April 29, 1847
Location: Grand Island (Sturh Museum), Nebraska - Location: 40:55:30N 98:20:30W Elevation: 1864 feet
Summary: Scant feed. Dry, dry, dry and dust. Ford a stream. Sick horse.
Journal entry: THURSDAY: The wagons started at five o'clock this morning before breakfast, to find more grass as this is all eaten off. We traveled till 6:30 being about three miles, and then turned out the teams to feed.
The morning very cool. There seems to be very little rain in this country and no dew. Breakfasted on goose and mouldy bread.
At twenty minutes after eight, the teams started again and after traveling about two miles came to a very pretty stream of good water, [Wood River] about ten feet wide on an average, but at the fording place, about a rod wide. We were detained some here, but all got over safely.
We then traveled on a table or prairie gently ascending for four or five miles but very even and good traveling. At 1:00 p.m. we stopped beside a small lake to rest and feed teams, having traveled about ten miles today.
The wind south and strong. One of Orson Pratt's horses is very sick, supposed to be the bots. He has lain down several times in the harness within the last three hours. I am not astonished, as the wagons and everything else is shrinking up, for the wind is perfectly dry and parching. There is no moisture in it. Even my writing desk is splitting with the drought.
At 2:30 p.m. we started again and traveled till about 6:30 over tolerable level prairie, distance about eight miles, and nearly a southwest course. The wind was strong from southwest till sundown and then turned to northeast.
The clouds of dust were almost sufficient to suffocate everyone. I rode Heber's horse this afternoon and went before the wagons. Saw many antelope, and the brethren had a good chance to kill one, but they missed it, although three of them shot at it.
We camped at night close to Grand Island where there is an abundance of rushes for cattle. There is also a white substance that seems to ooze out of the ground around here. and tastes like salt, but not so strong as common salt. Brother Orson Pratt's horse is better and the day has passed without accident.
Source: William Clayton's Journal
Published by the Clayton Family Association, and edited by Lawrence Clayton. To the best of our research, this contents of this book are no longer under copyright.