May 27-28, 1841


this is what John Bidwell’s wagon and oxen would have looked like.

From John Bidwell’s Journal:

Thursday, 27th: Started late, being detained at repairing the wagons. The day was warm, but the evening mild and pleasant. Encamped in a commodious valley, well-watered by a beautiful little stream which glided smoothly through the scattering grove, come about 15 miles.

Sounds like a typical camping trip: a little delay with the vehicles, but altogether a pleasant day and a lovely camping spot.

Friday, 28th: Started about sunrise, travelled about 5 miles and stopped to take breakfast. The heat was oppressive and we were compelled to go 20 miles farther before we came to either wood or water. The stream on which we camped is a fork of the Kanzas and is well known to all the mountaineers, by the name of the Big Blue; an antelope was killed.

They are in the northeast corner of Kansas, traveling toward Nebraska. It still sounds like a typical camping trip: the weather is hot and they have to go farther than they expected to find good accommodations.

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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