Hansen, Martin, “A Synopsis or Sketch of My Life,” 8.
So in the spring of 1861, we were ready to leave for Utah. We yoked and hitched our cows and cattle on the wagon, and a small company of Saints started for Utah. Ole Petterson [Peterson] and family coming with us; we had a very pleasant time crossing the plains. While us children had to walk nearly all the way, we surely had a good time. At night around our camp fires, having all kinds of games, singing songs and telling stories to one another. When traveling along, in the day time, we very often run across berries of different kinds, wild currants, both yellow and black, and also choak cherries [chokecherries]. I remember one day a bunch of us boys and girls made up our mind that we would go barefooted and left our shoes and stocking in the wagons, and lit out ahead of the company. We got quite a long way when we spied a large bunch of choak cherries a little ways off the roadside. It was loaded with cherries. Well, nothing would do but to have some of those bushes which we broke off until we had our arms full. By this time, the wagons had got quite a ways ahead of us and the road took a turn, so we thought we could cut across and head them off and save time. But we had not gone far before we came to a little nOle [knoll] facing the sun when one of us spied a large rattlesnake. I laid my bushes down to kill it. Before I could do so, we heard the rattling of snakes all over. We were right in a rattlesnake den and we were all barefooted, but we got away from them all right. But we run into something worse. We run into a bunch of pricklypares [prickly pears] and we sure had a time of our life pulling those prickly things out of our feet and hands and out of one another. We could not sit down to pull them out for fear of getting them somewhere else, places I do not care to mention. But we got back to the road again all right, with thankful hearts.
The wagons by this time had got quite a start of us and it took us quite a while to catch up. We did not try leaving the road barefooted any more. It was some lesson to us all.
When we neared the valleys of the mountains, we met the soldiers of Johnson’s Army returning from Utah on their way East. Then soon after that we arrived in Salt Lake City