Page:Mexico, California and Arizona - 1900.djvu/437

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417
VISALIA, BAKERSFIELD, ETC.

They pick up their subsistence at San Emidio till the middle of September, when they are conducted back again. Such migrations from plain to mountain pasture, and back again, recall some features of the Norwegian pastoral life of Boyesen's charming romance, "Gunnar."

At the Livermore Ranch you are at the apex of the San Joaquin Valley. Here the Sierra Nevada and the Coast Range effect a junction, and oppose a natural barrier to farther progress. The railroad has to cross this barrier by a wonderful piece of engineering, the Tehachapi (Te-hatch-a-pe) Pass. At one place five different lengths of track pass and repass at different levels. By the singular "Loop" the road enters a tunnel, emerges, twists spirally round the mountain, and reappears above itself.

At San Emidio we are on the boundary-line of San Luis Obispo County, and could make our way directly, no doubt, to its pretty, mountain-encompassed capital. This is more easily reached, however, with attractive Santa Barbara below, by steamer, or stage-road along the coast.

Returning to Bakersfield, you may ride west to the wild cañon of the Kern River, and the mining towns of Kernville and Havilah. The mining industry has never taken the same development south of the San Joaquin River as north. It is probable both that there is less ore and that the ventures have been managed with less skill.

At Kernville is a quartz-mill, with a hundred stamps, which after many vicissitudes has fallen into the hands of its former workmen for debt, and is now run by them on the co-operative principle.

The rolling country by which the Kern River Cañon is approached is, if possible, even more desolate than the