August 22, 1841

“Sunday, 22nd.  This morning a man (Mr. Brolaski) returned from the Fort, and said the reason why he came alone was the other men had left him, because he was unable to keep up with them; he having a pack horse laden with provision. He had seen the paper at the intersection of the trails, and was guided by it to the camp; the other were undoubtedly going the rounds of the triangle. Sure enough, they came up in the afternoon, having gone to the river and back; no pilot could be got at the Fort. . . . They procured flour at 50 cents per pint, sugar same price, and other things in proportion. Near where we were camped here were a few hackberry trees.”

Hackberry trees bear small, sweet, edible fruit resembling cherries. That must have been welcome, although Bidwell also mentions finding excellent chokecherries.

The lack of a pilot was not welcome news. The company badly needed a guide across the Great Basin, but there was none to be had. They were on their own. Cue the ominous music.

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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