Slike strani

waters of these lakes are clear and of great depth. They are about one and a-quarter miles in length each, and about three-quarters of a mile in breadth, and within one and a half miles of each other,

Lake ELENOR.—This is the principal lakein Tuolumne county, about eight miles from the northern line of Mariposa county, and a few miles from where the Tuolumne river falls twelve hundred feet. It is perched high in the rugged Sierras; is about two miles in length and one mile in width.

MONO LAKE.—Mono lake is one of the most remarkable sheets of water in the world. It is situated in the northern part of Mono county, east of the Sierras, and nine miles west of the eastern State line, and one hundred and sixty-two miles due east from San Francisco. It is thirteen miles in length and eight miles in width, There are several islands in it; the two principal ones close together in its centre are two miles each in length and a mile in width. The lake is supposed to occupy the bed of an ancient crater, and its waters to be one thousand feet lower than formerly. Numerous streams empty into this lake, yet its water is so bitter and so impregnated with lime, salt, borax, and carbonate of soda that no living thing exists beneath or floats upon it; its surface is a kind of oily fluid, over which the winds pass without causing a ripple. The wild fowls which inhabit the marshes and streams in its vicinity never light upon or touch its waters. From its bottom are thrown volumes of water, from boiling springs beneath, with such violence that a boat cannot be kept upon its surface.

From the principal island in this lake open angry


mouths, from which are emitted gusts of steam, gas, and smoke, which attest the unquenched fires below. The deserted aspect of its surroundings, the volcanic cones which lift their beetling heads thousands of feet above the sterile scene, all lend an aspect of desolation, well entitling this cauldron to the name of the “Dead Sea."

It would be well to notice here that one sign of life, and one only, is visible in this lake. In summer a small fly deposits its eggs upon the oily surface; soon, millions of small, whitish worms float thereon, drifting in windrows upon the shore, when they are gathered by the Indians, who make them a staple of food and consider them a luxury.

GUADALUPE LAKE_Is situated in the extreme western corner of Santa Barbara county, a little less than one mile from the Pacific ocean. It is a long, narrow sheet of water lying in a valley, extending in a westerly and easterly direction seven miles, and is about one mile in width.

BUENAVESTA LAKE.—This lake is in the Tulare valley in Kern county, eleven miles from its western line. It is nine miles in length and four and one-half miles in width.

KERN LAKE.—Directly east of Buenavesta lake, ånd connected by a narrow strip of water of about four miles in length, is Kern lake; its course being east and west, about eight miles in length and three and a half in

width. Both this and Buenavesta lake are connected by streams with Tulare lake, which is about forty-three miles north of them.


Dry LAKES. From the western line of Los Angeles county on the Pacific ocean to the eastern boundary line of this State, in the centre of Inyo county, a distance of two hundred and twenty miles, thence southerly to the extreme southern boundary of the State, at the junction of the Gila and Colorado rivers, a distance of three hundred miles from Inyo county, and embracing the counties of San Diego, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and the southern portions of Kern and Inyo, there is not a single lake of any size, although this area contains sixty thousand square miles, or more than one-third of the area of the whole State. The Sierra Nevada mountains are lost before they reach this tract, which, on its eastern line, is a dreary waste of alkaline plains and jagged volcanic peaks. A great portion of this area was at some remote period covered with water, as the numerous beds of dry lakes attest. There are eighteen of these lake-beds now dry in this tract, with an area of sixteen thousand five hundred square miles, including Death Valley, in the western corner of San Bernardino and the south end of Inyo county, and twelve miles from the eastern State line, embracing an area of forty miles in length and ten miles in width, a great portion of which is one hundred and fifty feet below the level of the sea, an ash-bed of burning sands and alkali dust.


Rivers—Bays—Harbors—Bay of San Francisco— Puget sound

Fort Point-Straits — San Quentin-Islands—Seal Rock-Cliff House-Sea-lions—Golden Gate: origin of the name.


In the whole coast line of California of seven hundred miles there are no rivers of any considerable magnitude or navigable importance, except the Sacramento and San Joaquin, and they empty into the Bay of San Francisco and have their outlet through the Golden Gate.

SACRAMENTO RIVER.—This is the principal navigable river in the State; its source is high in the Sierras, in the northern part of Shasta county, fed by innumerable streams which dash wildly through deep cañons and mountain gorges, falling more than five thousand feet in five miles. After reaching the lower agricultural country, it flows in a meandering stream of considerable magnitude, skirted by willows, oaks, cottonwood, and sycamore trees. In its serpentine windings, it passes through the counties of Shasta, Tehama, and Colusa, forming the county line between Sutter, Yolo, Sacramento, Contra Costa, and Solano, where it empties into Suisun bay, then into San Pablo bay, and through the Bay of San Francisco to the Golden Gate. Its general course is from north to south from its source to Sacramento City, which is about two hundred and forty miles; and from Sacramento to San Francisco about one hundred and twenty miles, its course is from cast to west. Steamers drawing three feet of water run from San Francisco to Sacramento, and those drawing fifteen inches run from Sacramento to Red Bluff

, in Tehama county, two hundred and forty-seven miles from San Francisco.

SAN JOAQUIN RIVER.—The source of this river is in the Sierras, in an opposite direction from that of the Sacramento, and in the extreme eastern part of Fresno county. Its course is from east to west, and for its first fifty miles it is fed by a number of mountain streams, which are of great volume and rush in precipitous descent through dark and frowning cañons. Passing through the western part of Fresno county, it reaches the fertile San Joaquin valley, through which it passes directly in the centre of Merced, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin counties, finally emptying into the Sacramento at Suisun bay. Steamers drawing five feet of water run upon this river to Stockton, at the head of tide navigation, one hundred and twenty miles from San Francisco, and boats of lighter draught ascend much higher up the river.

. FEATHER RIVER.--This river has its source in the rugged Sierras, in Plumas county, and is fed by numerous crystal streams which leap in wild cascades down abrupt descents through Plumas and Butte counties, until it reaches Oroville and Marysville: thirty miles below the latter it joins the Sacramento. Steamboats of light draught run from Sacramento to Marysville, a distance of fifty miles. The general course of the streanı is in a southwesterly direction. The beds of this stream and its tributaries have produced millions of gold. It is not navigable.

YUBA River.—This river, which empties into the

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