On the Trail — August 14-15, 1841

Traveling southward on the Bear River, toward the Great Salt Lake:

Saturday, 14th. Left the river on account of the hills which obstructed our way on it; found an abundance of choke cherries, many of which were ripe. Road uncommonly broken, did not reach the river; distance about 14 miles.

Bidwell and friends would have recognized and welcomed chokecherries; they grow all chokecherriesover North America. Here is a website about preparedness and edible wild foods where you can learn more. At this point in their journey, in mid-August, is when chokecherries ripen and are ready to pick.

Sunday, 15th. Continued our journey over hills and ravines, going to almost every point of the compass in order to pass them. The day was very warm — the grass had been very good, but it was now very much parched up. Having come about 15 miles, we encamped on a small stream proceeding out of the mountains at no great distance from us. But we were surprised to see it become perfectly dry in the course of an hour; some of the guard said there was plenty of water in it about midnight.

They were still waiting for the men who had gone to Fort Hall to return with provisions and information.

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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