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

June 19, 1847

Location: Casper, Wyoming - Location: 42:52:00N 106:18:45W

Summary: Steep countryside and the proverbial ox in the mire.

Journal entry: SATURDAY, 19th. Morning fine but cool. At 7:50 the camp started out again in good health and spirits and the teams in very good order. It was remarked by several that their stock had fattened so much while stopping at the ferry, they hardly knew them. The grass appears to be rich and good.

The first six miles of the road was nearly in a west direction over several considerably high bluffs. At that distance the road turns suddenly to the south and rises up a very high bluff which is upwards of a mile from the foot to the summit. There is some interesting scenery on the top of this bluff, especially a range of rough, course, sandy rocks of a dark brown color, rising abruptly above the surface of the land in huge masses and ranging east and west.

The descent on the south side was rough, crooked and uneven, and about half way down was a bed of white earth mixed with black in places and others yellow. In one place you can pick up small fragments of rock of each color within a yard of each other. Towards the foot, the road is still more uneven and there are several steep pitches and rises.

After stopping about an hour it was decided to move on to the spring and we started accordingly and found it to be a small stream of water rising out of the quick sands. At the distance of twelve miles from the ferry there is quite a lake of water supposed to be supplied by a spring. Indeed we could see the water boil up out of the mud in several places. The grass on the banks of this lake is good and plentiful but no timber within two miles or upwards.

After watering teams at the lake, at ten minutes to three we continued our journey, bearing near a southwest course over rolling prairie, At the distance of eight miles from the spring there is a steep descent from a bluff and at the foot there is a high ridge of sharp pointed rocks running parallel with the road for near a quarter of a mile, leaving only sufficient space for wagons to pass. At the south point there is a very large rock lying close to where the road makes a bend, making it somewhat difficult to get by without striking it. The road is also very rough with cobble stones.

Porter Rockwell returned from hunting soon after we had camped and reported that he had killed a fat buffalo about two miles off. A team was sent to fetch in the meat which they did not return till long after dark. Elder Kimball saw six buffalo while riding ahead to look out a camp ground. They are represented as being more tame. Myers killed two buffalo, but took only the tallow and tongues and left the rest to rot on the ground. John Norton and Andrew Gibbons left the camp at the springs and went out to hunt, expecting we should stay there till Monday. Gibbons has not been seen or heard of since. Norton has returned and reports that he has killed a buffalo and left it back not far from the spring

About nine o'clock there was an alarm that an ox had mired. He was nearly covered but soon got out again.

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.