Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

William Clayton Journals

July 12, 1847

Location: Weber River Ford - 41 miles left, Utah - (4 rods wide, 2 feet deep. Good to ford. Plenty of grass and timber.) [Close by are the "Witches" rock formations, Echo Canyon, and at one time at the mouth of the canyon, "Pulpit Rock."] - 990 miles from Winter Quarters.

Summary: The Bear River is successfully forded; the West is mountainous, yet fertile.

Journal entry: MONDAY, 12TH. Morning cloudy and cool. We pursued our journey at 7:15. At one and a quarter mile rose a very steep, low hill, narrow, but very steep on both sides. One - half a mile farther crossed the Bear River, a very rapid stream about six rods wide and two feet deep, bottom full of large cobble stones, water clear, banks lined with willows and a little timber, good grass, many strawberry vines and the soil looks pretty good. About a half a mile beyond the ford, proceeded over another ridge and again descended into and traveled up a beautiful narrow bottom covered with grass and fertile but no timber. Four and three - quarters of a mile beyond Bear River, passed a small spring of good clear cold water. At 11:50 halted for noon in the same narrow bottom near a ridge of high, rough rocks to the right, having traveled nine and three - quarters miles.

There is scarcely any wagon track to be seen, only a few wagons of Hasting's company having come this route; the balance went the other road and many of them perished in the snow; it being late in the season and much time was lost quarreling who would improve the roads, etc. There is a creek of clear water close by, deep but scarcely any current.

President Young was taken very sick awhile before we halted. After resting two hours the camp moved on again, except President Young and Kimball's wagons, who concluded to remain there today on account of the President's sickness.

After traveling one and a half miles we crossed the creek at the foot of a high mountain and a little farther crossed back again. A mile farther, began to ascend a long steep hill, narrow on the summit and steep descent. We then wound around between high hills till arriving again on a narrow rich bottom. At the foot of the hill we crossed last, there is a spring of very good cold water, and in fact, there are many good springs all along the road.

At six o'clock we formed our encampment near a very small creek and a good spring, having traveled this afternoon six and three - quarters miles and during the day sixteen and a half. There is an abundance of grass here and the country appears to grow still richer as we proceed west, but Very mountainous. There are many antelope on these mountains and the country is lovely enough but destitute of timber.

About a quarter of a mile west from the camp is a cave in the rock about thirty feet long, fifteen feet wide and from four to six feet high. There are many martins at the entrance and on observing closely, can be seen myriads of small bugs. It is supposed from appearances that there is some property cached in the cave. Soon after we camped, we had a light shower accompanied by thunder. This country evidently lacks rain, even the grass appears parched.

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.