October 24, 1841

On October 24, 1841, John Bidwell and the rest of the Bidwell-Bartleson Party were still in the Sierras, and very lucky that the winter storms had not yet begun. John had left the rest of the company to hunt for game the day before, and had spent the night sleeping by a giant fallen sequoia in what is now Calaveras Big Trees State Park. 

He spent most of Sunday the 24th hunting for his companions. He writes in his journal: “I overtook them. They had hired an Indian pilot who led had led them into the worst place he could find and absconded. 5 horses and mules had given out; they were left. . . . part of a horse was saved to eat.”

If they had gotten the kind of rain we saw this weekend (and I assume it’s snowing in the mountains), I wonder if they would have made it?

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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