Saturday, [July] 17th . Arose to behold a fine pleasant morning, my health much better. This is my thirty-third birthday. My mind naturally reverts back to my family and my heart is filled with blessings on their heads more than my tongue is able to express. The richest blessings that ever were bestowed upon the head of woman or child could not be more than I desire for them, whatever be my lot. President Young is reported as having had a very sick night. A forge was set up and some repairs done to wagons and Brother Chamberlain's repaired also. The cattle and mules seem very uneasy and continue lowing and braying all the morning. I suppose it is in consequence of the singular echoes, they no doubt thinking they are answered by others over the mountains. At 9:40 the camp renewed the journey and one mile farther arrived at the Red fork of the Weber River. We also seem to have a wide space to travel through and now turn to the right in a western course, the ravine having run mostly southwest. The distance we have traveled through this narrow pass is twenty-three miles. Yesterday was the first day we have been out of sight of snow a whole day since we arrived at Fort John. We could not see it for the high mountains although surrounded by it. On arriving at this stream we see it again on the mountains to the east. This stream is about four rods wide, very clear water and apparently about three feet deep on an average. Its banks lined with cottonwood and birch and also dense patches of brush wood, willows, rose bushes, briers, etc. By stepping to the top of a small mound at the bend of the road, the mouth of the canyon can be seen very plainly, as also the mountains between which we pass to avoid it. The canyon appears to be about eight or ten miles west of us. I should judge not over that. President Young being so very sick found he could not endure to travel farther. Accordingly Elder Kimball and some others went to select a camping ground and soon returning reported a place a little farther. The camp moved on and formed encampment on the banks of the river having traveled two and a half miles, the day very hot and mosquitoes plentiful. Several of the brethren have caught some fine trout in this stream which appears to have many in it. In the afternoon Elders Kimball, Richards, Smith, Benson and others went onto a mountain to clothe and pray for President Young who continues very sick. On returning they rolled down many large rocks from the top of the mountain to witness the velocity of their descent, etc. Some would roll over half a mile and frequently break to pieces....
In the evening Elders Kimball, G. A. Smith and Howard Egan rode down the river to visit the canyon. They returned about ten o'clock and said they had been eight miles down the river but at that distance did not arrive at the canyon and being late they concluded to return to camp.
Sunday, 18th. This morning the camp was called together and addressed by Elder Kimball. He reports President Young as being a very sick man. He proposed to the brethren that instead of their scattering off, some hunting, some fishing, and some climbing mountains, etc., that they should meet together and pray and exhort each other that the Lord may turn away sickness from our midst and from our President that we may proceed on our journey. It was decided to assemble at ten o'clock and at the sound of the bugle the brethren met in a small grove of shrubbery which they have made for the purpose opposite the wagons. During the meeting, Elder Kimball proposed to the brethren that all the camp, except President Young's and eight or ten other wagons with brethren enough to take care of him, etc., proceed on tomorrow and go through, find a good place, begin to plant potatoes, etc., as we have little time to spare. The proposition was acceeded to by unanimous vote and after a number had expressed their feelings the meeting adjourned till two o'clock at which time they again assembled and listened to remarks from a number of the brethren. Elder Kimball again gave much good instruction and prophecied of good things concerning the camp. The bishops broke bread and the sacrament was administered. Good feelings seem to prevail and the brethren desire to do right. A number yet continue sick, but we expect all will soon recover. The day is very hot with very little air moving. Elder Kimball consented for me to go on tomorrow with the company that goes ahead.
Monday, 19th. Morning fine and warm, President Young considerably better. At 7:45 we started onward leaving President Young and Kimball's wagons and several others. We found the road very rough on account of loose rocks and cobble stones. After traveling two and a quarter miles, we forded the river and found it about eighteen inches deep but proceeded without difficulty. Soon after we were over, Elder Snow came up and said the camp were requested to halt awhile till Dr. Richards came. One of his oxen is missing and he wished to go on. We concluded to move on a little to where the road should turn off between the mountains to avoid the canyon. Elder Pratt went three miles out of his road and had to return again. Three-quarters of a mile from the ford we found the place to make the cutoff and there halted awhile. I put a guide board up at this place marked as follows: "Pratt's Pass to avoid canyon. To Fort Bridger 74 1/4 miles." Brother Pack, having charge of the company, concluded to move on slowly and be making our way up the mountains. We accordingly started and after traveling a mile from the forks began to ascend and wind around the mountains. We found the road exceedingly rough and crooked and very dangerous on wagons. Three and a half miles from the forks of the road the brethren made a bridge over a small creek over which we crossed having passed a number of springs near the road. Two and a quarter miles farther we arrived on the summit of the dividing ridge and put a guide board up, "80 miles to Fort Bridger." At this place Elders Kimball, Woodruff, G. A. Smith and H. Egan rode up to view the road, etc. The descent is not very steep but exceedingly dangerous to wagons being mostly on the side hill over large cobble stones, causing the wagons to slide very badly. After traveling a little way, G. A. Smith's wagon wheels gave way going down a steep pitch. The spokes are loose in the hub, and worked about so that when the wagon slides they dish inward, etc. At two o'clock, we halted beside a small creek to water teams, having traveled ten and a half miles over exceedingly rough road. A wagon was unloaded and sent for G. A. Smith's loading which is reported to be two miles back. While they were gone, many turned out their teams to graze. At 3:30 the men returned with the wagons, putting the loading into several so as to proceed and at 3:35 we started forward, the road turning suddenly to the right for about three-quarters of a mile and then a southwest course again. Here we ascend a very long steep hill for nearly a mile, then descend by a very crooked road. I think a better road might be made here and this high hill avoided and save a mile's travel. After traveling a little over three miles, we crossed a creek about a rod wide and eighteen inches deep, pretty steep going down but good going out. We went on a little farther and at half past five camped on a small spot surrounded by willow bushes full of mosquitoes, having traveled this afternoon three and a quarter miles and during the day thirteen and three-quarters. The day has been hot and no wind. Teams sweat much and it has been a pretty hard day's travel. There is not much grass here, but is said to be more plentiful a little farther. Several accidents have happened to wagons today but nothing serious except Brother G. A. Smith's. Dr. Richards' wagons arrived in camp at the same time the rest did. The sick are getting better. In the evening the brethren picked up a lot of dry willows and made a coal pit to set G. A. Smith's tire before we can leave tomorrow. The evening and night were very cold.
Tuesday, 20th. This morning fine and warm. The coal pit is burned and Burr Frost set Elder Smith's wagon tire and did various other repairs to a number of other wagons which took till nearly eleven o'clock, about which time the camp started onward. One of Brother Crow's men returned from Elder Pratt's company and reported that their camp is about nine miles from here. He is hunting stray cattle. He says the road is very rough from here and about a mile beyond where they are camped the road begins to ascend over a high range of mountains. Elder Pratt has been to the top but cannot see the Salt Lake from there. Their company is gone on. I walked ahead of the camp nearly four miles and picked many gooseberries nearly ripe. They are very plentiful on this bottom. The brethren spent much time cutting brush wood and improving the road. After traveling four miles, halted about half an hour to water teams and eat dinner. The road over which we have traveled is through an uneven gap between high mountains and is exceedingly rough and crooked. Not a place to be met with scarcely where there would be room to camp for the dense willow groves all along the bottom. We then proceeded on and traveled over the same kind of rough road till a little after 5:00 p.m. then camped on a ridge, having traveled today seven and a quarter miles. The last three miles has been the worst road of the two, it being through willow bushes over twenty feet high, also rose and gooseberry bushes and shaking poplar and birch timber. Although there has been a road cut through, it is yet scarcely possible to travel without tearing the wagon covers. We have crossed this creek which Elder Pratt names Canyon Creek eleven times during the day and the road is one of the most crooked I ever saw, many sharp turns in it and the willow stubs standing making it very severe on wagons. As we proceed up, the gap between the mountains seems to grow still narrower until arriving at this place where there is room to camp, but little grass for teams. There are many springs along the road but the water is not very good. In one place about a mile back there is a very bad swamp where the brethren spent some time cutting willows and laying them in to improve it. We have got along today without much damage which is somewhat favorable for the road is awful. At this place the ground around is represented as being swampy and dangerous for cattle. It is reported that there is no place to camp beyond this till where Elder Pratt's company camped and this is so small they have to huddle the wagons together. The soil continues sandy, except in the low moist places where it looks black and good. There is some pine occasionally in sight on the mountains, but timber here is scarce. We have passed through some small patches today where a few house logs might be cut, but this is truly a wild looking place.
Wednesday, 21st. We started onward at half past six, the morning fine and pleasant. We crossed the creek once more and about a half a mile from where we camped, the road turns to the right leaving the creek and ascending the mountains gradually. Much time was necessarily spent cutting down stumps, heaving out rocks and leveling the road. It is an exceedingly rough place. There are several springs at the foot of the mountain and one a mile from the top which runs above the ground a little distance, then sinks under again. The last half mile of the ascent is very steep and the nearer the top the steeper it grows. There is considerable timber up this gap but mostly destroyed by fire. We saw a prairie pheasant while going up and some wild gooseberries. At eleven o'clock, the teams began to arrive on the dividing ridge and in less than an hour, all were safely up. From this ridge we can see an extensive valley to the west but on every other side high mountains, many of them white with snow. It seems as though a few hours' travel might bring us out from the mountains on good road again. We halted on the ridge a little while and then prepared to descend, many locking both hind wheels, a precaution not at all unnecessary. We found the road down exceedingly steep and rendered dangerous by the many stumps of trees left standing in the road. The brethren cut up many of them which delayed us much. About a mile down is a bridge formed of small trees laid one on another to fill up a deep ravine. It is steep on both sides and here Joseph Rooker turned his wagon over, however, without much damage. A mile and a half from the top is a spring and small stream of very good cold water where we halted to let teams drink. This would make a tolerably good camp ground in case of necessity. After this, the road is not so steep but is very rough and winds between high hills or mountains through willows and brush wood and over soft places, crossing the creek a number of times. At four and a half miles from the top of the ridge, we arrived at a good spring of cold water, plenty of grass and a good place to camp. Our teams have now been in the harness about ten hours without eating and the feeling of many was to stay here, but some wanted to go on and we continued. Turning suddenly to the right a little below this spring we began to ascend another high ridge and while ascending some of the teams began to fail. There are a great many service berries on this ridge growing on what we supposed to be wild apple trees. The berries are good and rich when ripe. The descent from this ridge is not nearly so steep as the other one, yet many locked both hind wheels. After descending, we found another small creek and a very rough road again. At 7:30, we formed our encampment near the creek, having traveled fourteen miles in thirteen hours. There is but little grass here and a poor chance for cattle. Orson Pratt's company are camped a half a mile ahead of us and our camp was formed by Colonel Markham. He says they have had many new cases of sickness but mostly getting better. The cannon is left back on the other side of the mountains. About a mile back from this place there is a small grove of sugar maple and considerable other timber along the creek. There are also beds of nice green rushes in several places.
Thursday, 22nd. This morning is cloudy and some like for rain. We started on at 8:30 and soon came up with Elder Pratt's company. There were several bad places in the road where the brethren spent considerable time fixing them. As we near the mouth of the canyon, there is a small grove of elder bushes in bloom and considerable oak shrubbery. We named this a canyon because of the very high mountains on each side leaving but a few rods of a bottom for the creek to pass through and hardly room for a road. It is evident that the emigrants [the Donners] who passed this way last year must have spent a great deal of time cutting a road through the thickly set timber and heavy brush wood. It is reported that they spent sixteen days in making a road through from Weber River which is thirty-five miles but as the men did not work a quarter of their time much less would have sufficed. However, it has taken us over three days after the road is made although a great many hours have been spent in improving it. In this thick brush wood and around here there are many very large rattlesnakes lurking, making it necessary to use caution while passing through. After traveling one and three-quarters miles, we found the road crossing the creek again to the north side and then ascending up a very steep, high hill. It is so very steep as to be almost impossible for heavy wagons to ascend and so narrow that the least accident might precipitate a wagon down a bank three or four hundred feet,--in which case it would certainly be dashed to pieces. Colonel Markham and another man went over the hill and returned up the canyon to see if a road cannot be cut through and avoid this hill. While passing up, a bear started near them but soon was out of sight amongst the very high grass. Brother Markham says a good road can soon be made down the canyon by digging a little and cutting through the bushes some ten or fifteen rods. A number of men went to work immediately to make the road which will be much better than to attempt crossing the hill and will be sooner done.
Agreeable to President Young's instructions, Elder Pratt acompanied by George A. Smith, John Brown, Joseph Mathews, John Pack, O. P. Rockwell and J. C. Little started on this morning on horses to seek out a suitable place to plant some potatoes, turnips, etc., so as to preserve the seed at least. While the brethren were cutting the road, I followed the old one to the top of the hill and on arriving there was much cheered by a handsome view of the Great Salt Lake lying, as I should judge, from twenty-five to thirty miles to the west of us; and at eleven o'clock I sat down to contemplate and view the surrounding scenery. There is an extensive, beautiful, level looking valley from here to the lake which I should judge from the numerous deep green patches must be fertile and rich. The valley extends to the south probably fifty miles where it is again surrounded by high mountains. To the southwest across the valley at about twenty to twenty-five miles distance is a high mountain, extending from the south end of the valley to about opposite this place where it ceases abruptly leaving a pleasant view of the dark waters of the lake. Standing on the lake and about due west there are two mountains and far in the distance another one which I suppose is on the other side the lake, probably from sixty to eighty miles distance. To the northwest is another mountain at the base of which is a lone ridge of what I should consider to be rock salt from its white and shining appearance. The lake does not show at this distance a very extensive surface, but its dark blue shade resembling the calm sea looks very handsome. The intervening valley appears to be well supplied with streams, creeks and lakes, some of the latter are evidently salt. There is but little timber in sight anywhere, and that is mostly on the banks of creeks and streams of water which is about the only objection which could be raised in my estimation to this being one of the most beautiful valleys and pleasant places for a home for the Saints which could be found. Timber is evidently lacking but we have not expected to find a timbered country. There may be timber on the mountains which the long distance would render impossible to be seen with the naked eye, but the mountains through which we have passed have very little on them. In some places may be seen a grove of small fir or cedar or pine and in the valleys some cottonwood and other small timber. There is doubtless timber in all passes and ravines where streams descend from the mountains. There is no prospect for building log houses without spending a vast amount of time and labor, but we can make Spanish brick and dry them in the sun; or we can build lodges as the Pawnee Indians do in their villages. For my own part I am happily disappointed in the appearance of the valley of the Salt Lake, but if the land be as rich as it has the appearance of being, I have no fears but the Saints can live here and do well while we will do right. When I commune with my own heart and ask myself whether I would choose to dwell here in this wild looking country amongst the Saints surrounded by friends, though poor, enjoying the privileges and blessings of the everlasting priesthood, with God for our King and Father; or dwell amongst the gentiles with all their wealth and good things of the earth, to be eternally mobbed, harassed, hunted, our best men murdered and every good man's life continually in danger, the soft whisper echoes loud and reverberates back in tones of stern determination; give me the quiet wilderness and my family to associate with, surrounded by the Saints and adieu to the gentile world till God says return and avenge you of your enemies. If I had my family with me, how happy could I be, for I dread nothing so much as the journey back again and when I think of the many dangers from accident which families traveling this road are continually liable to and especially this last mountain road from Weber River, it makes me almost shudder to think of it and I could almost envy those who have got safely through, having their families with them, yet they will doubtless have a hard time of it the coming winter. Brother Crow's family especially have very little bread stuff with them, they say enough to last them two months and they are dependent on the success of their hunter for support through the winter. This valley appears to be fortified by mountains, except on the banks of the lake, on many of which there is still snow lying in large quantities. It is certain that good limestone abounds in these ridges and it is supposed coal can be found with little labor. From this hill I passed down the creek which we named the Last Creek about a mile and there saw a bed of bull rushes of the largest kind I ever saw, some of them being fifteen feet high and an inch and a half in diameter at the bottom. The grass on this creek grows from six to twelve feet high and appears very rank. There are some ducks around and sand hill cranes. Many signs of deer, antelope, and bears, but not many have been seen here. There have been fresh buffalo signs seen a few days' travel back, but those animals evidently do not stay in this region unless some come to winter. The ground seems literally alive with the very large black crickets crawling around up grass and bushes. They look loathsome but are said to be excellent for fattening hogs which would feed on them voraciously. The bears evidently live mostly on them at this season of the year. After spending about four hours' labor the brethren succeeded in cutting a pretty good road along the creek and the wagons proceeded on, taking near a southwest course. We found the last descent even but very rapid all the way. At half past five, we formed our encampment on a creek supposed to be Brown's Creek, having traveled seven and a quarter miles today. We are now five and a quarter miles from the mouth of this canyon making the whole distance of rough mountain road from the Weber River to the mouth of the canyon on this side a little less than thirty-five miles and decidedly the worst piece of road on the whole journey. At this place, the land is black and looks rich, sandy enough to make it good to work. The grass grows high and thick on the ground and is well mixed with nice green rushes. Feed here for our teams is very plentiful and good and the water is also good. There are many rattlesnakes of a large size in this valley and it is supposed they have dens in the mountains. The land looks dry and lacks rain, but the numerous creeks and springs must necessarily tend to moisten it much. The grass looks rich and good. A while after we camped, Elder Pratt and company returned and reported that they had been about fifteen miles north from here and this region is as suitable a place to put in our seeds as they have seen. Approaching nearer the lake, the land is mostly sunken and many small lakes in it. A few miles north of this, is a good spot to break up and plant potatoes, sow our seeds, etc. There is a little timber on the creek. From twelve to fifteen miles north at the foot of the mountain they saw many hot sulphur springs issuing from the rocks, as many as fifty in number. One of them, the largest, falls out of the rocks and then forms a pool apparently ten feet deep and a rock is in the center. The water of this is so hot a person cannot bear his hand in it but a very few seconds. It is strong of salt and sulphur and the bottom appears green as though it was covered with verdigris. A council was held at the Doctor's wagon and it was decided to move early tomorrow to the place designated; also, to send two men back to the President and company to report our progress, etc., then to commence forthwith and plow and plant about ten acres with potatoes this week if possible and thus continue till the seed is secured. John Pack and Joseph Mathews were selected to return to President Young's company. The evening was fine and pleasant and the night feels much warmer than in the ravines of the mountains.
Friday, 23rd. This morning Elders Pack and Mathews started to meet the President and at the same time the camp moved on to the final location. We traveled two miles and then formed our encampment on the banks of the creek in an oblong circle. The grass here appears even richer and thicker on the ground than where we left this morning. The soil looks indeed rich, black and a little sandy. The grass is about four feet high and very thick on the ground and well mixed with rushes. If we stay here three weeks and our teams have any rest they will be in good order to return. As soon as the camp was formed a meeting was called and the brethren addressed by Elder Richards, mostly on the necessity and propriety of working faithfully and diligently to get potatoes, turnips, etc., in the ground. Elder Pratt reported their mission yesterday and after some remarks the meeting was dismissed. At the opening, the brethren united in prayer and asked the Lord to send rain on the land, etc. The brethren immediately rigged three plows and went to plowing a little northeast of the camp; another party went with spades, etc., to make a dam on one of the creeks so as to throw the water at pleasure on the field, designing to irrigate the land in case rain should not come sufficiently. This land is beautifully situated for irrigation, many nice streams descending from the mountains which can be turned in every direction so as to water any portion of the lands at pleasure. During the afternoon, heavy clouds began to collect in the southwest and at five o'clock we had a light shower with thunder. We had rains for about two hours. The brethren have plowed up considerable land and broken several of their plows, but there have been three plows going nearly all day. At night, the camp was called together and addressed by Elder Richards on a subject which seemed little welcome to many from the way it was handled. It was a sermon of ------ from end to end. Some felt a little insulted but it all passed off well and jokingly.
Saturday, 24th. The plowing is renewed and many are gone to planting potatoes. There is one drag going. Others are still at work on the dams. John Pack and Joseph Mathews returned at dark last night and reported the President and company a few miles up Last Creek. They have gone back this morning to fix two bridges at the mouth of the canyon. The day is fine and hot with a nice breeze. At a quarter to twelve, President Young and Kimball arrived and the wagons also began to arrive at the same time. The President seems much better and the sick generally are getting better. Most of the brethren express themselves well pleased with the place, but some complain because there is no timber. There appears to be a unanimous agreement in regard to the richness of the soil and there are good prospects of sustaining and fattening stock with little trouble. The only objection is a lack of timber and rain. The latter God will send in its season if the Saints are faithful and I think yesterday was a proof that He listens to and answers the prayers of the Saints. We can easily irrigate the land at all events which will be an unfailing and certain source of water, for the springs are numerous and the water appears good. About 5:00 p.m. we were favored with another nice shower accompanied by thunder and some wind. It continued raining till nearly dark; the balance of the evening fine. Elder Kimball says that it is contemplated to send out an exploring party to start on Monday and proceed north to the Bear River and Cache valleys. They design taking several wagons with them and Presidents Young and Kimball accompany the expedition. Another company is to start at the same time and go west to the lake, then south to the Utah lake and return down this valley.
Sunday, 25th. Morning fine and pleasant. At ten o'clock a meeting was held in the camp and the brethren addressed successively by Elders G. A. Smith, H. C. Kimball and E. T. Benson these mostly expressing their feeling of gratification for the prospects of this country, each being highly satisfied with the soil, etc. Elder Kimball referred especially to the manifold blessings we have been favored with during the journey. Not a man, woman, or child has died on the journey, not even a horse, mule, ox, cow or chicken has died during the whole journey. Many exhortations were given to the brethren to be faithful, obey the council of those in authority and we shall be blessed and prosperous. At 1:00 p.m. by request of Elder Kimball, the following persons viz.: Howard Egan, Hans C. Hanson, Jackson Redding, Carlos Murray, Thomas Cloward, George Billings, Philo Johnson, Charles Harper, Edson Whipple, Wm. A. King, Hosea Cusing, Robert Byard, Orson K. Whitney and Horace Whitney, assembled themselves in a willow grove adjacent to the camp where Elder Kimball addressed them in substance as follows:
*"Most of you here present have become adopted into my family, except a very few--calling them by name--and Horace, who has become connected with my family by marriage, but I do not care for that, you are all the same to me, and your interest is my interest for what's mine is yours and what's yours is your own. If I have the privilege of building a house, I want you to help me and I will help you. Horace will want to build a house for some of his father's family if they should come up and there is plenty of timber in the hills. When my family comes up, we may conclude to settle somewhere else. If so, there will be plenty to buy us out if we shall have made any improvements. I want you all to be prudent and take care of your horses, cattle and everything entrusted to your care. It would be a good plan and probably will be done for those who stay here, to go back on the Sweet Water and kill buffalo, etc., for winter consumption. We shall go tomorrow if Brigham is well enough, in search of a better location--if indeed, such can be found--if not, we shall remain here. There should be an enclosure made for the purpose of keeping the horses and cattle in nights for there are plenty of Indians in the vicinity. I should advise you to keep the Sabbath day holy whether others do or not. I want you to put all the seed into the ground that you think will come to maturity. I am satisfied that buckwheat will do as well here as any other seed we can grow. I want also some peach stones and apple seeds to be planted forthwith. Brother Byard and Hans I would like to have immediately engage in making garments of buck skins, Brother Cloward in making shoes and Brother Johnson in making hats as soon as practicable. If you wish to go hunting, fishing, or to see the country, select a week day and not the Lord's day for that purpose. Do not let us get giddy and light minded as the Nephites did of old, but strive to work righteousness in the beginning, inasmuch as we have reached the promised land.
At 2:00 p.m. the brethren again assembled within the camp and were successively addressed by Elders Woodruff, Orson Pratt and W. Richards sustaining the ideas advanced by the other brethren this morning. Some remarks followed from Lorenzo Young, John Pack and others and the meeting was dismissed. It is contemplated to send some wagons back to lighten the loads and assist the next company over these rough roads. It is now certain that there is considerable timber in the ravines and valleys between the mountains, several large bodies having been seen by the brethren since our arrival. There is a mountain lying northeast from here on which is considerably large timber. It is supposed to be about ten miles distance. The northern expedition is given up for the present on account of President Young's health. A company intend to go tomorrow to the lake and survey that region. If they go, they will probably be gone a day or two.
Monday, 26th. Morning cloudy and pleasant. The brethren commenced plowing early, others are gone to planting, etc., and the brethren appear to feel well. Some of the sick have been to bathe in one of the hot springs and pronounce the effects wonderfully beneficial. Others are going this morning to try the same experiment. Another company are gone to make a road to the timber through a ravine a little north of this. About ten o'clock, President Young sent me a horse with instructions to join him and some others going on a short exploring expedition. I immediately started and found the company consisted of President Young, Elders Kimball, Woodruff, G. A. Smith, Benson, Richards and Cartington. We took a course northward passing by the land where the brethren are plowing and planting. The land indeed looks rich and light. About three-quarters of a mile north of the camp, we arrived on a beautiful table land, level and nicely sloping to the west. Here we halted to view it and the more we viewed, the better we were satisfied that it is as handsome a place for a city as can be imagined. At the east part there is a considerable creek of clear cold water descending from the mountains and just above this place it branches into two forks, one running northwest the other southwest and the two nicely surrounding this place, and so well arranged that should a city be built here the water can be turned into every street at pleasure. We passed on and began to ascend the mountains, the President signifying a wish to ascend a high peak to the north of us. After some hard toil and time we succeeded in gaining the summit, leaving our horses about two-thirds the way up. President Young felt pretty well fatigued when he got up. Some of the brethren feel like naming this Ensign Peak. From this place, we had a good view of the Salt Lake and could see that the waters extend for a great many miles to the north of us. There appears to be land, although white with salt, all the way to the mountain on the northwest which we had previously supposed was surrounded by water. We can see a pretty large stream winding from the south to the north through the valley but keeping not many miles distant from these mountains towards the lake. After satisfying ourselves we began to descend, President Young and Lorenzo, who joined us a while before we went up, going down on the east side where they were joined by Elders Woodruff, Benson, and Richards with the horses. Elders Kimball, Smith, Cartington and myself descended on the northwest corner and found the descent very lengthy and difficult. These hills are mostly rocky of a kind of soft stone in some places, in others a harder kind of flint stone. On arriving on the level again, we wound our way southward to meet the other brethren and after passing a little way saw one of the sulphur springs where a pretty large stream of sulphur water boils out of the rock at the foot of the mountain and thence branches out into several smaller streams for some distance till these enter a small lake. This water is about as warm as dish water and very salty. There is much filthy kind of substance collected on it and the smell arising from it is truly nauseating and sickly, though generally supposed to be in no way unhealthy. Elder Kimball left us here on seeing Elder Woodruff's carriage and the other brethren returning back towards the camp. In the meantime, Elders Smith, Cartington and myself went lower down towards the lake in search of some fresh water to quench our thirst. We found a nice clear stream of cold water but a little way from the sulphur spring and having drunk of it, we concluded to go on and see the river which we had noticed from the mountain. We took nearly a west course and soon struck the old road made by emigrants last year. We found the land exceedingly rich all along, good grass and abundance of rushes. We found many wet places but no signs of swamps, nor danger of miring. After traveling about two miles, we arrived at the river having followed the road to the ford. This river is about five rods wide on an average, three and a half feet deep at the ford but in other places much deeper. The current is slow and the water of a dark lead color. The banks are about five feet high and the soil to the water level of a rich, black alluvial. There is no timber on the banks here and not many willow bushes. We went over the river and found the soil equally good on the other side. While here we observed Elder Woodruff's carriage and the brethren again proceeding northward. We started back to meet them, it being the intention to go to the large, hot sulphur spring. We could but remark all along, the richness of the soil and the abundance of high, good looking grass. On arriving at the foot of the mountain beside another sulphur spring, we saw the carriage come on to the first spring but apparently judging it unsafe to cross, they wheeled around and returned back to camp. Elders Smith, Cartington and myself then concluded to go on and view the big spring which we found to be about two miles farther. Before arriving at it, there is a large shoal salt lake and on the banks are numerous sulphur springs varying in the appearance of the surface and losing themselves in the lake. There were many plovers on and around this lake. We arrived at the big spring about four o'clock and making our horses fast, we went down to where it boils out of the rock. This spring is also situated at the foot of the mountains and at the base of a large rock, perpendicular on the west side and gradually losing itself on the east in the mountain. The spring, as I have said, is at the base of this rock. There is a circular hole about four feet wide and a yard high from the top to the surface of the water from whence the water boils out in a considerable stream. The water itself in the spring seems to be about two feet deep. There is a rock at the mouth of the spring where a person can stand and see inside. Standing on this rock with your face near the mouth of the spring a strong warm sulphurous air is felt to come in gusts out of the rock and it is so hot that it requires only a few minutes to start the perspiration. On putting my hand in the spring,
I was startled with the heat and found I could not bear to hold my hand in five seconds. It is as hot as the hottest dish water ever used for dishes. Immediately on emerging from the rock, the water forms a lake about three rods in diameter and evidently pretty deep. The water is exceedingly clear and nice to look at but very salty indeed. We could see the water boil up in many parts of the lake. The water escapes at the north side of the lake at the base of the rock and there forms a stream about four feet wide and eighteen inches deep. We concluded we would go down the stream six or eight rods to wash our feet, naturally expecting the water to be cooler, but on taking off our boots and socks we found it impossible to hold our feet in it a moment and could barely wash by dashing the water on with our hands and suddenly dipping them in and out. It is supposed this would boil an egg in about ten minutes. At five o'clock we returned back to camp and supposed that the spring is about four miles distance. We arrived in camp at six o'clock. The brethren have planted about three acres of potatoes, some peas, beans, and are now planting four or five acres of corn. Elder Kimball stated that on returning with the carriage to the creek near the camp to get some water, he discovered that he had lost his spy glass. He retraced his steps on foot to the top of the peak and back without finding it, and on arriving at the bottom he saw Elders Richards and Benson bathing in one of the warm sulphur springs. Although wet with perspiration he took off his clothes and plunged in and found the effects very pleasant and beneficial. After bathing they started back for camp and but a few rods distance found the glass near the road. Some of the brethren have commenced making a garden about two miles to the southeast and indeed their operations and industry are truly pleasing and noble. The more I view the country, the better I am satisfied that the Saints can live here and raise abundant crops. Elder Kimball has kindly offered me a horse to ride and view the country as much and when I have a mind to while we stay here. This morning Joseph Mathews and John Brown started west to go to the mountain. They returned this evening and report that they have been at the foot of the mountain and judge it to be about sixteen miles distance. They say the wild sage is very plentiful on the other side the valley, showing that the land is not so rich there as here. They found a horse, near the mountain and have brought it to camp, supposed to have strayed from emigrants who have previously passed this way. Towards sundown heavy clouds were noticed in the south and southwest. We expected a shower, but it passed off to the east.
*The whole reported by Horace Whitney.