The Prairie Traveler by Randolph Barnes Marcy, Captain, U.S.A.


V.--From Salt Lake City to Sacramento and Benicia, California.


          From Salt Lake City to
 18.      Hait's Ranch.--Good road, and grass abundant until Bear
            River is crossed.

 17 1/4.  Ford on Weber River.--Good road, and grass abundant.

 15.      Point of Mountain.--Spring water warm but pure.

 12 3/4.  Box Elder Creek.-Excellent water; grass and fuel
            abundant in the canons.

 23.      Ferry on Bear River.-Four miles above the usual
            crossing. Excellent grass.

    3/4.  West Bank.-Grass not good on the west bank.

  6.      Small Spring.-Cross Bear River below the mouth of the

 17 1/2.  Blue Springs.-Water and grass scarce, and of poor

 21 1/4.  Deep Creek.-Heavy sage, but good grass on the right of
            the road, near sink.

 20 1/2.  Cedar Springs.-Good grass on the hills, with fine water
            and wood; rolling country.

 10.      Rock Creek.-Plenty of grass to the left of the road;
            good camping-place.

 14 1/2.  Raft River - Good camp.

 22 1/2.  Goose Creek Mountains - Grass, wood, and water
            abundant; rough and mountainous country.  Road from
            Fort Bridger comes in here via Soda Springs.

 17 3/4.  On Goose Creek - Rough, broken country, with a good
            road, which runs along the creek for several miles.

 28 1/2.  Head of 1000 Spring Valley - Road runs over a rolling,
            barren section, with but little water except on the
            river far to the right.

 25 3/4.  1000 Spring Valley - Meadow grass; good fuel scarce. 
            Camps can be found at short intervals along the road.

 14.      Head of Humboldt River.-Fine camping-places, and road
            generally good, running over a rolling country.

 23.      Slough of the Humboldt - Extensive bottoms of good

 20.      Humboldt River - Along the entire course of the
            Humboldt good grass is found in the bottoms.  The
            road, which follows the bottom, is hard and smooth,
            but can not be traveled in seasons of very high
            water, as the bottom overflows.  It is then necessary
            to take the road on the bluffs, where the grass is
            scarce.  The river, when not above a fording stage,
            can be forded at almost any point, and good camps can
            be found at short intervals. There are spots along
            the river bottom where alkaline ponds are frequent.
            These are poisonous to cattle, and should be avoided
            by travelers.  It is well along this river not to
            allow animals to drink any water except from the
            river where it is running.

 20.      Humboldt River - The foregoing remarks apply for every
            camp on the Humboldt River.

 22.      Humboldt River - Good camps along the Humboldt Valley.

 23.      Humboldt River.

 13 1/2.         "

 16 1/2          "

 25.             "

 13 3/4.         "

 24.             " 

 24 1/2.         "

 20 1/4.         "

 18 3/4.         "

 13 1/2.         "

 18 1/4.  Lawson's Meadows - The road here forks, the left going
            by the Carson Valley and Sacramento route, and the
            right via Goose, Clear, and Rhett lakes, Applegate's
            Pass of the Cascade Mountains, into Rogue River
            Valley, Fort Law, Oregon Territory, Yreka, Fort
            Jones, Fort Reading, and Sacramento River.

 33 1/2.  On Humboldt River - Grass and water poor all the
            distance to the Sink of the Humboldt.

 19 1/2.  Sink of Humboldt River - The water at the Sink is
            strongly impregnated with alkali; the road generally
            is good.  Travelers should not allow their stock to
            drink too freely of this water.

 26.      Head Sink of Humboldt - Road good.

 45.      Carson River - Road crosses the desert, where there is
            no water for stock, but there is a well where
            travelers can purchase water for drinking.  This part
            of the road should be traveled in the cool of the day
            and at night.  Grass good, also the water.

  2.      Carson River - Good bunch-grass near the road.

 30.      Carson River - 26 miles of desert; poor grass.

 14.      Eagle Ranch - Good grass and water.

 13.      Reese's Ranch - Good grass and water.

 12.      William's Ranch -Very good water and grass.

 15.      Hope Valley - Road rough and rocky.

  3.      Near Sierra - Good camp, with water and grass.

  7.      First Summit - Road rough and rocky; good water; grass

  2.      Second Summit - Road mountainous and very steep; snow
            nearly all the year.

 10.      Lakes - Good camp.

 12.      Leek Springs - Good grass near the road.

 10.      Trader's Creek - Grass and fuel scarce.

 12.      Sly Park - Grass and fuel near the road.

          Forty Mile House.-Water plenty; grass scarce.

          Sacramento Valley. - Water plenty; purchase forage.

          Sacramento City. - Water plenty; purchase forage.

 Total distance from Salt Lake City to Benicia, 973 miles.

At the Big Meadows, 23 miles from the Sink of the Humboldt,
travelers should make a halt of a day or two to rest and recruit
their animals and to cut grass for crossing the desert, as this
is the last good camping-place until reaching Carson River.  The
ground near this place is boggy, and animals should be watered
with buckets.  The camping-ground here is on the right bank of
the river, and about half a mile to the left of the main road.
The water is in a slough, near its head, where will be found some
springs which run off a short distance, but soon sink.

The road across the desert is very sandy, especially toward the
western extremity.  Twenty miles from the Sink of the Humboldt
there are four wells.  About half a mile east of the mail station
the road leading to the wells turns to the right, where water can
be purchased for from one to two shillings for each man and

At 9 1/2 miles beyond the mail station, on the desert, a road
turns off from the main trace toward a very high sandy ridge, and
directly upon the top of this ridge is the crater of an extinct
volcano, at the bottom of which is a salt lake.  Upon the extreme
north end of this lake will be found a large spring of fresh
water, sufficient for 1000 animals.  From thence to "Ragtown," on
Carson River, is three miles.

I would advise travelers, when their animals become exhausted
before reaching this water, to take them out of harness and drive
them to this place to recruit.  There is some grass around the

This desert has always been the most difficult part of the
journey to California, and more animals have probably been lost
here than at any other place.  The parts of wagons that are
continually met with here shows this most incontestably.

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