Author Archives: nancyleek

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.

October 17, 1841 — The Ascent

Sunday, 17th. This morning we set forth into the rolling mountains; in many places it was so steep that all were obliged to take it on foot. Part of the day we travelled through vallies between peaks, where the way … Continue reading

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October 16, 1841 — The Return of Captain Bartleson

Saturday, 16th. This morning 4 or 5 men started to ascend several of the high peaks to ascertain if it was possible to pass the mountains. Just as they were going to start Capt. B. came up. He was in … Continue reading

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October 15, 1841 — Into the Mountains

Friday, 15th. Advanced upstream about 12 miles and arrived at the base of very high mountains. The creek had become a small spring branch, and took its rise at no great distance in the mountains. But we saw plainly that … Continue reading

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October 14, 1841 — “But We Made No Halt”

Thursday, 14th. This morning we saw at a distance Capt. B. with his 7 men, coming in a direction towards us, but we made no halt, ascended the stream about 20 miles. The mountains continued to increase in height. That … Continue reading

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October 13, 1841 — Walker River

Wednesday, 13th. Traveled about 13 miles and only crossed a bend of the river; at this place it ran due north. Day was hot, the creek had dwindled to half its first size. Jimmy John says it was 25 miles … Continue reading

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October 12, 1841

Tuesday, 12th. Traveled about 4 miles upstream, and encamped, understanding our Indian (having hired another pilot) that it would be a long day’s travel to water, after leaving the creek. Why leave the creek? The creek they are on is … Continue reading

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October 11, 1841 — Looking for a River

Monday, 11th. Left the lake this morning, going to the mountains on a S.W. course. Today we left the trail of Capt. B. and having traveled 19 miles, arrived on a stream which flowed rapidly, and afforded more water than … Continue reading

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October 10, 1841 — Honeydew, Anyone?

[Sunday, 10th] Large numbers of Indians lived about this place, but few (50 or 60) visited our camp. Crossed Mary’s river — it was here running E. leading from the lake which we saw to the W. of us yesterday, … Continue reading

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October 9, 1841 — Laborious Travel, Nauseous Water

Saturday, 9th. Crossed Mary’s river where it led from the swamp into a lake beyond; our pilot led us south on the trail of Capt. B. Crossed a plain which is covered with water the greater part of the year … Continue reading

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October 8, 1841 — Duck Season

Friday, 8th. The swamp was clouded with wild geese, ducks &c, which rose from its surface at the report of our guns. We traveled about 6 miles and stopped to kill a couple of oxen that were unable to travel. … Continue reading

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