Journal of Western Travel
by John McTurk Gibson
edited by Weldon Hoppe
May 11th, 1859 -- Talk about your eastern rainstorms, they sink in utter insignificance when compared with what can be got up on short notice along the Platte. The lightning flashed almost simultaneous with the clashing, deafening, reverberating reports of heavens artillery. The wind howled up a perfect tornado, leveling one tent in company, and forcing the inmates to scamper in their shirt-tails and seek shelter in ours, which was strained in every stitch to the utmost tension, but with commendable promptness, every man sprang to his feet at the first onset manned the ridgepole, and stood his port, till the extreme violence of the tempest was abated, and then the windows of heaven were opened and the rain descended much in the same way while it lasted, as it did in old Captain Noah's time. In fact I never recollect seeing it rain any harder. This morning on starting we met a man on horseback making all haste back, and about noon we met another in pursuit who stated that the horse was stolen, he meant to bring him back dead or alive, and I don't doubt it a bit, there was a fixed determination written on his countenance, which plainly indicated that he was just such a man as would shoot, if the other didn't come to an anchor right suddenly, when called upon to stop. Today we have had a trying time for the timid, having met 43 teams on the back track, bringing all kinds of reports but we have now ceased to give credence to anything at all connected with the mines, and are resolved to see it through.
Travelled some ten miles. We are encamped close by two good springs. This part of the country is quite rolling, this is the first day that enny of the Peak emigrants were met by us on their return, save three teams. To day we met forty-three teams.
Copyright © 1997 Weldon Hoppe