Journal of Western Travel
by John McTurk Gibson
edited by Weldon Hoppe
July 4th, 1859 -- We ushered in the morning of the glorious 4th with a few vollies of small arms,
and then commenced an arduous drive of 15 miles over a dry, barren and alkali region destitute
of both grass and water. Shortly after starting one of our wagon-tires came off, and delayed us
considerably, fixing leathers on the ends of the spokes, and between the felloes, then cutting
sagebrush, heating and setting the tire. We finished the job however, and reached Little Sandy
about 2 o'clock P.M. nearly exhausted for want of water, what we did use being so brackish that
it only aggravated instead of allaying thirst.
We expect to lay over here tomorrow and rest our cattle. This is the dryest 4th I have ever passed since I came to the country and what made it
tenfold worse to bear was the consciousness that so many thousands over the length and breadth
of the land were sipping the sweets of enjoyment while we were toiling, sweating and
floundering on glad to stretch our wearied limbs under the shade of some friendly bush and catch
a refreshing nap, instead of the fuss, the preparation, the excitement and the pleasure of facing
our partners in the lively dance, then footing it gaily on the light fantastic toe. So wags the world.
What is pleasure wanting pain?
Travelled 16 miles without water to the Little Sandy, a stream one rod wide and two feet deep. We had intended laying over to day but had no feed. We reached here at 2 o'clock. We set tire and done some other choirs. We had a wild goose, but lo and behold when the cook got it to cook it had turned green and our stomachs not craving greens, Mr. Goose was thrown in the creeks. We had a few tunes on the violin and stag dances and a few discharges from our fire arms this evening. We have good feed here, it being the first since leaving Sweet Water. We intend staying here a day or two. It has been quite warm today. This creek is quite rily, it favours the Platt water.
Copyright © 1997 Weldon Hoppe