Transcript for Roberts, Robert D., [Reminiscences], 80, in Joel Ricks, "Memories of Early Days in Cache County," in Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Salt Lake City, Utah, Scrapbooks

We remained there [Iowa City, Iowa] for about three weeks, and during that time were compelled to live out in the open air, as no shelter of any kind could be obtained. We were very anxious to get started on our journey. Edward Bunker, had charge of our company of about 300 souls. We had no wagons so were organized into a hand cart company. Our equipment and supplies were very limited. Twenty people were compelled to sleep in one tent in order to give shelter to every one. We had six wagons drawn by oxen, which carried our tents and provisions. Each family had one and sometimes two hand carts, in which they carried their bedding, and ration of food. There were eight in our family and we had two carts. About June 24th 1856 the company started on its memorable journey across the plains.

On our first day we traveled three miles when we were overttaken by a very bad storm. We made camp on the bank of a small creek, the wind was blowing terribly, and we had to cling to our tents and poles to keep them from blowing away, but in spite of our efforts some of the tents were blown down. In a short time the rain came in torrents, accompanied by thunder and lightening. The water rose over the banks of the creek, and flooded our camp, and was a foot deep around some of the tents. We had few clothes except those we had on, the rest having left behind to be sent on later. So that we had to lay over the next day to dry our clothes. This was very trying for our first experience. We resumed our journey the next day, with 300 miles to march before reaching Florence. The journey was very hard on us as the hand carts were hard to pull, and our rations were very scant. We had to make three meals on half of a pound of flour until we got to Florence, then we were allowed a pound a day. The first river we crossed after leaving Florence was called Loup fork, and after leaving it we had ten miles to go before we could get water. The sun was burning hot and it seemed to concentrate on the trail between the tall grass growing on either side. This grass grew from five to eight feet tall. The suffering from heat and thirst was something terrible, and some of the people became so exhausted, they gave up and stopped by the way. Some of the company got through, and they returned with water to those left behind, which revived them so that they could go on. After leaving the Wood River, we came into the buffalo country, where we saw thousands of buffalo in great herds. We were able to kill some of them thus adding to our provision. While traveling through this country we were unable to get wood to burn, and were compelled to use buffalo chips.

We were unable to keep the fresh buffalo meat very long as we had no salt to preserve it. We crossed the Platt[e] river at Laramie. Some thirty miles this side of Laramie, we woke up one morning to find six inches of snow on the ground. We remained in camp until the sun had melted the snow a little, and then resumed our journey, feeling very down hearted, as the road was very muddy, which made the carts hard to pull. After crossing the upper place on the Platt[e] river, we went to the Sweet Water river, and camped near Independence Rick [Rock], from there to Salt Lake was 800 miles and I was compelled to walk the entire distance barefooted as my boots were no good.

In the Black Hills we met Parley P. Pratt, and company going east, probably going on missions.

From Fort Bridger to Salt Lake we were allowed less then a half a pound of flour per day. We arrived in Salt Lake City, October 2, 1856 after a perilous journey which I shall never forget.