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 9, 1847

Location: Ayres Natural Bridge State Park, Wyoming - Location: 42:44:03N 105:36:42W

Summary: Heading for the Platte River

Journal entry: WEDNESDAY, 9TH. Arose at 4:20 and at 5:15 a.m. we moved onward, keeping near the La Bonte. At 5:45 halted for breakfast beside the traders' camp, having come a mile and a quarter. I sent my letter to them by Aaron Farr, a number of the brethren also sending letters. While we halted I got the roadometer fixed again and also put up a guide board marked "To Fort John 60 miles."

These traders or mountaineers said they had left a kind of ferry made of three buffalo skins hung in a tree on the Platte and wanted Brother Crow's company to have it. It was decided to send a company ahead to overreach the Missouri companies and get the ferry before they could arrive, and also build a raft for us to cross on, kill game, etc. The men say it is about seventy miles to where we cross the river. Nineteen wagons were sent ahead and about forty men to attend to this business. All of Brother Crow's company went, Aaron Farr, J. Redding, the cutter, etc., being five wagons from the 1st division and fourteen from the 2nd. They started about half an hour before we started.

We proceeded at 7:45 and immediately after starting had to cross a very steep gulf, being difficult for teams to get up, though it was not long. Soon after this, four men passed us with pack horses and mules. They say they are from Pueblo and going to Green River; they told others they were from Santa Fe and going to San Francisco.

We found the road very hilly and uneven and crooked as yesterday. At three and three quarters miles passed over a branch of the La Bonte, a stream about ten feet wide but not deep. The descent and ascent being very steep, most of the teams required assistance to get up. For half a mile before we crossed this stream and three and a half miles after, our road lay over a kind of red earth or sand about the color or red precipitate. Most of the rocks and bluffs are of the same red color, only a deeper red. It affected my eyes much from its brightness and strange appearance. About one and a quarter miles west of the creek President Young and Kimball saw a large toad which had horns on its head and a tail. It did not jump like a toad but crawled like a mouse. This was seen near a pile of rocks or rather a hill.

At 12:40 we halted for noon having come ten miles since breakfast. There is little water here for the teams. The day fine and nice west breeze. The road is very crooked, hilly, and mostly rocky, many large cobble stones covering the bluffs, the land barren and little grass. The ground here is covered with large crickets which are so numerous, to walk without stepping on them is almost impossible.

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.