This is a continuation of the journal of Daniel Stark and his company of men that traveled from Illinois to Sacramento, California to look for gold in the summer of 1850. Daniel was 21 years old, and had been married about 1 year. In the previous edition of The Waynedale News, the men were traveling through south central Wyoming along the Sweetwater River. This was a desert area that often proved difficult for oxen and horses. As the animals gave out people would have to lighten their loads by throwing away goods that were not absolutely necessary. In the previous segment, dated June 28, 1850 Daniel says, “We found grass aplenty and there is abundance of property throad away of all descriptions, such as wagons, stovs, harnice, gunbarrels and log chains…In fact, everything except provisions and money.”
June 29, 1850…Marche today 22 miles and encampt on the Sweetwater at the 5th crossing. There is some willowbushes and wild sage for fuel. We are all well at present but for E. Giltner and he is well all but weakness. We past two alkali lakes and an icey spring.
June 30…Marched today 20 mile and encampt on a small streem called Strawberry and there is a small grove of quakansnap and some willows on it and strawberry jest in full bloom.
We come two miles of verry stony road which is a spur of the Rocky Mountains and after we got to the top of it we could see three lakes of water and after we past them we come to a spring of good water and some miles this side we passed an icy spring. The ice was two feet thick. We had a white frost this morning. I am setting on the roadside watching for John Burnap. He was out looking for grass and he has mist us some way. Grass is scarce here from the north crossing of the Platt to the South Pass which is one hundred and fifty miles . I think you might take a mile on each side of the road and 40 acres of Dalsan and it would stand man.
July 1…Marched today 18 mile and encampt by the twin mounds on the north side of the road and the grass is pretty good but no water. John come to us this morning. We crost the Sweetwater 7 mile back. No more water until we get to Pacifick Springs. We past three new graves today and the road is considerable stony. Yesterday and today we past 6 oxen and we pass more or less everyday but we have all of ours yet and they look tolerable well.
July 2…Started this morning and marched 2 miles and come over the South Pass which is the deviding ridge between the waters of the Atlantick and the Pacifick. 3 miles we come to the Pacifick Springs on the Western Declivity of the Rockey Mountains. 1 1/2 mile to Pacifick Creek Crossing, 7 miles to Dry Sandy Ford. Crost it and come on fore miles which make 18 mile and encampt in the open plaines without wood or water or grass. It is a desert two hundred and fifty miles as I call it for there is nothing but wild sage only in the creek bottoms which is narrow. Here in the mountains the ground is sandy and coarse gravel.
July 3…Marched today 16 mile and in 6 miles we come to the junction of the California and Oregon Roads. We take the right and 3 miles the road forks again. We took the right again and we crossed the Little Sandy and past on 6 miles and come to the Big Sndy where we encampt and expect to stay until tomorrow and recruit for we have a desert of 35 mile between this and the green River.
July 4…Laid today on the Big Sandy until 3 1/2 O C pm and started in to the desert and traveled all night and the next day until 3 oclock and reached the green river which is 40 miles we crost over the same evening about 5 oclock we swam our cattle the next day about 5 mile above.
July 7…Marched 10 mile and found grass and water. We encampt about 3 PM. Green river the streem we have just past the current is verry swift about like the Mississippi It is about 150 yds wide. I consider the ferryman is right in the middle of California. He ferrys over about 60 wagons every twelve hours. He charges 7 doll per wagon and charges 2 dollars a head for oxen. The desert above mentioned is not what I would call a desert for there is wild sage & grass all over it but no water and the dust is from 1-4 inches deep and it is half lime at least.
July 8…Marched today 15 and encampt on a small streeme that follows from the snowy mountains which we have traveled in site of for three hundred miles. We have frost here of nights and ice in our buckets. This morning we had to take fathers provisions on our wagon for his oxen has all givve out but one and we wanted to divide his load among the train but they would not take a pound and we told them that it was not worth while to travel in a train as they would not help in time of need. So we took his provisions and his clothing and that they packed on the ox and we road out single and we traveled on a mile or two and we swaped his stear for a horse and I thnk we can all git threw if our little fellows holds out as well as they have. They stand it well as cold be expected.
July 9…Marched today 15 milesand encampt on Hams fork that runs betweene the mountains. It is a beautiful streeme about 4 rods wide. We encampt about 4 oclock PM on account of E. Giltner being sick. We have come over a rough spur of the mountains today and crost several small streems that is fed by the melting snow.
July 10…We did not role a wheel today. Elias Giltner is verry sick to with the diaree. We called a doctor last evening and he attended very clost to him until about seven oclock this morning and he got it stopped and got him in a swet and he thought he was better until about 11 oclock he told that he was bound to die for there was no help for him and he started on to overtake his wagons and we had a chance to git another doctor but he said it was the same story. He told us that he could not be saved but he said he would give us some medicine that would help him if anything would. So we gave it to him.