September 4, 1841

Saturday, 4th. Bought a few serviceberries of the Indians.

I have written about serviceberries before. They would have been a welcome addition, but probably didn’t satisfy the appetites of thirty men, plus a woman and child.

Bidwell would later write that “Provisions were becoming scarce, and we saw that we must avoid unnecessary delay.” Yet they stopped at Tenmile Spring for a week. “The condition of our animals compelled us to rest here,” he wrote. The oxen, mules, and horses were worn down, so it was a good idea to let them recuperate where there was water and grass. But the company could look to the west and see “this desolate region” stretching endlessly ahead of them.

On the other hand, they had to press on and find Mary’s River, so they send two men to scout ahead. Now they were starting to worry that the men had met an untimely end.

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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