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 5, 1847

Location: Guernsey, Wyoming - Location: 42:16:11N 104:44:28W Elevation: 4361 feet

Summary: Ten and a half mile day up and over several bluffs.

Journal entry: SATURDAY, 5TH. The morning pleasant though somewhat cloudy. Elder Cambial gave George Billings a lecture about abusing his team, kicking them, etc. He gave George some very good advice.

The horn sounded early to start but we were detained till half past eight on account of several oxen being missing. About that time they were found and we pursued our journey. After traveling a little over four miles we ascended a steep bluff. The road runs on the top of it a little distance in a very crooked direction, the surface in some places being hard, uneven rock, which shakes and jars the wagons very much. In one place there is a little descent and at the bottom a very sharp turn in the road over rough rock. Here Brother Crow's cart turned over. However, it was soon righted and no injury done to anything. At the west foot is a steep, sandy descent but not difficult. The bluff is a half a mile across. About a half a mile from the west foot we turned from the river nearly a west course and crossed a low gravelly channel where it appears the river has run sometime and perhaps does now in high water.

The road after this is considerably crooked and uneven. About a mile and a quarter farther we descended again on the same gravelly channel and traveled up it a piece and at 11:35 halted for noon opposite a very large spring noticed by Fremont. The water of this spring is very clear and soft, but considerably warmer than the river water.

We have traveled this morning six and a half miles. Just as we halted, two men came down from the other road on mules to water. They are in company with eleven wagons and bound for west of the mountains. They say the other road from Laramie is only ten miles to the spring while our road has been 14 3/4 miles.

About a half an hour after we stopped, we had a nice shower. The 1st division halted about a quarter of a mile back from here. Latitude at the warm springs 42 degrees 15' 6". While we were halting, the company above referred to passed down the bluffs and went ahead of us. They have got many cows, etc., with them.

At 1:40 p.m. we resumed our journey. After traveling a mile we turned in a narrow pass to the northwest between two high bluffs and traveled a quarter of a mile farther then came to where the road rises a very high, steep bluff. At the foot is a short sudden pitch and then a rugged ascent for a quarter of a mile. The bluff is rocky and many large cobble stones lay in the road which made it hard on teams. Appleton Harmon took one of his yoke of cattle and assisted George Billings to the top and Brother Johnson took Appleton's steers and put them forward of his and brought up his wagon. Appleton and Johnson then took the three yoke of oxen and fetched up Appleton's wagon which threw us nearly in the rear of all the wagons, none of the rest doubling teams. After arriving on the top the road was good but still rising for a quarter of a mile farther.

We traveled on this high land five and a quarter miles which was very good traveling although it was considerably rolling. Four and a half miles from the top of the last mentioned bluff, we passed a large lone rock, standing far away from any other. At five and a quarter miles we descended again from the bluff, the descent being steep and lengthy but sandy and good to travel. At the foot of the bluff we again crossed the gravelly channel and traveled on and alongside about a mile, then descended a little to the bottom prairie again. At 6:30 we formed our encampment on the west bank of a small stream and near a very good spring of cold water, having traveled this afternoon 10 1/2 miles and during the day seventeen.

I have put up two guide boards today. One at 10 and the other at 20 miles from Fort John or Laramie, but the former name is on the guide boards. The bluffs we have passed today are mostly very high, rocky and broken, with pine growing on most or nearly all of them. We have pretty good feed here and plenty of wood and good water. The gentile camp is a little east of us. They say that there were two more companies arrived at Fort Laramie this morning as they left, and three other companies within twenty miles of Laramie. They left this morning. They left Independence on the 22nd of April. They are expecting the mail soon on mules, but they anticipate keeping ahead of all the companies. We find the road very crooked, but not bad traveling. About dark it rained some, accompanied by lightning and thunder. The camp was notified that tomorrow will be a day for fasting and prayer as last Sunday.

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.