July 20, 1841

Tuesday, 20th. Traveled about 18 miles in a circuitous direction, first west and then south. Country was extremely dry and dusty — no game seen but a few antelope — encamped on Big Sandy, having come about 18 miles.

Or, as Jimmy John wrote: “Traveled hard all day and did not get more than eight miles in a straight line.”

I don’t know why they were wandering around like that. Maybe looking for grass, maybe for game. Grass was scarce and the oxen, mules, and horses couldn’t get far without it.

Photo by Jacob Barlow

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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