August 21, 1841 — Wandering

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 a few days previously, 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.

In the map below you can see the triangle they made at the northeast corner of the Great Salt Lake. For a larger version of this map, go to the National Historic Trails Utah Auto Tour Route map.

Four men had gone to Fort Hall to try to get provisions, and (they hoped) a guide to help them cross the desert. Clearly they could have used a guide.

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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