Extract from the
Report of the Results of an Expedition to Owens Lake and River with the Topographical Features of the Country, its Climate, Soil, Timber, Water, &c and also the Habits, Arms, and Means of Subsistence of the Indian Tribes seen upon the March. By Captain John W. Davidson 1st U.S. Dragoons July + August 1859
(1.) Extract from the "Report of the Results of an Expedition to Owen's Lake, and River with the Topographical Features, of the Country, the Climate, Soil, Timber, Water, Etc, and also the Habits, Arms, and Means of Subsistence of the Indian Tribes, seen upon the March" by Captain John W. Davidson 1st U.S. Dragoons. July & August 1859
Topographical Features of the Country.
The country from Fort Tejon.
(Canada de las Uvas) to Walker's Pass, is so well described by 1st Lieut. Williamson Top: Engineer, in his notes on the exploration of the Passes of the Sierra Nevada, that I have not placed its Topography upon the map, nor will I enter into a description of it here.
Leaving Walker's Pass, our route lay at the edge of the Great Desert, along the eastern base of the Sierra Nevada, for twenty miles, the soil being loose granitic gravel, and sand, with huge boulders, scattered here and there.
At this distance, you have reached the Southern extremity of a low range of Mountains, running
(2.) nearly North, and South, the termination being of scoriaceous Lava. Six miles beyond, ascending gradually several hundred feet above the Desert, through fields of lava, and volcanic debris, you reach Lake [Beall?] upon a higher level or bench, which continues to Owne's Lake.
The Springs at the South end of Lake [Beall?] which I have spoken of in a former part of my Report, contain Carbonate of Lime in solution, and have deposited it in their course, so as to form regular canals, some of them entirely arched over. There is a fine meadow of various grasses here, several hundred acres in extent. The water of the Lake, is pure to the taste, that of the Springs has already been described.
The valley [between?] the Sierra and the right hand range, continues, from this point, at an acreage width of three miles, as far as [Care?] Spring a distance of fourteen miles, where the two ranges approach each other so closely, that you have to cross over a spur of the eastern range.
[Caro?] Spring has a very limited supply of water, say for 15 head of animals, near this spring is a mountain of Crystalline rock, not a block
(3.) of which is larger than an ordinary sized adobe, giving one, at first glance, the impression of some violent throe of Nature, having shattered into pieces. From Cave Spring to "K" Co. Meadows, the valley has narrowed, to few hundred yards in width, throughout this distance of six miles. Fine springs with abundance of water are found at these meadows, which are of about the same extent as those at Lake Beall. The right hand range is here getting perceptibly lower with broken, chalky hills projecting from its western slope. From 'K' Co. Meadows to Owen's Lake a distance of fifteen miles, the valley widens gradually until it is some four miles across at the Lake and the right hand range drops down into the plain, terminating at the Lake, where it is overlapped eastwardly, by a still higher range, which now comes into view from the north. In this distance, of fifteen miles, you have again ascended, to a second level, or bench, above the Desert, very gradually, and which bench is some four or five hundred feet (estimated) above Lake Beall. On this second level, is Owen's Lake, which as well as I was able to ascertain, by an imperfect