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haunts of deities, what sacred shrines these would have been! Had a Druid, instead of his nineteenth-century descendant, discovered them, how he would have worshipped them with the deepest awe, and looked on his favourite oak as overshadowed and supplanted !
In these grand and primeval forests there is one feature which strikes us whenever we become separated in them from the remainder of our party, and stand in their midst alone. There is at such times a silence about them most complete and most impressive; most complete, for often not a leaf stirs in the green canopy overhead, not an insect hums through the empty air, no sound of trickling water breaks upon the ear; most impressive, for all around are the colossal forms of these majestic trees, almost awful in their silent stateliness.
These mammoth trees seem to be rightly called • Sequoias,' as being of the same species as the red-wood tree, the “Sequoia sempervirens.' In England the tree is known as the “Wellingtonia gigantea,' that name having been given to it by Lindley ; but it is now generally considered as closely allied to the red-wood, and throughout America "Sequoia gigantea' is its recognised name. There is a peculiar interest attaching to the name
Sequoia,' from the fact that it was formed from the name of a chieftain of one of the western tribes of Red Indians, who was distinguished among all his fellowchieftains by appreciating civilisation and attempting to introduce some of its real benefits, such as education and agriculture, among his roving followers.
There is one other fact connected with these trees which is also worthy of notice: though they are the greatest of all trees, their cones are scarcely larger than walnuts, and their seeds scarcely a quarter of an inch in length, only a sixth in breadth, and of the thickness of writing-paper.
• The setting sun
THREE-AND-TWENTY years ago the ‘Yo-semité' Valley-
But the inevitable, unvarying tale of the relative advance and retreat of the two races has been repeated here; the Anglo-Saxon has cut his “trail' into the valley, and set up his saw-mill in it; the Indian has fled to more distant haunts, and those few of his race who have stayed have been made hewers of wood and drawers of water to the domineering white. The calm seclusion of the valley, and its encircling wall of towering precipices, for long
kept away intruders from it, but it was not long after its discovery that these very features began to draw visitors to it from very distant quarters of the globe.
Fromn Clark's Ranch'a ride of twelve miles up steep slopes —round deep 'cañons' or gorges, and along high ridges, all covered with magnificent forests of pine, spruce, and cedar-brings us to the ‘Half-way House,' the last resting-place before entering the valley. This Half-way House is but a log-hut, 7,000 ft. above the sea level ; it serves as a rough inn during the few summer months in which the snow is off the ground at this high altitude. It is built on the edge of one of the open pieces of meadowground which occur constantly in these forests, and which go by the name of 'flats,' To come suddenly upon one of these “flats' after riding several miles through the forest is a pleasant change to the eye; for its green sward is sure to be thickly sprinkled with bright patches of flowers, and round it is often a fringe of graceful young balsam-firs or of light ‘tamarack' pines, with clumps of ‘chapparal' growing low among them.
From this Half-way House Flat we have our first extensive view of the central peaks of the Sierra Nevada. They close in part of the horizon to the eastward, and are from fifteen to thirty miles distant—a bare granite ridge, with here and there a sharp and ragged peak, and with patches of snow lying on their shady sides or in their sheltered hollows. No glaciers are visible, and, though the peaks are from ten to twelve thousand feet above the sea-level, from the height at which we are standing there is little that is imposing in their appearance.
From the Half-way House a “trail' of some five miles, through grassy “flats’ and up wooded slopes, brings us to the foot of a great slope of gray granite, up which we climb on foot, and so reach the bare summit of the “ Sen