Transcript for Smith, Alma Lamoni, Journal 1857 Oct.- Dec., 108-10
I, by Willard's [Gilbert Smith's] request, purchased our fitout of provisions, cooking utensils, horse feed, etc., etc. We had to buy grain to fee our animals for about 400 miles in consequence of grass being so very scarce upon the route.
Wed. – Oct. 27th. The train all being in readiness we took up our line of march across the desert plains for Utah.
The country for the first 400 miles was nothing much but a barren desert waste. We traveled over 50 miles of desert upon which was neither water nor grass. The sand was very deep the most of the way which made it extremely heavy drawing.
We passed the Las Vegas settlement which was entirely vacated by the Saints.
We kept up a guard at the nights most of the way until we got to the settlements of the saints[.] we saw a great many Indians on our way, but they were all very friendly, showed no inclination to molest us, they often guarded our animals nights, for which we gave them presents such as shirts, knives, tobacco, etc. We did not loose an animal from out of the train the entire trip.
We met a great little company of discharged and runaway U. S. soldiers and teamsters, apostate "mormons," etc. on their way to California. After we passed the Rio Virgin River, we had plenty of feed and water to the settlements. We passed the first Mormon settlement on the Santa Clara River. Up to this time we had very warm, and sometimes very hot weather but after we passed this settlement we begun to rise to the rim of the great Salt Lake basin and the weather began to grow colder, and by the time we got to Cedar City and Parowan it had grown very cold and froze very hard. At Parowan I had the pleasure of meeting with John A. West and Wm. W. Cluff of my fellow Sandwich Island missionaries.
Here we encountered our first snow storm. And from here we had snow and storm all the rest of the way of our trip. We stopped one day and a half at Fillmore City in consequence of a severe snow storm. While here Willard and I stopped at the house of Bro. Wm. King another of my fellow missionaries who gave us the best that his house afforded.
We stopped at all of the different settlements on our way. At American Fork settlement we stayed all night with our Sisters Ortencia and Melisa, Sarah, our brother Warren was here also we had a time rejoicing together.
And on the 9th day of December we arrived in safety at our homes in Salt Lake City where we had the unspeakable joy and pleasure of meeting, in the enjoyment of good health, my wife and darling boy, our kind mother and sister Alvira also a host of relatives and friends. Joy swelled in our hearts to overflowing. Willard had not seen one of his relatives, except me, for nearly 13 years.