By Scott Stine
From July to November 1833, Joseph R. Walker led a brigade of fifty-eight fur trappers, with 200 horses and a year’s provisions, from the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming to the Pacific coast of vital California. towards the tip in their trip the Walker brigade crossed the Sierra Nevada, changing into the 1st non-Native humans to traverse the variety from east to west. That crossing, made lengthy and brutal by way of bewildering terrain and deep snow, is broadly and rightly thought of a milestone within the exploration of intermontane North America.
Following Walker’s demise in 1876, an pleasing story arose relating his trans-Sierran path. during the crossing, is going the tale, Walker came across himself at the northern rim of Yosemite Valley on the plungepoint of North America’s tallest waterfall, staring into the main remarkable mountain chasm at the continent. Over the a long time on account that then, this widely used story has hardened to folklore. Dozens of ancient works have construed it as a towering second within the establishing of the West.
yet in reality this story of Yosemite’s discovery has no foundation or help in firsthand bills of the 1833 Sierran crossing. in addition, there's a lot in these bills that contradicts Yosemite lore, and lots more and plenty that issues to a trans-Sierran course good north of Yosemite Valley.
In A approach around the Mountain, Scott Stine reconstructs Walker’s 1833 course over the Sierra. Stine attracts on his personal intimate wisdom of the geomorphology, hydrography, biogeography, and weather of the Sierra Nevada and nice Basin, and employs the designated trip narrative of the Walker brigade’s box clerk, Zenas Leonard. Stine files the inception, development, and endurance of the Yosemite fantasy and explores the level to which that lore has overshadowed Walker’s maximum discovery—that the massive swath of continent among the Wasatch entrance and the Sierran crest is hydrographically closed, draining to not an ocean, yet to salty lakes and barren region sands.
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Extra resources for A Way Across the Mountain: Joseph Walker's 1833 Trans-Sierran Passage and the Myth of Yosemite's Discovery
A Way Across the Mountain: Joseph Walker's 1833 Trans-Sierran Passage and the Myth of Yosemite's Discovery by Scott Stine