On the Trail — August 4-6, 1841

From John Bidwell’s Journal:

Wednesday, 4th. Did not travel.

Well, that’s succinct. They had just struggled over a high divide to get from the Green River to the Bear River. They had come to a valley with water and grass for the livestock. It was a good place to stop and take a break. Jimmy John, in his journal, had more to say.

Today we did not move from the camp, but lay by and caught a good number of trout, some of which were 18 inches in length. There is a great number wild geese here and other fowls, and antelopes.

Thursday and Friday, the 5th and 6th, they continued downstream, continuing to enjoy trout, wild geese, and antelope. Bidwell noted on the 6th that they “found many kinds of wild currants, red, black, yellow &c., some of which were excellent quality.”

They were doing well, making 16 to 25 miles a day. But tougher times lay ahead.


Bear River Valley–a photo taken by Charles R. Savage in 1869.

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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