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Journal of Western Travel

by John McTurk Gibson
edited by Weldon Hoppe
July 23rd, 1859 -- A few miles brought us to Brigham City, quite a lively settlement, got some butter cheese, dried beef and onions, as well as some other eatables, prices here are butter 30c, cheese 25c, dried beef 40c, sugar 50c, coffee 50c, tea $2.00 to $2.50 per lb. We passed a great many springs today, one cold water spring in particular, the largest I ever saw. We also crossed a boiling creek formed from a number of hot springs above. We are now camped for the second time on the banks of Bear River, said to be 80 miles north of the City. The river here is twice as large as it was where we crossed it before, nothing singular transpired today save that the ground in many places was alive, crickets as large as my thumb, all chirping and flouncing about. The Indians are said to be very fond of them, cricket hunting appears to be natural with them, here is the modus operandi: A hole is dug in the ground, then Indians, Squaws and Papooses go round and drive them with brush into the hole, heap on wood, then roast and feast. I don't admire the dish much myself. It blows a perfect hurricane and looks like rain.

We travelled 17 miles. We are camped on Bear River. This is on the frontier settlements of the Mormons. The majority of the Mormon buildings are formed of unburned brick, there is so much izingglass, or something else, the clay will not burn to do enny good. This valley soil does not assume a good appearance, yet they say 40 bushels of wheat is nothing more than an average per acre. Oats grow about the same as the States. Corn grows very poor. Potatoes grow well. The valley is very nice. Irogation has to be attended to all through the valley. Salt Lake, we were told, is 900 miles in circumference. The wheat is short but well headed. From the city to Bear River, it is 80 miles. We passed an excellent spring this afternoon. It runs about 12 in. deep by 36 in. in width.

Copyright © 1997 Weldon Hoppe
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