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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Chaining

The diary below, of the experiences of a group surveying in the mountains near Crater Lake, was apparently kept by sixteen-year-old Paul Albert Mosher, son of La Fayette Mosher and grandson of Joseph Lane. This attribution is based primarily on an accounting entry in the diary recording the labor of "U. S. G. Eggers in account with P. A. Mosher." The diary appears within the La Fayette Mosher correspondence at the end of the Joseph Lane Papers, reel 8.
   
The surveying party was under the direction of James M. Arrington and included James Moon, cook/ax man; Carl, hunter; Walker and "Step and Fetchet," packers; and J. Creed Floed (Mosher's cousin), Sam, Jake and Mosher as ax men/chain men.
   
The diary also mentions local farmer LaFayette Engles and land office clerk and surveyor Colins Flint.

Crater Lake Wagon Road.
    From some of our exchanges we glean the fact that Roseburg wants a wagon road leading from that point to Crater Lake. Klamath County has a road that is already built to the coveted locality, and a good one; in fact, the only practicable route from the line of railroad to the lake. The road between Linkville and Ashland for summer travel is fair for a mountain road, and in winter it is not likely there will be much travel from any point along the railroad to Crater Lake. Should it be necessary for government aid to be had in building a road to this noted lake, it will undoubtedly be used to the best advantage and on the most accessible route, and that will be down and along the banks of the Klamath River to the line of railroad. Such a road could be built for less than one-tenth what it would cost to build a road from Roseburg across the Cascades to Crater Lake. Furthermore, the distance would not be so great, down the Klamath. In a conversation with some parties a day or two since who profess to be familiar with every foot of ground that lies between Roseburg and Crater Lake, we were informed that it would be almost an impossibility to make anything like a good road over the mountains between the two points. Our attention was called to the road from Linkville to Ashland, and someone said "money could make that a good road, but they doubted if Uncle Sam had enough of silver, at 99½ on the dollar, to build as good a one over the Cascades from Roseburg to Crater Lake." If such be the fact, Roseburg's show for a wagon road to the lake is extremely thin.--Star.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, February 6, 1886, page 4

    Mr. Arrington and assistants have begun the survey of the wagon road from Roseburg to Crater Lake and to intersect the road from Fort Klamath to Prineville.
"State and Territorial News," Willamette Farmer, Salem, July 2, 1886, page 5

The diary begins:

March 31st 86

W. F. Owens
2 sacks wheat 260 lbs.
1 sack barley 105 lbs.

May 1st
Bought of W. J. Owens 322 lbs. wheat

Friday June 25th 1886
    Left town at 6:30 o'clock and traveled to Engles' before dinner. I and Creed F. went fishing and caught 2 fish 3 inches long. We had dinner at 4 o'clock and supper at 5. After eating [a] supper of beans we held an election and elected a cook, James Moon. I slept with Carl, who by the way is hunter and did not kill any game because he is a Missourian.
    Went to bed at 9 o'clock.

Saturday 26th 1886
    We got up at 4 o'clock this morning and had breakfast at 5 o'clock of bacon, beans and bread and coffee.

Wednesday June 30
    I got up this morning at 3 o'clock. I slept with Step and Fetchet last night. We are at B. Little Camas, 12 miles from Engles'. The mules and horses stampeded last night and nearly ran over the rest of the gang, who were sleeping near the trail. Creed jumped up and waved his blanket to keep from being run over. And all of the crowd but I and S.F. yelled like Indians. Walker hollered to Step and Fetchet, and he would not let on to be awake for fear he was wanted to attend to the horses. We started out to work; we traveled 3 miles today in the rain and camped in a pile of logs. Creed caught 1 fish this evening. We spread our tent and went to bed at 9 o'clock.

Thursday July 1st
    I got up at 5 o'clock this morning. I and Creed Floed slept together last night last night. It rained all night, and Creed, who was on the outside of the bed and [out] from under the tent, got wet as
Sheol. Carl set a log afire that the tent was fastened to, and we had to get out of the way. After breakfast we started off for the day's work with Jake and Jim at the ax and Sam and myself at the chain, Floed making pegs.
    We surveyed up the river and passed a bluff 350 feet high. We camped at a nice place this evening by a drift [of leaves], and I washed my socks and overalls and then set the drift afire and dried them. I left my shoes, which were wet, by the fire and went to bed with Creed.

Friday July 2nd
    I got up this morning at 5 o'clock and found my shoes burned to a coal. Imagine my feelings--36 miles from a store and no show at all to get any shoes at any price. S.F. had a pair of old slippers, and I took them and tied them on with a piece of sack. Having no shoes, Mr. Arrington put me at making pegs and Creed in my place. We started out and ran 2 miles before dinner. We were then 20 miles from Mr. Engles' farm and at the east forks of the river at the foot of a very high and steep mountain. Making pegs is a very soft job, as it only takes 160 to the mile [one every half-chain], so I had leisure and climbed up the mountain for a half mile and saw my first white pine. As I began to get anxious for the gang, who I supposed would survey right up the mountain after me, they not coming, I started down the hill 4 miles [for] an hour. Before I had gone 200 yards I met Jake and the boss. We turned back and after walking about ¼ mile we came to a beautiful place called Lake in the Woods, dry as the top of our roof at home and as level as a floor, about 4 acres in extent. It lies on the side of the mountain in the midst of heavy timber with grass about 2 feet high. We heard the horn blow, so we started back for the foot of the mountain and ate dinner while we were waiting for Mr. Arrington to start. We were investigating his compass and level when Jim came up and said, "I tell you, boys, if a surveyor would catch a man out in the woods with a thing like that he would have him arrested for insanity." [A James M. Arrington died in the Oregon State Hospital in 1933--coincidence? His remains are still there, unclaimed.]
    We were stuck at the foot of the mountain not knowing which creek to take, so Mr. A. decided that we would go on through to the Klamath road and survey back. We went up the mountain to tell S.&F., who had taken the horses up to feed, to bring them down and pack up so as to camp at the lake. But when we got up to it we could not find any water, so we decided to try and get to Snow Bird, a camp which is at the head of the river.
    I and Sam started out ahead, and with the gun and a pistol after reaking [i.e., winding uphill] about 2 miles we decided that they could not get to "Snow Bird" tonight, so we walked back a mile only to meet them coming. So we turned back; we climbed a steep hill about 2 miles high and at last reached Snow Bird. It is a beautiful place on the top of a spur of the Cascades, open woods with grass and weeds 2 feet high. We are very tired tonight, so we will lay over tomorrow.
    It is very cold here. I and Creed made our bed under a group of fir trees. Good night.

Saturday July 3rd
    I awoke this morning to find little drops of water falling in my face, and I hear the rain falling on the leaves around me. The fog was very thick so that we could not see 200 yards around us so that I did not see much of the landscape this morning. Jake went hunting [in] the morning and did not kill anything. Sam and Creed went out also. I tried to make me a pair of moccasins out of a deer hide, but did not succeed. C. and I put up a tent over our bed and built a fire before it. It thundered today but it did not lightning; the fog cleared away so we could look around some and lo and behold it had been snowing on the high peaks before us. Just about 2 miles south of us there is a high rocky mountain with precipitous walls which I judge are fully 500 feet high. If we stay here tomorrow I intend to try and organize an excursion to explore it if it is not too foggy, as it would command a splendid view of the Cascades and maybe the valley. Just before dark Carl killed a 2-point buck and we are very happy once more, as it is quite a change from beans and bacon.

Sunday July 4th
    I slept well last night; in fact, I always do. We had venison for breakfast and it was very good. We will have grouse pot pie for dinner. S.&F. killed 2 deer this morning, [one] a buck and the other a doe. We are going to stay here today and celebrate the Fourth of July drying venison. It is very foggy and cold here this morning, and I don't think we will go on my excursion, as my slippers will have to be saved. This would be a nice place for a summer stock ranch, but it would not do for winter, as from all appearances the snow has not been off longer than a month. Jim and Jake are putting a venison roast stew on for dinner. Jim was washing it and Mr. Arrington said it would take all the nutriment out of it. Jim said he could have the nutriment if he wanted it but he would rather have the bark and fir trash washed off of it. Well, we had our 4th dinner, and it was very good. After dinner Creed, Jim, Sam and I started out on my excursion. We went to the top of the ridge and followed [it] out south after the Cattle Thieves Trail for about a mile.We came out on a bluff where we could overlook the whole country that we had traversed, and the view was magnificent. To the west lay the canyon of the East Fork and to the north were the high mountains of the North Umpqua; to the southwest rose a high rocky mountain surrounded by open grassy dells. After rolling a few rocks down the bluff we continued on around the ridge which turned out to be the divide between the waters of the East Fork and Coffee Creek till we came to an open spot where we were in sight of my mountain fully 3 miles away. It was "White Rock," which lies on the head of [North] Myrtle Creek. What looked like snow was nothing but the white rocks which form the mountain. We had to give up looking from the summit of White Rock, and sorrowfully we turned our steps campward. We arrived after a three hours' walk, wiser and more tired men. Jim and I had a lunch of roasted venison, after which I felt much relieved, and L. F. Engles did not come today as expected, and we must move on tomorrow. Our orders are to roll up our blankets and be ready to move by 6 o'clock, which means 8. Jim sent me up in a fir tree to cut off limbs for the fire, and in throwing the hatchet up to me instead of catching it by the handle I caught it by the edge in the center of my hand, inflicting a very severe cut. I am still the happiest broke, barefooted and wounded man in camp. While on my excursion today we saw in the distance a snowcapped peak which Jim pronounced as being Diamond Peak, which lies at the head of the McKenzie River. We are lying around the fire at Camp Floed. I am feeling as happy as a king.

Monday July 5th 1886
    I awoke this morning to find the wind blowing a regular winter's gale. It rained nearly all day and is still sprinkling tonight. After breakfast the party, all but the packers, started out for "Mud Lake," which we supposed was 10 miles away. I remained behind to wrap my slippers up in sacks, and with a little trouble I succeeded in making what Jim termed as a pair of Norwegian boots. It was like walking in a pair of shoe boxes, but I kept up my perseverance like a chip off the "old block."
    We started out nearly due east, following the backbone of the ridge. The backbone was such that if it had been 10 feet narrower we would have had to have crawled for fear of falling off. After going about 2 miles east we turned nearly southeast and continued in that direction nearly all day. At almost regular intervals during the first 7 miles were bluffs intercepted by grassy spots. The bluffs are my delight, as they both allowed me the pleasure of rolling rocks and of viewing the landscape o'er. I had the best view of mountains and snow peaks that I ever had in my life. We passed a mountain of some importance called Quartz Mountain, which is composed of almost white rock, and it is as much as 3 miles along it. After almost despairing of ever seeing "Mud Lake," we at last arrived. "Mud Lake" is a fine lake filled with a little water and lots of tadpoles. It is about 50 feet long by 35 wide and is surrounded by open hills with the same
fine feed I mentioned several times before. During today's travel we saw in the canyon of one of the tributaries of the North Umpqua an open and level space of probably 200 acres. It was a long ways off, probably 10 or 15 miles, so that we could form no definite opinion of it. After quite a search for water Jake at last succeeded in finding a little in the dry bed of a creek and we had supper. But before supper was over Lo the poor Indian arrived carrying a Winchester and leading a horse packed with his camp outfit. What most excited me, however, was not the Indian, the horse or the gun but that tied to his pack was an almost-new pair of shoes. I ran up to him and told him I was barefoot and I must [have] that pair of shoes, but he said that [he] could not spare them, as what he had on his feet were pretty near worn out. "Well," says I, "what will you take for those?" And he said that he would sell them for $1.00. As I had not a cent in my pocket, I called on the party for the dollar. My demand was quickly responded to, Sam and Jim to the amount of 75 cents, all then [that] was in camp. To the longest day of my life I will never forget the gallant gentlemen who sacrificed every cent they had in the world to accommodate me. At last we made a trade. I gave 75 cents and a paper of tacks for the shoes, but what was my chagrin to find that I could not get them on. We invited him to eat supper, and I induced him to let me try on the new pair, and they fit perfectly. I at last got them by the stubbornness and the $3.00 Mr. A. gave him, an order on Marck's & Co. for $2.25, and I gave him the 75 cents. Although they are rather a tight fit, they make me feel very happy once more. I feel like a new man. C. & I spread our tent and we went to bed early. S.&F. killed a spotted fawn by mistake, but did not carry it in.

Tuesday July 6th 1886
    I arose to find the sun shining on the treetops and a very few clouds passing over our heads. After breakfast we started out, and with a little trouble succeeded in finding the trail that led out of the opening for the first 2 or 3 miles. We walked on with little incident through about the same country as yesterday's. Creed, Sam and I, who were ahead of the train with Carl's gun, had quite an adventure. When passing through an open spot of several acres Sam was ahead with the gun and I next to him when Creed, who was as much as 50 feet behind, called out that he saw a deer on the hillside in front of us. In looking in that direction I saw a large black bear in the high grass about 150 yards off and coming toward us in a walk. I exclaimed "Shoot that bear, Sam!" whereupon he dropped on one knee and drew a fine bead and fired. The bear whirled and started straight for us in a gallop. Sam tried to throw in another cartridge, raised his gun and snapped it, but it did not fire. That took all the starch out of him. He turned and ran for about 10 feet when, turning around to ask him to throw me the gun, I saw Creed trying to put the chain in his pocket and with watching the bear and looking for a tree to climb up he was having a hard time of it.
    When I asked Sam to hand me the gun, that rallied him and he shot again as it ran past us for the brush, but he missed it. We sat down and waited for the pack train so as to get the dog.
    We tracked him and found blood, so when the dog came S.&F. and I followed him down into a deep canyon but did not get to kill him. In climbing up the hill I found the township line that Collie Flint surveyed several years ago, and it was of great benefit to Mr. A. When we got to the trail the train had gone and left us.
    We followed the trail through timber for some distance with little of any moment till we came to "Black Rock," which is a mountain that rises high in the air. Its name describes it better than I can so I will not say anything more about it. Around on the right side of Black Rock we found snow in patches three feet deep. I ate enough of it to have killed me. After turning around Black Rock we came out into a bunchgrass prairie of about 50 acres right on top of a mountain, and it was magnificent. We followed along the ridge to the northeast right along the branch of North Umpqua [Black Rock Creek], and at last we came down the mountain and overtook the party as they were crossing the river [probably Fish Creek]. It turned out to be quite a river, and we camped as soon as we got across it, right among the mosquitoes and fir brush. Creed caught 15 fish this evening, and I 4. We are lost and on what we suppose is the Diamond L. trail.

Thursday July 7th
    I slept alone last night and nearly froze to death, so I don't think I will do so again. I put tacks in my new shoes this morning so it will be easy travel today.
    Jim and Jake had gone on ahead with the gun and I overtook them. We traveled along through scrub fir timber for 3 or 4 miles with little to relieve the monotony till we came out on a steep mountainside covered with grass and weeds where we had some difficulty in finding the trail, but at last we succeeded it. The top of the mountain for about 50 acres was covered with bunchgrass up to my knees. After we got to the top I suppose we were on the summit of the Cascades. Anyway we were surrounded by snow in patches from 4 to 5 feet deep and open pine woods. The trees are scrub. At 12 o'clock Jake killed a 2-point buck. We dressed him and laid it in the trail [for the pack train to pick up], then we moved on and another deer jumped up. Jake shot but missed it. While we were looking for blood Jim went on ahead and saw another one, but we never got a shot at it. Jake and Jim sat down and waited for the train to come up, and I went on ahead a short distance and climbed up on a point of rocks where I could look around, and there was our lake in sight.
    I forgot to mention that Mr. Arrington said we were within 8 miles of Diamond Lake, but we never saw it all day. The train caught up with us and Jake and Jim ate lunch, but I was on ahead and did not get any. I am not sorry now as the beans they had were sour and they are very sick tonight. Going along ahead of the train, Jake wounded a deer and Carl went a mile or 2 after it but he got it, or rather he got its hide. We came out on a mountain which overlooked a dreary desert which stretched out for miles before us. In the south end of it was a small lake. The desert was covered with fallen timber and scrubby pine and hemlock trees. It was thickly inhabited by mosquitoes.
    Just where we came out on the mountain we lost the trail, which I don't think goes anyplace anyhow. We took the train down the mountain and camped on the banks of a small stream. The ground is covered with pumice stones. Creed picked several strawberries yesterday. Mr. A. is very sick this evening and he did not eat any supper. I have been dishing out painkiller like a doctor during a yellow fever plague. Mr. Arrington says that the wagon road is not more than 3 or 4 miles off, but he is badly mistaken, so say us all.

Thursday, July 8th 1886
    I awoke this morning after quite a refreshing sleep. Creed and I lay in bed amusing ourselves killing mosquitoes. We killed some that weighed 2 or 3 pounds. Carl left before breakfast to find Diamond Lake. Mr. A. says it is right north of us, but I don't think he knows any more than the rest of us. We waited for Carl till 8 o'clock, and he not coming, Creed and I started off for the lake I mentioned last night. We had not gone more than 100 yards till we met him out in the pines. He had found the old wagon road, but not Diamond Lake. The road ran about N.E. and S.W. through the desert, and it was not over ½ mile from camp. There was quite a river of dark and very swift water running in about the same direction as the road we traveled today. We traveled around looking for the lake some time but could not find it. [Mount Bailey was probably between Diamond Lake and the party.]

    So we returned to the wagon road, which by the way it looks has not been traveled for 8 or 10 years. It is covered with fallen timber, and had not trees been blazed it would have been difficult to follow it. After waiting for some time for Mr. A. and the party they at last arrived. We traveled southward on the road; the ground was composed of ashes, pumice stones, fallen timber, and last but not least, mosquitoes. While we were looking for the lake we heard the gun fire 8 times, and on inquiry it turned out to have been Sam. He had been shooting at 2 deer far up on the hill, but did not hit them. Mr. Arrington pronounced the river as being the North Umpqua, and after following the same stream down today it is now Fish Creek on the South Umpqua. He says his North Umpqua stream crosses the summit near the bunchgrass I mentioned yesterday where he says there is a pass. What think you of that--a pass for a larger river than we camped on [the] night before last going through a pass in an unbroken range. I forgot to mention yesterday that the party saw 7 deer. In going along the road we came out on the banks of the long looked-for lake. I indulged myself in a fine swim in a beautiful lake. The lake is about 300 yards long by 100 wide, but there was not a fish in it. We traveled along till we came to a grassy spot on the banks of a small stream. We waited for the [pack] train, and when it came up we had 3 or 6 cups of tea and a pound or 2 of venison apiece, after which we felt much better. We moved on and had not got 100 yards till we saw a fine buck standing on the side of the canyon opposite us. Sam shot at him but did not hit him. Mr. A., who was ahead for a short time this afternoon, saw 2 deer, but we did not get a glimpse of them. We at last camped on the banks of Fish Creek with not a fish in it, and in a swale off to the left was fine feed for the horses. There is lots of beaver sign around here, and if I ever have time I will come here trapping. I got stung by a yellowjacket today. The packers saw where a panther had been following us today. I had a nice lot of strawberries today and they tasted very fine.
    I and Creed have our tent spread, and we are lying in bed enjoying life in the Far East. Mr. A. says that it is only a few miles from here to Black Rock, and we will begin surveying in the morning. My opinion is that we are now on Rogue River.

15th day
Friday July 9th 1886

    Well, we did not commence surveying this morning for the reason that we did not know where to commence. Carl went out on the wagon road to look for the trail but did not find it. After breakfast Mr. A. sent Jake and I to look for the trail southward along the mountainside; Creed and Sam he sent down the river, while Jim and himself went up the river. We all returned but did not find the trail. Mr. A. and Jim says that they were at the head of this river, but I am very doubtful; I think they don't know. Mr. A. and Jim saw 4 deer today, and they got within 40 feet of one of them. Carl shot at a deer today but did not hit it. We started out surveying this afternoon and ran 1½ miles. We are not setting pegs, and so I was reduced to the ranks as a common hard-working ax man.
    Jim and Jake both got stung by yellowjackets today, and it was quite amusing to hear the howl, and I went down in a small gulch today and scared up a deer. It ran off about 40 feet from me and stopped. I would have given my interest [i.e., his real estate] in Sheol for a gun for a few 
minutes. Jim, who was above me, snapped his pistol twice, but it would not shoot. Walker lost his white-eyed spotted bobtailed cayuse today, and after quite a search he found him quietly grazing about ¾ mile from camp.
    Carl rode out south on the wagon road this afternoon, but as he is out hunting I don't know what he saw. I will record it tomorrow.

16 day
Saturday July 10th 1886

    Well, I promised to tell what Carl saw, but he did not see anything except a notice on a tree with the names of a party of Jacksonville people who went to Diamond Lake in 1885 from dates on the tree when the party were going and coming. It appears we are not far from the lake. Carl saw 5 deer yesterday evening and wounded one of them. He took the dog this morning and found it. He also killed a spotted fawn. When we started out this morning we widened out the trail so that the pack train could follow us and we ran a line 2½ miles today, 2 of which were up the mountain. So far it has been [a] nice, easy grade, and I am in hopes it will be the same all the way through. The brush was all burnt off last summer, so it is nice to travel through. We saw two deer today walking along not more than 50 yards from us. One was a fine buck. The pack train came very near not catching up with us this day. We were four miles from camp and as it was after 4 o'clock we started to walk back. Think of it--working hard all day from 6 till 4 without any dinner and then have to walk 4 miles for supper. But as good luck would have it we met the train after a slight walk of 1 mile. We proceeded to camp in a small canyon which contained a few puddles of water, a little grass and lots of mosquitoes. After supper I felt much better. We found a cow's horn this afternoon branded with an "O." At one time we suppose there were cattle in this wilderness.


Sunday July 11th 1886
    I slept poorly last night, being bothered  with ants and mosquitoes. Walker lost his mules today, they having started out right over the mountains for home. He followed their trail for 5 or 6 miles over cliffs, through timber and meadows, till he at last lost track of them on the hard ground. Well, we started out at 6:30 this morning and surveyed 1¼ miles before noon. When Mr. A. called for a volunteer to go back to camp and tell Carl to pack what he could on his horse and come on, as we had not had any dinner, I offered to go and so he sent me, and I went back a little below the summit, which was a mile and a ¼, where I met Carl, who had fully half of the things on his horse. We started back and met poor old Walker, who looked as if he was about to cry. He greeted me with the exclamation of, "Boy, I ought to have followed your advice." I had been telling him to stake them out and not turn them loose for the last 2 or 3 weeks. We saw Mt. Shasta today for the first time on the trip.
    We also had a splendid view of the neighboring snow peaks around us. We saw 5 deer today and Sam and Jim shot 5 times at them with pistols but failed to kill them. We are camped on as rank of a small creek [omission] and in a nice patch of grass. The mosquitoes, Jim says, have turned into very diminutive gnats.
    I washed this evening. Walker, who went back to camp with his gray horse to bring the rest of the things, has not arrived yet. Later--Mr. Walker has just arrived; he brought all the rest of the things but 2 saddles and a tent. Step killed a deer this evening and buried it in a snowbank.
    It will be nice tomorrow, when they intend to get it with the pack train. He also saw another, but did not get to shoot at it. There is a splendid rocky peak opposite from camp which may command a beautiful view, but I did not climb up it.

Monday July 12th 1886
    We started out early this morning and are surveying up the canyon of the creek we camped on last night. For the first mile I blazed trees, and then Step brought the dinner bucket and I had to carry that till noon. We passed many beautiful cataracts that ran almost perpendicular for several hundred feet, being fed by melting snow. A short time after 10 o'clock we struck snow in patches from 4 to 6 feet deep. After dinner I strapped the bucket on my back and went on with my work. After a run of another mile we came out on the summit of the highest mountain, not to a snow peak that was in sight. We climbed on the highest point of the ridge which commanded a splendid view. In the distance to the west was Black Rock, to the east the pumice stone flat and beyond them were the snow peaks, raising their snowcaps almost to the skies. At the foot of the ridge to the south was the pass we had been looking for [to site their road]; you could trace it from the river to the foot of Black Rock. Mr. A. decided to throw up the work we had been doing for the last 3 or 4 days and start in again at the river at the end of the pass. He wanted to camp at the foot of the mountain right below us. So he sent me back to camp to tell them to come on. I started right down the canyon, which was composed of precipice after precipice till I got nearly to camp, where I ran almost onto a couple of deer, one a nice buck and the other a doe. The doe stood within 30 feet of me and never saw me for quite awhile. Just before I reached camp I saw Step and Walker on the hillside above me with the horses. I went up to them and they gave me a deer hide with a piece of meat in it and 2 buckets full of things to carry.
    They had a hard time of it and crossed some very bad places. The dog started out [i.e., surprised] a little spotted fawn, and if I had not called him back he would have killed it. We went on to camp and passed one drift of snow that was fully 10 feet deep. I forgot to mention that we were on the very top of the hill. We rolled some rocks down that weighed fully 1,000 pounds, and before they got to the bottom of the hill they looked no bigger than a man's hat. They would bounce high in the air like a rubber ball. They caused a deer to run out, and he looked no bigger than a jackrabbit from where we were.
    Step killed a 2-point buck today and he also saw 3 other deer. Creed saw 3 deer when he came down the hill to find a place to camp. While Sam and Mr. A. were sitting on the mountain waiting for me a brown bear came near running over them. We saw a deer near camp and I got Step's gun and went to shoot it, but before I got sight I let the gun go off and the deer ran away. Jake and Jim found the trail we should have taken at Black Rock instead of the Diamond Lake trail. It runs through this pass, which we suppose is Fish Lake Gap and into a prairie near our camp which from an inscription on a tree is Turn-Round Prairie. The trail apparently fades away here. This is quite a summer resort for hunters from the old campfires around here. The hillside to the north of camp is covered with beautiful bunchgrass while within 100 feet of camp there is snow. It tried to rain some today but did not succeed.

Tuesday the 13 of July
    I slept well last night after my hard day's work. After breakfast Mr. A. took Jim, Sam and Creed with him and started out to find the river and survey all the way back to camp today. He took Carl
's horse with him to ride and left Jake and Jim [in] camp. Step and Walker took Walker's horse and went back to our last camp to get what they had left. Mr. A., Creed and Jim returned after going about a mile and left Sam to ride out to the river and back, which was all the surveying they did. It was late in the evening when Sam returned, and he had not got to the river. He went to the flat, but it was so brushy he could not go any further. He found a salt lick about 5 miles from camp and also saw one deer. Jake and I started out to follow the trail according to instructions from Mr. A. and see what we could see after following it for about a mile. We came to a rock about 100 feet high. Jake suggested that we climb up on it and take a look. We did so and the view was magnificent; to the west were mountain after mountain. Just a short distance off was a pile of rocks that looked like the ruins of an ancient castle; to the north lay a beautiful valley about ½ mile wide by 3 long, covered with magnificent grass. We both gazed at it till our eyes hurt to catch a glimpse of Walker's mules, but they were not there. The view to the east was obscured by the high mountain we were on yesterday. To the south as far as the eye could reach were the Umpqua and Rogue River mountains, while just at our feet a deep and rugged canyon. As the trail left the summit and went down in the direction of the valley, we did not follow it any further but returned to camp. As Jake was getting tired of this foolishness he wanted Mr. A. to follow the trail to Roseburg and not survey up onto any more mountains. He reported that the best way to it was to survey the trail. Mr. A., however, came to the conclusion that he would look for himself, so he took a small party with him and climbed the mountain. When he returned he said we would go to work in the morning early and survey the trail. I am in hopes it runs in the right direction, as our provisions are nearly exhausted. Walker returned about dark, looking very tired. I think he was born tired [sic--bone tired?]; he had been hunting the mules. Step followed soon after him but did not bring any venison as the snowbirds had eaten the one he had buried in the snow.

Wednesday July 14th 86
    We arose early this morning and started out surveying. Our hearts were glad, for we were just chaining the trail. We went down in the valley I spoke of yesterday, and after a run of 3 miles stopped to wait for the pack train, which by the way did not come till after 4 o'clock. We missed our dinner, as usual. I don't think Lent will bother me anymore, as I am getting used to fasting. There is a kind of a creek running through the valley, and it is full of fish. We caught 96 this afternoon. I caught 13 of them. Carl killed a [omission]; Creed expresses it ""Another deerskin today." He never brings in enough meat to last over 2 meals unless he can get one of us boys to do it for him. Jake and Creed together saw 3 muskrats today. I forgot to mention that this is Fish Creek. According to Mr. A., it is only about the 20th one. Accordingly the first gap that came in sight was Fish Gap. He and I went up to it and he squinted through his cartridge shell around in the next canyon which was the one we were in day before yesterday.

Thursday July 15th 1886
    We had 55 fish for breakfast, and it was a good thing, as we had no dinner. We started in and ran a mile this morning down the valley till we found we could go no further in that direction, as the trail turned due east. We returned to 65 chains and then took to the hill. I had been chaining to relieve Sam this morning, but when we struck the hill I went back to chopping. We ran four miles today and came out on top of another mountain that led no place, just like we did before. We had quite a thunderstorm today, and the rain got the brush all wet. Well, we left the top of the mountain and chained due west right down in a deep canyon, as when we were on top of the mountain we were 1000 feet too high. We followed the creek down to camp; that is where we supposed camp was. Through brush so thick and wet that you could only with difficulty go through it at all.
    When we got to the mouth of the creek we were in the canyon that head [sic] at Black Rock. When Creed and I, who had come down together, got to the place to camp and there was no camp there; we felt discouraged. There we were, wet, tired and sick with the headache. We built a fire and decided we would stay right there and not go 10 feet for any pack train.
    After waiting awhile we heard the packers blowing their horn right up on top of the mountain where we had been. We answered them and an hour or so [later] they arrived. They had cut their way through an almost impenetrable thicket on a steep mountainside. We camped in the thick brush and Step took the horses up to a meadow about ¾ of a mile above us; the brush was so thick that he did not get back till 10 o'clock. I saw a deer today and I also saw one yesterday. The party see so many I don't try and keep track of them anymore.
    I forgot to mention yesterday that while we were passing through the valley I picked a handful of nice large strawberries and saw a great many more.

Friday July 16th 1886
    We started out early this morning for Black Rock. We did not expect to survey so Mr. A. left Jake with the packers. We went right up the canyon, and the brush was as thick as hair on a dog's back till we came to the meadow I spoke of last night. When I arrived, tired and hot, Mr. A. sent me back with Walker and Jake to cut out a trail. It was hard work and it was 3 o'clock when we again arrived in the meadow. We found the rest of the party sitting around on the cliffs at the head of the canyon. And each one had some part of a deer, as Sam had killed a fine 4-point buck. It was the fattest deer we have had on the trip. Carl's filly mired near the top of the canyon, but with some trouble he succeeded in extricating her. We at last arrived at the place where we first struck snow at the foot of Black Rock and proceeded to camp. The camp is right on the woods near a spring with nice bunchgrass near. The snow has nearly all disappeared that was here before. Carl found a small lake near camp this evening, but I did not get to see it. I climbed up on Black Rock and had a splendid view. There were mountains after mountains till they faded away in the distance to a dim blue line. We had another thunderstorm today but no rain.

Saturday July 17th 1886
    Sam and I buried one of the venison hams in the snow last night, and when we went to get it the dog had eaten it up. After another trip to the summit of B. Rock with Mr. A. this morning we started out for the place Sam shot at the bear, taking all there was cooked with us, as we are going to have dinner once in a while. We arrived there after a walk of an hour and waited till noon for the pack train, when we had dinner. After dinner we chained to Mud Lake, a distance of 2¼ miles. We got here at 2 o'clock and camped, as there is no place to camp for the next 9 miles.
    We had a thunderstorm today, but no rain. I amused myself this afternoon sewing on my overalls, which were badly ripped, and in doing a little washing. Creed found his knife and pipe today that he had lost when we were going out, and it made him very happy. I found a few strawberries today near Black Rock within ½ mile of snow. Is not this a strange country; ripe strawberries and snow on the same level and on the same mountain the 17th of July. We will try and make Bear Meadows tomorrow, and it won't be long till I will see the brown hills of old Umpqua. Carl killed a fine grouse this evening.

Sunday July 18th 86
    We had a beautiful thunderstorm last night in the southeast. The flashes of lightning were so bright you could see all around you. Jake took the gun and started out ahead this morning, so there will be no one to hurry up the packers today. Chopping is a soft job when you follow the trail. I stayed ahead in a good walk and I get to sit down ½ of the time. I picked a few blue huckleberries this morning and they were very fine, being as large as small cherries. The country we traversed east of here is covered with huckleberries, but the berries will not be ripe till the middle of August. The laurel blossoms, which so beautifully decorated these mountains when we passed them before, are all faded and gone.
    I noticed a great many honeybees along our route today. I should think they would starve during the long winter season. At one place on our route today I had a splendid view of the surrounding mountains. I also noticed another snow peak that I had not seen before. The extent of these mountains seems unlimited, and it will be hundreds of years before all the game will be killed out of them. Jake shot at a deer today but did not get it. After a run of nearly 8 miles we arrived at Bear Meadows and camped.
    It was only 2 o'clock, but we decided to camp as we were having a very severe thunder shower. Bear Meadows or Bear Wallow is the name of a camp on top of a spur of the Cascades. It consists of a grassy opening of about 30 acres in which there is a small lake composed of grass, frogs and a very little water. We camped in the middle of it, and it is a very poor camp, no wood or water within 200 yards. Creed and I stretched our tent and will try and keep from getting wet if we can possibly help it. It rained very hard all evening; the wind blew a perfect gale.

Monday July 19th 1886
    I awoke to find the wind sighing mournfully through the trees and the rain falling in fitful gusts, a regular winter's day. We chained the trail for the first 4 miles until we came to Snow Bird, where we met a party of hunters. We waited a short time for the packers, who did not come. And then we took to the wet brush and run a line down the mountain. After getting very wet, tired and hungry we at last arrived at the foot of the mountain, a distance of 2½ [miles], where we were to find the packers at 2 o'clock. They were now there, and we had to go on to the foot of the mountain, where we left off, surveying a distance of 4 miles, where we arrived a short time before dark. It thundered all day today; this makes the fifth thunderstorm in succession.

Tuesday July 20th 1886
    [no entry]


Last revised June 22, 2014