"New Road on the Platt," Deseret News, 7 September 1850, 102.
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The following we have received as an authentic copy, and cheerfully give it publicity, for the benefit of travellers.
Pacific Springs, June 20, 1850.
"Major Sandford, Sir: Agreeable to your request, I write you from the first Station. I will give you what information, in regard to the route up Platte, on the north side of the river, I can; and what I can learn from my company, and others that crossed over Platte and the Black Hills. The northern route has the preference by at least two days drive.
I will give you the distances as we travelled on each day:-Left the opposite bank, from Ft. Laramie, 13th of June; drove eight miles, and camped for the night near the river; wood, water and grass plenty.
14th: drove ten miles, good spring, forty rods right of the road, plenty of good grass. This forenoon before reaching the spring, crossed a mountain half a mile to the summit, and rocky ascent, gradual, and no trouble for our teams to draw their loads up: drove in the afternoon eight miles, camped near a spring of good water, and near the river, at two P.M.
15th: drove this morning thirteen miles. good spring, right of the road, plenty of wood and grass; drove six miles, crossed Rush Creek; here is wood, sage and grass; six miles further, a spring, left of the road, plenty of wood and grass; staid here till Monday. The road was good all day, no hills of any consequence.
17th: drove six miles, over good road to a deep creek, good camping place. plenty of good water, wood and grass: crossed the creek, drove to the river, four miles, road sandy; went three miles, crossed second deep creek; traveled up the river fourteen miles, camped on Mud Creek.
18th: this morning left the river, and crossed a succession of high, rocky hills for four miles, and struck the river; followed it ten miles; splendid spring, four miles, good spring of water and grass near the river; seven miles further, camped on the river bank, good feed and wood.
19th: drove ten miles, saw teams crossing Platte on rafts and wagon boxes; followed the river bank fifteen miles, road good, grass scarce.—
20th: drove eighteen miles to the upper ferry across Platte; road, sandy; crossed over some sandy bluffs: this day’s drive was rather hard. I made the whole distance from Laramie to Lance’s old road, one hundred and twenty-four miles, two miles less than on the Black Hill route. You will please give to emigrants making enquiry, the information contained in this.— They will find the distances very nearly correct, and other matters also. Very respectfully your obedient servant, JOHN B. WAID.
To Major Sandford, stationed at Laramie.