followed two weeks of journeying through the mountains by trails so
narrow and steep that horses and mules had to be led along them. And
there were violent storms, which moved one of the party to utter a
masterpiece of understatement. "The thunder and lightning are very
well done in this country," said he.
July 18, Audubon noted in his journal: "Our road today was by far the
most tedious we have had, being up hill nearly all the time . . . We
arrived at the highest top near Jesus Maria —miles of mountain tops and
peaks of rock and woods are far below us. Through a gap we looked at
clouds blending with the mists below them, until the scene was like an
hours and a half of most precipitous descent brought us to a luxuriant
growth of pine and spruce and through one of the wildest and most
picturesque gorges I have ever seen . . ."
This was the canyon leading down to the little town of Jesus Maria. Audubon's view of the gorge is shown at the right.