Kit Carson: A Pattern for Heroes

By Thelma S. Guild; Harvey L. Carter | Go to book overview

Chapter 11
Across the High Sierra

The obvious approach to the Sierra would have been the Carson River, which was at hand, but snowstorms darkened the peaks to the west, promising a difficult crossing. For four days the men rode south among the broken hills, still hoping they might find a trail through the peaks along the fabled Buenaventura River. The peaks were still covered with snow clouds when they came to another large river ( Walker River), which was obviously flowing into the Great Basin. They ascended the cast fork of this river and entered the mountains. For five days they crossed ridges with lofty pines along the crests and nut pines on the lower slopes. The days were warm, but at night along the little valley streams they had to chop holes in the ice so that the animals could drink, and their moccasins, wet from tramping through the snow, threatened to freeze to their feet. Curious Indians were constantly with or near them, communicating by signs, offering pine nuts for trade, but showing no animosity.

So far the animals were able to paw away the snow and find enough grass, but at the end of January three of the mules gave out. By that time the expedition had crossed three rivers or one river three times, for the rivers often curved around spurs of the mountains and met them again in the next valley. Unable to maneuver

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Kit Carson: A Pattern for Heroes
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps viii
  • Contents viii
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter 1 - Moving West 1
  • Chapter 2 - Across the Prairie 16
  • Chapter 3 - Too Small, Too Young, Too Green 26
  • Chapter 4 - Trapping to California 34
  • Chapter 5 - Rocky Mountain Men 46
  • Chapter 6 - Kit Takes a Wife 59
  • Chapter 7 - Blackfoot Country 70
  • Chapter 8 - Decline of the Mountain Men 83
  • Chapter 9 - Carson Meets Frémont 96
  • Chapter 10 - Lost in the Great Basin 108
  • Chapter 11 - Across the High Sierra 122
  • Chapter 12 - Waiting for War 138
  • Chapter 13 - The Conquest of California 151
  • Chapter 14 - Famous Dispatch Rider 163
  • Chapter 15 - Farmer and Scout 180
  • Chapter 16 - Agent to the Utes 198
  • Chapter 17 - Kit Fights to Save the Union 218
  • Chapter 18 - The Navajo Campaign 231
  • Chapter 19 - The Coup at Adobe Walls 250
  • Chapter 20 - General Carson and the Utes 261
  • Chapter 21 - Adios 276
  • Afterword 285
  • Notes 297
  • Bibliography 335
  • Index 347
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