Graehl, Charlotte, "All in a Lifetime: Journal of Charlotte Leuba Grael," 9-11.
We had been traveling but a few days—I was sitting in the wagon with my little ones when all of a sudden our animals stampeded, Our team consisted of two yoke of oxen and one mare on lead. Anyway they all ran at a fearful speed through the open rugged Prairie—through grass that was about five feet tall. One oxen while running come close to another team causing them to stampede also. They ran zig-zag through the grass and over rocks and boulders. Sometimes the wagons would collide and it appeared for a time as though a general smash-up was inevitable, but they finally came to a halt. During this adventure one yoke of cattle belonging to the other outfit broke loose from the wagon and were never found again owing to the dense vegetation. After having such a scare, we were glad to walk to camp, but it was a very tedious task for me for I was obliged to carry my little girl in one arm and baby [George] in the other. It was also very difficult to find my way through the high grass. There were also snakes among the grass which frightened me very much. It was long past dinner time before we found our way back to camp, but the saints came to welcome us and gave us our dinner.
On the following day I could not persuade the children to ride in the wagon and it was a long time before they were induced to do so. For many days I helped my husband drive the oxen, holding a baby in one arm and another crying and clinging to me as we drove along. In that way I spent the long summer days for months at a time, and I can assure you it was very tiresome and we were often entirely worn out when we arrived in to camp at night. Sometimes the children rode alone in the wagon while I assisted my husband drive the outfit. Little Georgie wanted his dear mama so badly and was always crawling to the front of the wagon in order to see her, we had to tie him in the front of the wagon to prevent him from falling out and probably killing himself. We had many adventures while crossing the plains, enough to fill a volume if I would write them. My husband had not felt well since we had left the old world—had become worse and was obliged to remain in bed in the wagon so I was obliged to the oxen all alone. Some of the sisters often helped me so I got along fairly well, but we had a kind of yoke for our oxen that wasn't very strong. It was tied with buck skin strings that would wear out and break apart quite often which caused me much trouble. Once, for instance, just at dusk, we were a little ways behind the company when our yoke broke and our oxen ran away to camp about two miles distant. We were obliged to remain there all alone at the mercy of prowling bears, too, and savages until our oxen were observed by chance by a member of the company as they came in to camp, when parties were sent out to our rescue. I could not light a fire because I had no matches in my possession, so I sat on the front seat of the wagon holding an ax in my hand ready to defend myself and family against any intruders, and thus I waited until eleven o'clock P.M. when some of the brethren came for us. We made a big fire to frighten the wolves which had already gathered around us, and took turns sitting up to keep guard until morning.
On another occasion there was a river to cross—it was just beginning to get dark and our outfit was the last of the company. There was no one to help us as the Captain was absent. The last team was crossing. "What are you going to do?" asked my dear husband from his bed in the rear of the wagon. "I am going to drive right over[.] the the Lord will help us", I answered—and I did and crossed over in safety. At camp that evening the Captain inquired who had assisted sister Graehl across the river but no one had even thought of or assisted me which surprised the Captain very much.
The last night but one before we entered Salt Lake Valley it had been snowing and it became dark before we encamped for the night. I could find no wood with which to make a fire, so could bake no bread. We retired that night without supper.
The following morning we mixed flour with sugar and ate it dry.
We arrived in Salt Lake City two days later, October 31, 1854. It was with a sad heart that I parted with many of my traveling companions who had been so kind and obliging to me during that long and troublesome journey.