Emigrants Diaries

 Lassen-Applegate Emigrant Trail Ride

   This event is hosted by the Trekkers to help support the CA4WDC education foundation.

The route follows the original emigrant trail from Rye Patch Nevada to Goose Lake California. Much of  the terrain has changed very little, and it is easy to imagine what hardships were faced. This event lasts three days and covers approx. 250 miles. Trails West inc. has done an excellent job of marking sites along the route. Their book Emigrant Trails West is used as a guide during the tour.

The following are some excerpts from emigrants diaries written along the trail.

    “Mary’s River” by an Iowan

Meanest and muddiest, filthiest stream,

most cordially I hate you;

meaner and muddier still you seem

since the first day I met you.

Your namesake better was no doubt,

a truth, the scriptures tell.

Her seven devils were cast out,

but yours are in you still.

What mean these graves so fresh a new

along your banks on either side?

They’ve all been dug and filled by you

thou guilty wretch, thou homicide.

Now fare thee well, we here shake hands

and part (I hope) to meet no more,

I’d rather die in happier lands than

longer live upon your shores.

Belknap, 1850.


  Rye Patch/ Lassen’s Meadow

Sept.19. . . . A broad and perfectly level semi-circular area, very dusty, sweeps around the bend-and the two trails or roads, are broad and as well beaten as any traveled thoroughfare can be. On the right, about a hundred yards from the Bend, the Desert route branches off, and in the forks of the road, I observed a red painted barrel standing.-I rode up, to examine it.-It was a nice new barrel, about the size of a whisky-barrel, iron hoops, and a square hole cut in the head; and neatly painted in black block letters, upon it, “POST OFFICE.” On looking in, I found it half-full of letters, notes, notices, &c.-Near this was a stick and bill-board, also filled with notices.-These were chiefly directed to emigrants in the rear, hurrying them along, giving information about route, telling who had taken this or the southern route, &c. By these I ascertained that few had taken the Southern road. I inscribed a card and left, here, for the benefit of all whom it might concern, as follows:

“The Washington City Company.

Capt Bruff, pass’d-on the right-hand trail,

Septr 19th. 2 p.m. 1849.”

Bruff, 1849.


      Big Bend in the Humbolt River

At length, however, I determined to go forward on this cut-off, having no choice between this and settlement in California, which country I believed at the time to be under a government that would require of me a renunciation of my citizenship, which I resolved I would not make. . . Applegate had informed us, that at the place where his road left Ogden’s River, we should enter upon a dry drive of thirty miles, ending at the Black Rock; and that this was the only one we would have. It is unnecessary to state that we had now no confidence in any thing that had been affirmed by him. That we were about to enter upon a perfectly untried and unknown desert, there could be no doubt; but, judging from the extent to which his assertions as to the previous part of the road differed from facts, we very naturally inferred, that we should find this drive to be sixty, or even eighty miles, instead of thirty. Accordingly, after filling our kegs with water, we entered this desert, with heavy and desponding hearts, having no longer any assurance as to the real character or length of the road, between one watering place and another.

Thornton, 1846.


Sept. 19. At the “turn off,” between sand ranges, a new grave, on left of trail.

“Mary Jane McClelland,

departed this life, Aug. 18 the, 1849,

aged 3 yrs. 4 mos.”


A single wagon was camped just around the bend of the river. Now for the terrible desert! Who’s afraid of fire?

Bruff 1849.


        Haystack Butte

June 26. We have traveled more than ten miles and are yet wending our way in a narrow but well-beaten road along and up a wide and deep gorge in the mountain; the sage bushes are larger and thicker, and we can see an occasional cluster of wild wheat. . . It is midnight and we are traveling yet. At length we hear the braying of a mule-the music of the spheres could not have been sweeter. A train of packers come in slight; they beg us to turn back; they are a hundred in number, and have been 120 miles on that road until it became no road at all. They had traveled a day and a night into the desert and had been a day and a night in returning, having left one-third of their animals; they were on the point of starvation-had not a pint of flour to the man in the whole company… They had already turned back more than a hundred that started from the bend the same day we did. We turned of course, and camped on the mountain about one in the morning.

Wooster, 1850.


        Willow Springs

 Sept. 5th. When we reached the springs we found about 175 wagons there encamped waiting their turn to water their stock. The springs were so small that water could only be dipped up with a tin cup into the buckets and did not come in half as fast as it could be dipped out with one cup. We got our teams water between 11 and 12 o’clock at night and just at one started on the road.

Doyle, 1849.


Sept.20. The trail follows up one of these dry conduits, along a sandy pebbly bed; White and yellow quartz, chlorite slate, iron conglomerate, and dust, with porphyritic pebbles, characterise the approach to the pass in the mountains. Passed, on road, since we left river, 22 dead oxen, and 2 dead horses, any countless wheels, hubs, tires, and other fragments of wagons; ox-yokes, bows, chains, &c. Late in the afternoon the ravine-road we travelled on,-pent up in lofty mountains,-mostly naked dark rocks, turns abruptly, to the S.W. and became more contracted and rugged,-along the bed of what is, in the wet season, a torrent,-leading to indentations in the mountains; where are springs. About 3/4 mile from the springs, the main trail, ascends a considerable gravel bank, leaving here the broad pebbly stream bed, for a high plain. 2 wagons proceeded 100 yards up the bed-trail, by mistake-it being night when we reached this point. And the rest of the train went up on the high plain.-Men and animals tired, thirsty, and dusty-The mules were taken to the sp’gs and watered, returned and tied up to the wagons and fed-A hasty snack, and we were all soon asleep.

Bruff, 1849.


Antelope Springs

I had gone forward in the morning, and found, within about three-fourths of a mile of our encampment, and far up the side of the mountain, a very small vein of water, that moistened the ground a few yards around. I removed a considerable quantity of earth with my spade, so as to make a little reservoir. Into this the water very slowly collected, and enough was obtained for tea; and from it, a few of the cattle received, perhaps, half a pint of water apeice. I divided among the poor fellows of my team a keg of water I had brought from Ogden’s River. The weary emigrants at length retired to their tents for rest; but I took my now empty keg up the side of the mountain, where, by remaining until between one and two o’clock in the morning, I succeeded in obtaining enough of the precious fluid to fill my vessel.

Thornton, 1846.


Antelope Summit

Sept.22. There are some wagons here that have no hay for their cattle. We are now in the Desert and I don’t know what they can do but let their cattle die (all cattle are so starved and worn out from hunger and excessive hard labor that they are but living skeletons, in comparison with what they originally were.) Our cattle were fed with hay last night which they ate like ravenous wolves-and did not seem at all satisfied, altho’ they got a considerably fair allowance, but not enough . . . We fed our oxen chained to the wheels or yoked in the wagon; others who fed them loose; the oxen when they saw the hay ran like hungry hogs when (without calling) called to be fed in the severe depths of winter; only the oxen made no noise as the hogs do running and squealing.

Middleton, 1849.


Rabbit Hole Creek Watershed

Sept.22. People are driving their poor exhausted cattle behind or sometimes before their wagons-and when they lie down from exhaustion, they will sometimes wait a while for them to rest, at other times they will beat them, or split the skin of their tails, or set a dog on them (if they have one) or go through all three operations in succession; and if the poor creatures can bear all these operations without moving, then they are abandoned. This has been for some time back and still continues to be more of a daily occurrence. The cruelty exercised on oxen by some is revolting to all the better parts of the human heart After crossing the hollow in the hills we have a tolerable smart descent and soon cross a dry run which we follow and soon come into another bottom, surrounded with hills of a sameness of character to those we left behind. . . This is all an appalling desert of desolation; it seems as if it had been an extensive firey furnance from far beyond Bear river to the Pacific Ocean; vestiges of the intensity of its power and heat being equalled only by its incomprehensible extent and magnitude. After getting down to the valley among these horrid hills, we cross it, which is not far, and go straight forward west up another hill where the road disappears over the hill in the lowest part.

Middleton, 1849.


   Painted Canyon

 Sept.20. Fatigue and heat causes the train to move slowly. We continued on, I directed the teamsters not to urge the mules; and entered a very extraordinary looking country.-Road N.W. through several hundred yards of high clay bluffs and hills, of the most delicate and beautiful warm tints, in horizontal strata. Road-powder blinding and choking one. Afternoon the road branched around a low bluff to the right; where, in 200 yds., I found, near an orange colored clay spur, a well, or tank, of water, and a crowd of thirsty men and animals surrounding it.-A few yards to left of this another-similar hole, filled up with a dead ox, his hind-quarters and legs only sticking out,-above ground. Dead oxen thick about here, and stench suffocating. The road here sweeps round westerly, a few hundred yards, then S.W.-descending very gradually, to a level white clay hill, beat perfectly bare of everything but dust, carcasses, and relics of used up wagons, &c, by innumerable travellers and camps.

Bruff 1849.


    Rabbit Hole Spings

Aug.16. Several wagons had stopped in the road, and a knot of men were gathered around a particular spot, which marked the place of the glorious element, and with parched tongues we went up. Judge of our disappointment when we found the promised springs to be only three or four wells sunk in the ground, into which the water percolated in the volume about the size of a straw, and each hole occupied by a man dipping it up with a pint cup, as it slowly filled a little cavity in the ground. Each man was taking his turn to drink, and we had ample time to get cool before our turn came to taste the muddy water; and as to getting a supply for our cattle, it was out of the question. Beyond us, far as we could see, was a barren waste, without a blade of grass or a drop of water for thirty miles at least. Instead of avoiding the desert, instead of the promised water, grass, and a better road, we were in fact upon a more dreary and wider waste, without either grass or water, and with a harder road before us. We had been inveigled there by false reports and misrepresentation, without preparing for such a contingency, as we might have done, in some measure, by cutting grass on the river. Our train came up, followed by others. What was to be done? It was thirty-five miles to the river and about the same distance to the spring ahead. Should we go back? Our cattle had already gone without food or water nearly thirty hours. Could they stand it to go back? Could they possibly go forward? A few of our older men hesitated, and were of the opinion that prudence dictated that we should return to the river, where we were sure of the means of going forward, rather than launch out into the uncertainties before us. But the majority, without knowing anything of the geography of the country, decided that they might as well go forward as back-trusting to luck more than to judgment-a measure which reduced us to weeks of continued toil and increased hardships.

Delano, 1849.


Sept.20. Along the edge of this Plateau are a number of springs as they are called, but are actually wells, dug from 3 to 6 feet deep, and from 4 to 5 feet diameter; containing cool, clear water but a little saline,-about half filling the wells. Two of these springs were about 4 feet apart; in one was a dead ox,-swelled up so as to fill the hole closely,-his hind-legs and tail only above ground. Not far from this was another spring similarly filled. There was scarcely space for the wagons to reach the holes, for the ox-carcasses. W. of the plateau springs, the road follow’d an indentation formed by winter floods, down into the plain; and close on the right of it was a deep rugged gulch, containing 2 spring-holes, choked up with oxen; while the ravine for 100 yards was thickly strewn with their carcasses. Here, and around the other springs, I counted 82 dead oxen, 2 dead horses, and 1 mule;-in an area of 1/10 of a mile. Of course the effluvia was any thing but agreeable.

Bruff 1849.


     Intersection State Rt. 49

I shall never forget that night march. The road was lined on both sides with carcasses of animals which had perished on the way. They were so thick that from the Wells to Black Rock by stepping from one body to another one need never to have touched the ground. I soon got out my rifle and employed myself in shooting the given-out and abandoned cattle we met. It was an act of mercy, as otherwise they would have had a lingering-but inevitable-death.

Hobart in Bruff 1849.


Sept.24. We have discovered that we are on the wrong road, and that it is about 30 miles of desert yet where there is no grass. We have got a piece of a wagon body with two wheels, are going to put our provisions and some other indispensible articles into, abandon all the rest, and go ahead. We are still on the Oregon road and will go what is called the Lawson route. Our hay is all gone. After lightening our baggage to the very smallest and throwing away all our trunks, we started about 1 P.M. and in about 1 mile trail counted 11 dead oxen. . .I throw away my old patched coat which I had worn nearly all the way, also a pair of pants bought new at Indep’ce. They were patched and worn out, also a pair of boots which I had regularly travelled in from the ferry of the south branch of the Platt. . . Any quantity of the finest log-chain could be picked up on this desert place at present and ox yoke without number. I now sit on an excellent empty leather trunk abandoned. I abandoned mine today with reluctance,-and many others of my company. Anything to save our lives… A fine force pump abandoned and made by “Beard, St. Louis. Planes, fine boxes-every kind of article can be seen in its turn scattered over the desert.

Middleton, 1849.


      Edge of Black Rock Desert

 Sept.12. A plain apparently more elevated, ahead of us, is very level and smooth, and in the sun, looks like a vast field of ice; however, the appearance has no cooling effect on my feelings. . . When we reached the white plain, I found that it was not elevated above the other, but was cover’d with a smooth white encrustation, probably alkaline.-This smooth white plain narrow, but appears to extend to the S. a considerable distance; and in the wet season is a vast mud lake, now baked by the sun. A very beautiful Mirage in the S.S.W. on this plain, at base of some mountains. In which appeared a long lagoon of light blue water, bordered with tall trees, small islands and the reflection in its delightful looking bosom. One of my men asked me if was possible that that apparent lake was not water?-I explained it, and informed him that not only was it such a plain as we ‘re stood on, but that those pretty cedar-looking trees were only dusty dwarf sage bushes; and the whole landscape was aerial except the outline of the mountains. He was astonished, and an uninformed person might well be. Oxen had stampeded for it, hoping to quench their burning thirst, and left their swelled-up carcasses over the plain in that direction, as far as we could descern them . . . Passed several pits, dug down to moist clay, where travellers had tried for water; a little more digging, in one place, would have succeeded-near end of this stretch. Around these attempted wells,were a number of dead oxen, chains, yokes, &c. One of these pits was right in the middle of the trail.

Bruff 1849.


Sept.23. Parties sleeping under their wagons with their cattle standing, lowingly complaining of their hunger and thirst. Or we would have to turn out for some unfortunate whose team had just given out, whose answer to our query as to what he was going to do was: “God only knows.” When there were women and little children among them, as was sometimes the case, it was very distressing. But it was everyone for himself, for no one could tell what was yet to be encountered.

Goldsmith, 1849.


    NOTE*

        The Emigrants have traveled approx. 65 miles to this point from Rye Patch.

                  We will stop for lunch in this area, ox steak anyone?

                                  Day 1 of 3.


        Quinn River

Sept. 6. The road was over a broad extended plain with only a few scattered sage and grease wood brush scattered here and there and for several miles it led through a low flat leavel entirely destitute of vegitable matter. Here we found a great number of small hillocks which seemed to be a heap of ashes only as it seemed to be almost imposable to assend one of them on account of sinking so deep in its surface. They appeared to be very numerous and of all sizes. I looked at these and thought that I was gazing on a desert similar to the great Shirah desert of Africa but the mountains of sand I thought would have to increase a little before they would be their equal as there was none more than fifty feet in height but as they appeared perfectly low it is my opinion that they are changed every season. The road was generally speaking very good and it was cool and pleasant so our animals traveled on at a very fare gate until about daylight when two or three of them began to fail and as we had no water for them and did not know when we would get to the spring I feared we would loose them. From the time we left Rabbit Springs until we reached this place I do not think I have been out of sight of a dead carcass and in many places the road is blockaded up so that you are compelled to leave it or pass over their dead bodies.

Castleman, 1849.


Black Rock hot springs

Aug.17. We found this to be an oasis in the desert. A large hot spring, nearly three rods in diameter, and very deep, irrigated about twenty acres of ground-the water cooling as it ran off. But we found the grass nearly consumed, and our cattle could barely pick enough to sustain life. The water in the spring was too hot for the hand; but around it there was formed a natural basin, with the water sufficiently cool to bathe in, and I, with many others, availed myself of the opportunity to take a thorough renovation which we found exceedingly refreshing. Everything around bore the marks of intense volcanic action. A little above the spring was the mountain which we had seen from the plain, a bare pile of rock, that looked like a mass of black cinders, while at its base were fragments of lava and cinders, which resembled those of a blacksmith’s forge. Desolation reigned around in the fullest extent. The desert and the mountains were all the eye could view beyond the little patch of grass, and the naked salt plain which we had crossed, proved to be the dry bed of Mud Lake. After the snows melt on the mountains, and the spring rains come on, the plain is a reservoir for the waters, making an extensive lake, which the hot sun of a long summer evaporates, leaving its bed dry and bare.

Delano, 1849.


I shall never forget that camp. Mother had brought some medicine along. She hung the bag containing the medicine from a nail on the sideboard of the wagon. My playmate, the Currier girl, who was of my own age, and I discovered the bag, and so I decided to taste the medicine. I put a little on my tongue, but it didn’t taste good, so I took no more. The Currier girl tasted it, made a wry face, and handed the bottle back. My little sister, Salita Jane, wanted to taste it, but I told her she couldn’t have it. She didn’t say anything, but as soon as we had gone she got the bottle and drank it all. Presently she came to the campfire where mother was cooking supper and said she felt awfully sleepy. Mother told her to run away and not bother her, so she went to where the beds were spread and lay down. When mother called her for supper she didn’t come. Mother say she was asleep, so didn’t disturb her. When mother tried to awake her later she couldn’t arouse her. Lettie had drunk the whole bottle of Laundanum. It was too late to save her life. Before we had started, father had made some boards of black walnut that fitted along the side of the wagon. They were grooved so they would fit together, and we used them for a table all the way across the plains. Father took these walnut boards and made a coffin for Salita and we buried her there by the roadside in the desert. Three days later, at Black Rock, my sister, Olive, was born.

Deady, 1846.


   Double hot springs

 Sept.22. In the first part we reached a pretty clear sparkling rill, about six feet broad, and a few inches deep; when to my astonishment the mules halted short at the edge, and refused in spite of the whip and shouting, to put a foot it!-I guessed there might be a vapor from it, but on putting my hand in, found it quite hot-not sufficiently to scald, however. So we had much trouble here, pulling and urging the teams over; and when they did go, it was accomplished by each pair of mules, in succession leaping over like deer, and thus jerking the wagons after them. Next, on left, observed a cluster of hot Spring mounds, with their circlets of marsh and tall green grass.- In one lay a dead ox, apparently fell there yesterday; one hind leg in the basin of hot water, which had so well cooked it, that nought but white bones and tendons were left, of that limb, as high as the water had influence.

Bruff 1849.


Aug.18. We had yet another dreary part of the desert to cross, over deep sand for twenty miles, without water; and having it now in our power, we provided against the trials which we had already encountered, but cutting a good supply of grass with our knives, and filling our kegs with water. The latter was hot, but it cooled in the chilly night air, and was very sweet and good. Our cattle being recruited, we left about sunset, and were soon plowing our way ankle-deep in the yielding sand. Quite a number of men walked ahead; and finding the traveling so difficult, we occasionally turned from the beaten track to find more firm footing, but without effect. It being all alike, we finally returned, and doggedly stuck to the path. When we arrived where we thought our morning walk would be easy, we lay down in the sand to rest, but the cold night air and the howling of the hungry wolves, who would have made us bosom friends if they could, prevented sleep.

Delano, 1849.


    Mud Meadows

Aug.19. . . . At about noon we arrived at a kind of wet valley, containing several hundred acres of excellent grass and plenty of good water, which was a matter of rejoicing to all…Nearly all the trains which had preceded us were encamped on the beautiful oasis, recruiting their worn-out animals, and cursing the hour in which they were tempted to leave the old trail. The first agreeable news we heard on getting in, was, that the Indians were very bold and troublesome, having succeeded the night before in killing a horse and mule in the camp, and driv- ing off several head of cattle. The horse lay near the road, and the gentlemen Digger Epicures had cut off his head, and taken a large steak from a hind quarter-generously leaving the remainder of the poor, raw-boned carcass for the maws of the white devils who had brought it so far to grace and Indian board. I well know that the air of the salt plain over which we had just passed, is rather peculiar in producing good appetites, and I should hardly have had much choice between a turtle soup and a horse-head stew; but never mind: the bacon was not all gone yet, though it was fast disappearing.

Delano, 1849.


                                    NOTE*

                       We will stop for the night in this area.

                                  Day 1 of 3.


To Day 2

                            Registration Information

                     This site hosted by the Ophir Gopher Jeep Club


HIGH ROCK TREKKERS

                 Lassen-Applegate Emigrant Trail Ride

                                    Day 2

                                   Fly Creek

Aug.21. Soon after crossing the oasis where we had been encamped, I went a little off the road; through a small lateral valley on the left, I observed an opening in the rocks, which looked as if it might be a cave, or chasm, and, on descending, I found it a narrow pass, leading in the general direction which the wagons were taking, and therefore followed it. It varied from ten to twenty feet in width, with perpendicular walls of trap-rock, towering up to a height of sixty or eighty feet, sometimes nearly forming an arch overhead. My progress, in a few instances, was impeded by perpendicular falls, six or eight feet in depth, but I clambered over these, resolving to see the end, if time allowed. In this manner, I followed the rent a mile and half, without seeing the end, when, fearing the train would get too far ahead, I took advantage of a small open space, and climbed out by clinging to jutting fragments of rock. . .On coming out of the chasm, I found myself near the road, and where there was an Indian snare for catching hares. This was sage bushes, set about four feet apart, propped up with stones, and extending in a line at least a mile and a half over the hill… The hares, when alarmed, fled to the cover of these bushes when the Indians shot them with their arrows. Pursuing my way a little more than half a mile, I came to a steep hill, down which the wagons were let with ropes into the canon; and what was my surprise, on descending, to find myself at the mouth of that very chasm which I had been following.

Delano, 1849.


Sept. 11. Here we found the most difficult and dangerous descent on the road, very steep and rockey. The wagons had to be let down by a rope. Our road now for 1 1/4 miles was through a narrow canyon . .

Doyle, 1849.


Sept.25. The road terminated, as it were, at the edge of the very apex of this hill, and from a big rock on the left of trail, at crest, I looked down, and for a while thought it must be “the jumping-off place”! Here, down this very steep descent must our wagons roll! (I observed to friend Barker, that I thought it a very de scent, road.) Well, it was only about 200 yards, very deep sand, and loose stones. We double locked the wheels, and teamsters and assistants carefully lead the mules, and one after the other, slowly, and successfully, was the entire train taken down on the plateau below. On looking back; it seemed amazing that wagons and teams could descend in safety.

Bruff 1849.


Oct. 11. At the entrance to the gorge, there is a small descent of 40 or 50 yards so steep in a part of the upper end that it would seem as if it would be difficult to prevent the hind wheels from turning a somerset over the fore ones. After getting down it is then smoothe sailing down the bottom of the ravine to the west. On the north side of the road in the ravine two ragged chrystalized red burnt strata of rock run E.&W. on the S. side the road dips down to the bottom of the ravine. On the east end of the ravine there is a high bold breast of precipitous overhanging rock of various strata a great part of the base is white granite discoloured mostly by fire. Through the center of this big breast of rock is a large chasm to the east as if removed by some unknown cause, having the rugged perpendicular walls on each side it seems as if a stream had passed through…

Middleton, 1849.


High Rock Lake Basin

Sept.12. . . . soon after which we were in a round valley the botom of which was perfectly level but was a dreary waste covered with naught but sage and grease wood. This continued for several miles when we began to approach a tall and steriles mountain which looked as if it would be a matter of impossibility to find a passage by which we might be able to pass through them but however we traveled on with a heavy heart for we were well aware that if the roads got much worse than those we had traveled over we would be compeled to leave our wagons and all we had and try to make our escape on foot and without the ade of an animal as they had failed very much since we had struck the desert and seemed to be no better notwithstanding we had lay by 3 days at Mudd Lake to recruite them.

Castleman, 1849.


      Lower High Rock Canyon

The road turned due west, over a sand hill and sage plain, and after traveling four miles, we came to the entrance of one of the most remarkable curiosities among the mountains. It was a canyon, or narrow, rocky pass through the mountains, just wide enough for a smooth, level road, with intervals of space occasionally, to afford grass and water. On each side were walls of perpendicular rock, four or five hundred feet high, or mountains so steep that the ascent was either impossible or extremely difficult. From this main avenue lateral canyons frequently diverged, and upon ascending a mountain, with much labor, the traveler reached a desert mountain plain above, where his progress was likely to be suddenly impeded by finding himself on the brink of a narrow chasm, one hundred or more feet deep, having its own branches and ramifications, sometimes extending quite through the hill to a basin, or open space among the high hills. Without this singular avenue, a passage across the moun- tains in this vicinity would have been impossible, and it seemed as if providence, forsecing the wants-of his creatures, had in mercy opened this strange path, by which they could extricate themselves from destruction and death.

Delano, 1849


 Register Rock

Dec.30. We had descended rapidly, and here we found very little snow. On both sides the mountains showed often stupendous and curious rocks, which at several places so narrowed the valley, that scarcely a pass was left for the camp. It was a singular place to travel through-shut up in the earth, a sort of chasm, the little strip of grass under our feet, the rough walls of bare rock on either hand, and the narrow strip of sky above. The grass tonight was abundant and we encamped in high spirits.

Fremont, 1843.


Sept.26. In the face of the perpendicular wall of the right side, at base, is a singular cave, just where the road quirks right and then left-in a short bend. The entrance is a low flat arch, 4 ft. high, in the center, abut 25 ft. spring; the chamber oval, and vaulted ceiling: 12 ft. high, (deepest) 35 ft. long, and 18 ft. broad. Much smoked inside. Level earth floor, much covered with fragments from the ceiling. Names and dates scratched all over the outer wall around the mouth of the cave, and numbers within. I wrote the name of the company and date of passing, signed it, and pinned it up in the roof of this grotto. The part of the wall in which this cave is, gave name to the canon: (High Rock) as over the cave it rises in a vast spire, I judge to be 400 feet high…

Bruff 1849.


Sept.27. Held a meeting to inflict penalties for guard and other delinquencies, and to consider an application from 2 members of the Company, and of a mess, who produced much disturbance in the company, and were disposed to do any thing but right. This application, respectfully written, from 2 of the most obnoxious men in the company, prayed that we would grant them the 2 lead mules of their wagon, (mediocre animals) 6 days rations of bread, and a full discharge from the company. Some members were opposed to it at first, as a bad precedent, but when I told them how cheaply we should thus rid ourselves of these troublesome fellows, and that it must be a peculiar case, expressly for that, and no other occasion, it unanimously passed, with 3 cheers.-Such was the company’s opinion of the men, and such their joy at the riddance . At night the disaffected gang, or 5 of them, stole the wine, reserved medical purposes, and a conceited ass of a fellow, who aspired to command, told them that the company was too large, and it should be divided in 2 separate commands.-2 of these men were the fellows we got rid of with cheers. They turned the bung of the keg down and swore the wine leaked out, though I noticed great laughter and hilarity in their wagons at night.

Bruff 1849.

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