
wagon we tied our horse * 1 o an old
dilapidated barn. We felt a little timid
in doing this as there was a house in
an adjoining field out of which rushed
several men, as many women, and twice
as man} 7 children who stood in a group
and looked intently towards us but said
52 Camping Out in California.
After feeding the horses we started
out in search for the whale.
We climbed over old logs and hedges,
and followed meandering cow-paths
until we reached the ocean bank and
saw the white feathery foam beneath
our feet. We stood there and watched
the tireless billows beating the unyield-
ing rocks, until we were well sprinkled
with the spray and nearly deafened by
the ocean thunder. We then started
down along the cliff, hunting for a
Occasionally we would stop a moment
to look down on the water fifty feet
below us. Such a heaving, churning,
splashing, perpetual motion. Now fall-
ing away, leaving the bare rocks spotted
with shells and moss, now rising with
a fantastic whirl as if determined to
overleap all bounds, while we with dizzy
heads start back, as the mighty volume
settles down and glides back into the
After walking about two miles from
Hunting a Whale. 53
where we left our team, we saw some-
thing that resembled a boat turned
bottom side up but soon discovered that
it was the big fish.
Carefully climbing down the cliff we
stood by the side of the monster. It
had probably died of old age and the
odor could not be likened to the "sweet
scented gales from Araby the blest."
After a moment of silent wonder
Linnie exclaimed, "Did you ever?"
Eda made reply, "No I never, hardly
Harry gazed in such quiet astonish-
ment that we listened for his first
words. Drawing a long breath he said,
"Well, I should think a whale could
swallow Jonah easy enough."
How little and insignificant we felt
as we stood by this ponderous creature
in which the Almighty had put life.
We were told that it was about eighty
feet long and fourteen feet across. Some
one had used a ladder to climb on its
back and Ben wanted to go up, but
54 Camping Out in California.
as it was kept in motion by the waves
rolling against it we would not con-
sent for him to make the dangerous
experiment. We were much interested
in this vessel which for many years
had run on the waters of the North
Pacific without pilot, captain, or crew,
strong as a locomotive, and capable of
leaving the swiftest steamer behind,
but finally cast away on the rocks of
The boys made an attempt to pluck
some of the barnacles from the side of
the whale to keep for souvenirs, but
they were too slow and a large wave
gave them a cold bath, which completely
quenched their whaling curiosity.
We now retraced our steps and found
our horses waiting patiently and all
ready to travel on. Passing through
the narrow lane we were soon on the
Early in the afternoon we reached
Mendocino City again and pitched our
tent on a plot of grass at the foot of a
Hunting a Whale. 55
hill covered with green trees, and near
a flowing spring. From here we'could
see the waves playing over the rocks,
the spray glittering in the sunlight,
and the vessels far out on the deep blue
We crossed the bridge and walked
along the bank of Big River which is
clear as crystal and has a strong cur-
rent. Looking down into the water
we saw schools of fish varying in dimen-
sions, forms and species.
Passing through the little village as
the sun was going down we noticed
many young people out for an evening
walk. They seemed to be full of life
and happiness. Not a delicate or sickly
person did we meet.
Here the river, fresh and pure, coming
from the distant hills meets the briny
wave as the tide marches up the stream.
Here the mountain atmosphere coming
down from aloft meets and mingles
with the cold breath of the ocean, and
as nature loves variety, the wonderful
56 Camping Out in California.
commingling of salt and fresh water,
sea arid mountain air makes Mendocino
a very healthy place.
Returning to our camp the boys
made a roaring fire near which the
mosquitoes did not dare approach,
although they made music for us only
a little in the distance. While sitting
there and talking over the events of
the day we saw the dim form of some
one coming "out of the darkness into
the light/' and soon recognized an old
acquaintance, who joined our circle
around the cheerful camp-fire and we
spent a very pleasant evening.
Early the next morning we heard
Will exclaim, "Oh, the fog, the fog,"
and as we opened our eyes we saw the
dark mist creeping as silently as some
evil spirit into our tent.
After breakfast we started down the
coast. The air was very chilling but
we were not so sensitive to the cold as
we were when we first came from the
valley. For some time the fog was so
Hunting a Whale. 57
dense we could see only a few feet in
front of the horses, but about nine
o'clock it began to vanish and before
noon the sun was shining beautifully
upon the face of the "great deep."
Occasionally a streak of fog coming
from the vast world of water and shin-
ing in the glowing sunlight reminded
us of an old-fashioned snow storm.
We saw several such aerial streams
flowing over the tops of the trees, and
up the sides of the mountain, so cool,
so invigorating and picturesque.
From Navarro Ridge ten miles south
of Mendocino City we could Took down
about four hundred feet on the flourish-
ing village of Navarro Mills with nearly
five hundred inhabitants.
This town is at the mouth of Navarro
River and is completely walled by the
strong bulwarks of nature.
On the east the river like a silver
serpent glides from under the mountain
forest. On the north and south the
towering hills which rise almost per-
58 Camping Out in California.
pendicularly remind one of the walls
of some ancient city adorned with pic-
tures of birds and flowers.
On the west the dark waves, like
living creatures from some distant isle
of the sea, are daily and nightly rising,