1881. July 11. Monday. We stopped at a blacksmith's shop to get the brake-rod to our wagon fixed, so did not start from Copperopolis till 9 1/2 o'clock, then we rode till two o'clock before camping for lunch, as we found no very inviting place, and did not at last, but stopped until 5 1/2 o'clock, on account of the heat. Here I wrote a postal home. It was quite late when we stopped for the night at Chinese Camp under a large fig tree, in a stubble field where the owner would not allow us to light a fire, but gave us the privilege of cooking on his stove in his cabin. He was a bachelor and deaf. I was much distressed for breath until I got some smoke. They thought it best for Alice and myself to sleep in the wagon, but the mosquitoes were troublesome, and the full moon shone in our faces, so we did not sleep well. (T.S.R. 62. 2 P.M. 98. S.S. 85.)
July 12. Tuesday. We went on our way and soon went down a very long and dangerous hill to the Tuolumne river and crossed just where Wood's Creek joins the Tuolumne. The creek is muddy, the river clear. Just here is Jacksonville, in a wild a picturesque place, and right here so high up in the mountains, the thermometer stood at 90-, and tropical trees of various kinds were growing. A little further on we crossed the Tuolumne on a ferry-boat and rode on in the heat to Moccasin Vineyard, where we stopped near an empty Hotel for lunch. Here the weather was so oppressive, we could not rest much, though we tried long and faithfully. This is a beautiful place, a fine spring of pure cold water, and tropical trees and beautiful flowers. But we were right at the foot of a long and tedious hill, and knew we could have no more rest till we reached the top, so we tried to raise our courage and started on. We found it indeed long and tedious, winding, and dangerous, but the scenery all the way was grand - all views of mountains - and we met no teams and no accidents, and all reached the top, safe but tired to find a Hotel kept by a
1881. Mr. Priest. Even here at this altitude, the thermometer has stood a -94 today. Here we were weighed - my weight is 101 1/2 lbs. It is very cool and pleasant here tonight. The stage soon passed and commenced the descent of that fearful hill we had just ascended - Rattle snake Hill - it is called. They lock the wheels at the top and keep them so all the way down. We slept in a nice new wagon house, all the ladies, spread our beds on the floor, and had a good rest and good appetite. (T.S.R. 66. 2 P.M. 94. S.S. 82.)
July 13. Wednesday. We got an early start and rode by Big Oak Flat to near Sprague's Ranch, where we lunched, then pressed on and reached the Colfox tollgate at a little before sunset. Here we had to pay sixteen dollars toll and we camped for the night in the yard. Here I got into a spasm of laughing over someting that happened and it was very hard to stop. Here I slept in the tent for the first time, slept well and am gaining in appetite and strength, though still obliged to use my smoke for asthma. It is cool and pleasant here - the yard is full of beautiful flowers, and the blackberries are just refining. We see oleander trees everywhere here in the mountains. It seems strange to me that they grow so well here, as the nights are so often frosty. We seem to have such a trouble to make ours grow at home. After leaving Sprague's Ranch, we rock through beautiful scenery all the way to Colfox. In some places we could see mountains piled on mountains - four or five difficult ranges - one above another. It was here we caught the first glimpse of snow, and felt the cool refreshing breezes which came from it. We find springs of clear, cold water everywhere along the road now. Here at Colfox is a beautiful cold spring in a spring-house. I send a postal home every day. (T.S.R. 58. 2 P.M. 86. S.S. 73.)
July 14. Thursday. And now we have got into the woods and among ferns. We lunched beside a beautiful little waterfall. Mary has been sick all day - vomiting out at the back of
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Delia Locke, diaries, women, diarist, California, Locke-Hammond Family Papers, Lockeford, CA, Dean Jewett Locke, rural life, rural California, 19th Century, church, temperance organizations, Mokelumne River Ladies' Sewing Circle, temperature recordings, journal