Story from John Vonderlin
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This is Part 3A of Sigma’s 4 part travelogue about Pescadero that appeared in “The Daily Alta,” of San Francisco. It’s quite long, so I split it at the beginning of his description of his trip to Pebble Beach. Enjoy. John
SAN FRANCISCO: Thursday, May 25, 1867. Number Three (FROM AN OCCASIONAL CORRESPONDENT) Pescadero May 31th. 1867. Editors Alta: The country around here presents as great a variety of attractions for the tourist and pleasure-seeker as any part of the coast, and for hunting or fishing no better field can be found for these favorite amusements. The hills around abound in game or all kinds— rabbits, quail, doves, plover, pigeons; and deer are often seen in the hills. If one feels like engaging in a scientific bear hunt, an opportunity for that kind of sport can be had by a. little travel up the mountains. The hunting ground for the smaller game extends from the hills around the valley to the wooded peaks of the Coast Range — up hill, down dale and in the ravines; as far as the eye can reach, almost the hunting ground may be seen, in which the sportsman can indulge to his own liking. As there is, however, a law against shooting the poor harmless quail at this season, one must be content to fall back on other game. For the trout-fisher and angler there is also a wide field of sport in the streams or creeks around the valley — the Pescadero, Butano, Gatos, etc. Those who have returned from such excursions pronounce the two latter preferable; while some parties have explored Scott’s Creek with considerable success, and returned from a camping-out with baskets of delicious trout, and in line spirits from their healthy recreation. There are pleasant drives up-valley and over the flower-carpeted hills, which is another source of amusement, as well as means of health — the roads leading in various directions, to the beach, dairy ranches, through deep gorges and wooded delta, where plenty of spring water can be found; around the hillsides and rocks in search of wild strawberries, or gathering beautiful and fragrant garlands of wild flowers; or up the mountains, where one may spend a day in the.deep, wild woods and stately forests, among the mammoth trees which rear their giant tops, towards Heaven almost, and whose widespreading branches afford a grateful shelter.
MOUNT LINCOLN, Just in front of the hotel, affords a splendid view to those who desire to make the trip. A year or two ago, a gentleman from San Francisco paid to have a flagstaff erected on this noble looking mount, and offered to present an American flag, on condition that it should be named “Mount Lincoln,” all of which was done. and it wasn’t long after the Stars and Stripes could be seen on the eminence, unfurled to the breeze. The last winter’s storms and winds, however, carried away the staff, but the spot is still cherished and will always bear the memorable name. The view from this point is truly grand, and the scenery varied. The peaceful valley below the feet, with its neat white buildings and pleasant gardens, the smooth fields ready for the harvest, and again, fields of waving grain; the long line of hills — ” Like Alps on Alps arise,” with their bold outlines, heights, and depths, surround the valley, rich in their green verdure, producing a splendid effect on the mist just rising from their tops, from the rays of the morning sun; the roar of the surf on the ocean beach fills the ear with a strange noise, while the mind is absorbed in contemplations of the scene around. Under the feet and all around, in every direction, are myraids of wild flowers of every color and hue, the sweeetness of their perfume filling the air. WILD FLOWERS Upon the hillsides and valleys great and mysterious truths are written by flowers, for they are truly called the “alphabet of the angels.” It is a beautiful thought, and well confirmed by Fanny Forrester, who said that alone in the depth of the forests the scent of the wild flowers made her feel safe. for flowers always betray the presence of angels. And here, on Mount Lincoln, one, indeed, may see them in all their glory; aye, the mountain sides, down the hills, in the ravines, across the plains, even to the sandhills, and near the ocean beach is an inviting spectacle of emerald splendor — a luxuriance of flowers, or carpets of the greenest verdure, I -ruling a perfect landscape of Nature’s loveliness. The botanist could spend a pleasant time roaming through these regions in search of the Flora, many of which are very peculiar. Flowers, here, there, everywhere, seeming like fond hopes, gilded with glorious tints of happiness and joy: but soon the sweetness of their perfume will fade, their beautiful leaves will be withered and scattered, and like many noble hearts we have met in the journey of life, near and dear to us, they will be gone from our gaze forever, and nothing left as their requiem but the winds, to make wild music over their graves. The weather has been somewhat changeable of late in thePescadero Valley. The fog shrouds the hills early in the morning, and hangs over the valley, almost hiding the rays of the sun for hours; but nature has ordered wisely, for they are the magic wand that gives life to the hills and clothes them in green, affording rich nutriment for the dairy stock. The fogs are indeed the life of the country here, rendering everything green and vernal from the valleys to the hills, and even to the noble oaks and forest trees of the mountain sides, whose drapery of mosses and beautiful parasites are fostered by their reviving influence The days are pleasant, and the rays of the sun comfortable and of a genial warmth. Some of the evenings have been quite cool, and one has been fain to creep into the family circle at nightfall, around a cheerful and blazing wool fire, and chat the evening away. Such is a brief retrospect of life in the valley; and leaving the subject for the present, we will now take a few pleasure trips to those resorts spoken of in my last, commencing with: PEBBLE BEACH