Love and geology

9:15 p.m. on June 13, 2013 (EDT)
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Just finished reading a great book, "Up and Down California" by William F. Brewer.  You may recognize Mr. Brewer, because there is a mountain in Kings Canyon named for him.  There's another one named for the professor who supervised his project, a Josiah Dwight Whitney.   Yes, that Whitney. 

And along as part of the team were such notables as William Gabb, James Gardiner, Clarence King, and Charles Hoffman, all of whom also have notable peaks named for them in the Sierra Nevada.

As you might guess from the title, the book is a collection of his letters as he undertakes the geologic and topographic survey of California in 1860-1864--and covers just about every part of the Golden State.  It's a great glimpse into what this place looked like right after the Gold Rush.

And did we mention that Charles Hoffman was in his party?  That's Mt. Hoffman in the photo below, with May Lake nestled in its lap.


You might wonder where May Lake got its name...

And we know that answer.  It was named by that same survey team for Lucy Mayotte Brown of Oakland. She married Charles Hoffman in 1870, and they lived happily ever after. 

How sweet is that? 

That's May in the foreground of the photo--looking lovely as ever.

We climbed to the top of Mt. Hoffman in 2009, only a few days after the new trail had been built to the top of the peak.  The trail was pretty sketchy in places, but the views from the top of Mt. Hoffman are simply among the best in all of Yosemite. 

And May Lake is beautiful, too.

10:00 p.m. on June 13, 2013 (EDT)
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I was at May Lake in the spring of 1980 when I spent the late winter and spring from January to May in Yosemite winter camping all over the Sierra . I was 24 and I crosscountry skiied, snowshoed and did a little ice climbing (mainly around the snow and ice blocked trails leading out of the valley. I stayed in a igloo I built on the top of El Cap for 3 months using it as Base Camp so I didn't have to return to the valley floor to resupply. Climbing friends brought food up to me via the side canyon near Horsetail Falls and I watched them climb from both the valley floor and from above. I used to have a Celestron  1200mm lens with a doubler on my Minolta XG-1 25mm camera and took photos of them climbing. I also ski toured the Tioga Road to Tioga Pass and places in between there and the Tenya Trail from Mirror Lake below Half Dome.

Man, those were the days! Now I have been a bicycle tourer for 32 years and a backpacker from Alaska to New York ,Arizona's Grand Canyon 20 years, etc. I am now in Utah working near Zion Park cooking for the summer. I am now 57 years old.

11:00 a.m. on June 17, 2013 (EDT)
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That is one great book.  I read it when layed up with an injury.  Brewer's account does a great job of describing the use of mules and their advantages as compared to horses.  This information has some how been lost in American culture, partly because of the way mules are portrayed in movies.

2:46 p.m. on June 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Agreed.  And if you liked that book, you will LOVE Clarence King's version of events:  Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada.  More fun, better adventures...and better writing style!

7:01 p.m. on June 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Not to be a killjoy or to hijack your thread but in my opinion no mention of California of 150 years ago should come, especially with the word "love" in the title, without mentioning the California Indian holocaust which occurred right before the Civil War by the California settlers.  I feel like I just have to balance it out some.  Now return to your scheduled postings.

11:09 a.m. on June 18, 2013 (EDT)
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Tipi Walter said:

Not to be a killjoy or to hijack your thread ....

 And yet you have managed to do both.

3:56 p.m. on June 27, 2013 (EDT)
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As usual your point is well taken.  The journal of Brewer's expedition does a commendable job in describing the Indian Holocaust of that period.  It is one of the darkest chapters in the settlement of the Western Frontier.

June 21, 2018
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