Mailbag Monday: John R. Shinn Journal, Vol. 4

Covering July 1st- 15th. John is in central Wyoming throughout. Trouble crossing the Platte and unforgiving terrain made this leg of the journey a bit slower for him and you can see in several posts where they went less than 20 miles in a day.

"July 1 Traveled 23 and a half miles. Passed 16 graves. Camped on LaBonte River. Plenty of wood, and water, but very little feed, weather good.

July 2nd Traveled 18 miles. Camped on a small creek near La Prele River. Found a spring of good water, plenty of wood but very little feed. Passed 10 graves, weather good.

July 3rd Traveled 12 miles over a rough country. Camped on the Prairie near the North fork of the Platte. Passed 6 graves. Found pretty good feed, no wood, nor water near. Weather good.

July 4th Traveled 7 miles to Deer Creek thence up the creek about 5 miles to camp on account [of] scarcity of feed at the place where we first struck it. Found tolerable good feed, wood and water. Passed 2 graves. Weather good.

July 5th Laid by to rest teams and wash. Weather pleasant.

July 6th Left camp on Deer Creek, came down to the Platte River and camped.

July 7th Stayed in camp on the Platte River waiting to cross. Weather pleasant.

July 8th Still in camp. Unable to cross on account of high wind.

July 9th Cross[ed] the River on scows and traveled 10 miles. Camped on Platte. Plenty of wood and water but very little feed. Weather good.

July 10th Traveled 17 miles. Camped in a ravine. Pretty good grass, some wood, no water nearer than the Platte one mile off. Weather dry and windy.

July 11th Traveled 14 miles over a rough road to what is called the Mineral Spring. This water is called poison to stock. We then went 5 miles south to the Platte and camped. Passed 1 grave.

July 12th Traveled 22 and a half miles over a barren country. Passed 33 head of dead cattle, 4 left to die, 5 dead horses and 2 left to die. Camped on a small creek south [of] the road. Plenty of water, some grass, no wood. Weather dry and windy.

July 13th Traveled 21 and a half miles over a dry and barren country. Passed 2 graves, quite a number of dead cattle and a few horses [and] 1 mule left to die. Camped on the Sweet Water River at the upper end of the Devil's Gate. This [is] a curiosity worth the traveler's notice. It is a gap through which the river runs through the mountain, the wall of each side is more than one hundred feet of almost perpendicular rock. Weather dry and windy.

July 14th Traveled about 5 miles off from the road the foot of the mountain and camped, it being Sunday. Found good feed and water but no wood. Passed 2 graves, passed several dead cattle, and a few horses.

July 15th Traveled 10 and a half miles. Passed 2 graves. Camped on the Sweet Water River. Plenty of good water, some feed and plenty of wood by carrying it from the mountain. Weather dry and windy."


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