On the Trail — August 21, 1841

Saturday, 21st. Marched off in a NW direction, and intersected our trail of Thursday last, having made a complete triangle in the plain. At this intersection of the trails we left a paper elevated by a pole, that the men returning from Fort Hall might shun the tedious rounds we had taken. Found grass and water which answered our purpose very well, though both were salt. Distance ten miles.

Having passed unawares through Cache Valley, they reached the point at which the Bear River emptied itself into the Great Salt Lake. Thomas Fitzpatrick had told them to turn west before they reached the lake, in order to find the Humboldt River, so they headed northwest, crossing their tracks in the process.


Fort Hall in 1849

They were still waiting for the men who had gone to Fort Hall. These four men were supposed to come back with provisions, and (they hoped) a guide to help them cross the desert. Clearly they could have really used a guide. But it would get worse before it got better.



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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