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Journal of Western Travel

by John McTurk Gibson
edited by Weldon Hoppe
May 19th, 1859 -- We started this morning from near Elm Creek, had a nice cool morning and pleasant roads, till about the middle of the forenoon, when my wagon got settled in a marshy piece of country about a mile wide. All hands except the drivers took hold of 100 cwt of flour each and put for dry land, the team managed the balance easily, the other boys happened to get through first rate. About noon we reached Clear Creek, a distance of eight miles, the road delightful, skirting the Platte all the way. There is no timber on the Platte, save on the islands, which are covered with cottonwood and red cedar, the latter looks cool and pleasant at a distance, some of the company sighted a wolf, another some geese but did not succeed in killing either, the large train is now ahead of us, but we can always start one hour earlier than they can, and I have already learned by noting their movements, that a man with small number of work cattle, has no business in such a crowd, the torment and vexation, occasioned by the insubordination of his cattle in such a mixed multitude, would put me crazy in a week. I would ten times rather make the trip singly and alone. I believe we have come 18 miles today, and the whole bottom so far may be regarded as a complete Eden.

Travelled some sixteen miles. We are camped by the river. We crossed Silver Creek, it is eight miles west of Elem, it is one of the prettiest streams I have ever saw in the west. It is about fifteen feet in width and some three inches in depth, some places deeper and not so wide. This Platt Valley is certainly one of the nicest in the world. Wood is scarce all the wood along this river is on the islands as a general thing, these islands are scattered all along the river about a part.

Copyright © 1997 Weldon Hoppe
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