By William Smedley
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Extra info for Across the Plains: An 1862 Journey from Omaha to Oregon
July 10. ; mountain trout are abundant in all the streams. July 11. Having sufficient plank, we took our portion and started this morning for Green River. Soon after starting our eyes lit upon gamea large antelope quietly reposing near the roadside some distance ahead. I took my rifle and advancing cautiously upon "all fours" to avoid detection I hoped to get near enough for a sure shot, but the watchful creature was on the alert and either by sight or by smell detected my approach and sprang to its feet; but instead of scouring away over the plains as I expected, it started directly toward me, with an air of inquiry, but with cautious step.
The only time we could obtain relief or even opportunity to prepare and eat our meals with any comfort was during a strong breeze, sometimes toward the early morning. July 22. Partner being better, we started early to avoid mosquitoes. Soon we descended the mountain into Page 45 a beautiful valley, apparently about five miles wide and ten or twelve in length, with a strong but fordable stream flowing through it. Along its banks, at some distance, were two Indians, apparently hunting, and did not seem to observe us.
One train alone we observed engaged in divine services. We had a shower in the morning, accompanied by a perfect and beautiful rainbow. Our partner, James A. Hall, came up to us this morning by stage. Struck Platte River at North Bend soon after starting. This river, like the Missouri, is a turbid stream, but not so dark, more of a clay color. This condition is occasioned by the crumbling in of the banks, which seems to be a continual process; but unlike the Missouri, there is no "reconstruction," the soil being of a quicksandy nature; consequently the river is widening.
Across the Plains: An 1862 Journey from Omaha to Oregon by William Smedley