Henele Pikale (Henry W. Bigler), "Recollections of the Past," Juvenile Instructor, 15 December 1886, 371.
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- Source Locations
- Church History Library, M205.1 I59 v. 1-64 1866-1929
- Related Companies
- Jonathan H. Holmes/Samuel Thompson Company (1848)
On the 24th of July, we moved a few miles and camped just over the summit of a high mountain. Two wagons upset and two broke down, losing all the spokes in one wheel. The next day we remained in camp to repair the wheel, which we filled with spokes made from a dry pine.
On the 26th, we moved to the foot of the mountain and camped by a small lake, giving our camp-ground the name of Lake Valley. Ten men went to hunt out, if possible, a feasible route over the Sierra Nevadas, which were now near by. We had no guide and, for aught we knew, a white man had ne[v]er been here before since the days of the Nephites.
The next day our men returned, but reported no further discoveries than they had made on a previous tour. We were visited by twenty Indians, all armed with bows and arrows. They laid down their arms, manifesting friendship, and we gave them some food, whereupon they soon left.
On the 28th, we made some road and moved three miles, then felled timber and built a corral. We were now near the summit of the great Sierra Nevada Mountains. One of our men caught a fawn, but simply marked its ears and gave it its liberty.
On the 29th, we moved across the mountain and camped at the head of Hope valley, as we called it, for we now began to have hope. In descending a very steep place one wagon broke down.
On Sunday, the 30th, as our camp-ground was so brushy and offered a good place for Indians to skulk and shoot our stock, we moved, making the road as we went, and camped at the head of a canyon on Pass Creek, so named by our camp. Here we were obliged to remain until we could make a road down the canyon into Carson valley, about five or six miles distant.
On the 3rd of August we were overtaken by thirteen brethren on packs. They had left the mines five days before. On the 4th we moved through the canyon and the next day made twelve miles and camped on what we called Pilot River. We afterwards found it was the Carson River, and ran through a beautiful valley several miles wide. The mountains seemed to be all on fire and the valley was full of smoke.
On Thursday, the 10th, at 2 o'clock in the morning, the camp was aroused by the guard, who reported that the horses were crossing the river. All hands rallied out but could not discover anything wrong. However, when daylight came we found two horses and one mule were missing. Their trail was found and ten of the boys set out after them, believing they were taken by Indians. They were overtaken and two of the animals recovered and brought back. In the encounter, Mr. Dimond was shot in the breast with an arrow, but received only a flesh wound. This man was an outsider on his way to the States. I have since learned that he stopped in our Territory and finally joined the Church.
On the 11th, some of the boys went ahead and returning at night reported there was no sign of water as far as they had been, except possibly at a grove of cottonwood trees which they had noticed several miles to the northward. The next morning we left the Carson River, traveling in a north direction some twenty-five miles, and on reaching the cottonwood grove we struck the old emigrant road at the lower crossing of the Truckee River. Every heart was filled with thanks to God for His goodness in thus guiding us. The next day being Sunday we had a prayer meeting.
Monday, the 14th, we continued our journey, arriving at the hot springs below the sink of the Humboldt, and halted for refreshments, making tea and coffee from the boiling waters. A little dog belonging to the camp fell into one of the holes and in less than two minutes was boiled to pieces. On reaching the sink we met a company of emigrants with eighteen wagons. Among them were Hazen Kimball and family, who had wintered in Salt Lake, but having become dissatisfied had left in March for Fort Hall. He said the people at Salt Lake were plowing and sowing wheat all last Winter and had put in eight thousand acres of grain.
On the 17th, just as we reached camp and before we had unhitched from our wagons, we saw one of our horses with an arrow sticking in him. In a few minutes, three Indians armed with bows and arrows came up to our tent. We took their bows, and bringing up the horse pointed out the wound, upon which they set up a dreadful howling, especially the elder one. The old man actually wept, the tears running down his dark face like rain. Then suddenly resting his hands on the horse he placed his mouth to the wound and sucked several times and drew out all the poison into which the arrow had been dipped. The sight moved me with pity for the old Indian. However, we confined them under guard all night, gave them supper and breakfast, also a little provision, returned them their bows and arrows and told them they were at liberty to leave. They seemed to be much pleased and happily disappointed and left with glad and joyful hearts.
We met several emigrant trains but none had come by way of Salt Lake, consequently we got no news from our people. All had come by way of Fort Hall. We bought from one company some bacon and buffalo meat, at what is known to emigrants as the City of Rocks, near the Goose Creek Mountains. Here we left the Fort Hall road, making our way over rocks and through heavy sage brush, down Cassia Creek eight or ten miles, thence to Deep Creek and arrived at the Malad, where we broke a wagon, the crossing being miry and difficult to ford. After crossing Bear River we made an early camp, and every man brought his portion of wood with a view of having a good time around one common fire to pass away the evening and to hear a song composed for the occasion by Brother Daniel Dennett. We had a splendid time, singing, speaking and rehearsing stories; and everybody felt well, knowing we were at least near home. It was not until a late hour that we retired. This was on the evening of the 22nd of September, and three days later we reached the place where Ogden City now stands. Here lived Captain James Brown and a few families of the Saints, who bid us welcome and gave us plenty of melons and roasting ears of corn, which to us was a treat.
The next day we lay by to repair wagons which had broken down the day before. Everybody was busy; those not repairing wagons were washing up, shaving, cutting hair, changing clothes, etc. Some of our company remained, as they had either families or friends, while the rest of us proceeded on to Salt Lake City, where we arrived on Thursday, the 28th of September.