August 27, 1841 — This Desolate Region

Friday, 27th. Daylight discovered to us a spot of green grass on the declivity of the mountain towards which we were advancing. 5 miles took us to this place, where we found, to our great joy, an excellent spring of water and an abundance of grass. Here we determined to continue ’till the route was explored to the head of Mary’s river and run no more risks of perishing for want of water in this desolate region.

After a 30 mile trek the day before searching for water, well into the night, they awoke to see an oasis only five miles distant. This site is called Tenmile Spring and it was a lifesaver for the Bidwell-Bartleson Company. The view that Bidwell saw as they awoke that morning looked like this (from http://scienceviews.com/bidwell/bidwellaug27.html) —

Declivity in the mountain. 10 mile springs.

Tenmile Spring had plenty of water and grass. They would rest here for the next eight days. Today a trail marker with a quote from Bidwell’s journal marks the site.

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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