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Journal of Western Travel

by John McTurk Gibson
edited by Weldon Hoppe
July 12th, 1859 -- What is now called Fort Bridger, was formerly a trading post owned by one Bridger, whom the Mormons bought out and built some stone houses, cultivating several farms about 10 miles up the river. The Mormons evacuated the premises on the approach of the U.S. troops who took possession and are now improving it. 8 miles from the Fort we come to some nice springs and plenty of feed. We were here regaled with another pretty severe rainstorm. 4 miles further we dove right down into a deep ravine, up this we again climbed to the summit of another mountain. Coming up the ravine we passed two springs about 200 yards apart, one clear, pure, cool sparkling water, the other looking just as well, but so strongly impregnated with soda that we couldn't drink it. Some of the boys who had missed the other got badly fooled here having imbibed all they wanted before they discovered their mistake. We have driven about 20 miles today and are now camped on a regular backbone of a place, nearly if not altogether half a mile from water for cooking purposes, there is any amount of grass however.

Travelled 20 miles. 8 miles from Bridger is a spring, 12 from Bridger is Big Muddy, 4 from Muddy is Soda Springs. It runs clear and tastes of soda. There is another about 25 yards from this called Salt Spring. It runs clear tastes of salt. I think it comes from iron ore. We find a clay soil from Bridger and good grass and some steep hills.

Copyright © 1997 Weldon Hoppe
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