… continuing with Mr. Johnson’s tale from the previous post …

“I left the ranch near Emory on the 16th, and made Evanston, a distance of twenty-six miles. I was up early as usual, feeding and getting ready to move forward. My friend of the ranch came to the barn and we bade each other good morning. ‘You find your cattle all here, I suppose?’ ‘Yes, sir, and doing well. I have fed them with hay.’ ‘You will find grain in that box, give them all you dare; you must keep them well, or fail in your undertaking.’ ‘I carry grain.’ ‘You do, then you are all right; put the grain into them. Our breakfast is ready. I told my wife that you would like to start early.’ We went into the house and partook of a good breakfast.

“As I was about to leave them I said, ‘We have all been well cared for, and are now ready to go on. Since leaving California, many times have we been well entertained, but your hospitality stands ahead of any. Yours was entirely voluntary. I have asked and received many times, but you did not give me a chance to ask; that is where there is a difference. I wish I could have an opportunity to do the same for you.’

“After bidding each other goodbye, I moved on my journey toward Evanston, leaving the railroad on my left. In reaching this town I passed but one station, Wahsatch, which is a telegraph station. Its location is desolate, being on a high elevation, cold and windy. The road to this station from the west is of a very heavy grade. Trains labor hard in making it; its elevation is six thousand eight hundred and seventy-nine feet above the level of the sea. The highway is good, and about 5:00 p.m. I reached Evanston. Driving up to near the depot, I stopped at a livery stable and inquired for the proprietor, who came and asked what he could do for me. ‘I am traveling and would like to get my cattle out of the wind for the night. That shed would answer my purpose, if you will consent to it?’ ‘Yes, sir, I will consent.’ ‘Will you sell me some hay for my cattle?’ ‘Hay is very scarce with me. I ought to have gone for some today, but being so windy and cold, I did not go. Your cattle must have some; I will go up [in the loft] and throw some down. When there is enough, call out.’ I did so when he had put down a liberal supply. I have now to feed strong on grain as I cannot depend on hay or grass. ‘Which way are you traveling?’ asked the livery man. ‘I am going East.’ ‘Where are you from?’ ‘I left Ogden last Monday morning.’ ‘You came from Ogden since last Monday, with that cow?’ ‘I have, sir.’ ‘That is a big story to tell; you look as though you ought to tell the truth. From Ogden to this place is three days; you have traveled more than eighty miles — yes, eighty-five. It is seventy-six by railroad, and your road around the foothills of the valley is more than that distance. Then you are from Ogden, where in the name of God are you going to?’ ‘I am going to Green River City, and when I get there I am going to Laramie and so on to Omaha, and thus on to Massachusetts.’ ‘Are you the man that is on his way from California with a horse, carriage, cow, and a little dog? I read about him in the papers a while ago.’ ‘I think I must be the man; I am sure I am.’

“[He continued,] ‘You are early to travel East, over the mountains; I do not think you can ford the rivers, they are already high and will be higher.’ ‘I am told there are two roads to Green River City, one to follow the railroad, the other take the old emigrant road.’ ‘If I were in your boots going to Green River City, I would take the old Emigrant Trail every time. It is the best, traveled the most, and the shortest.’ ‘How about fording the rivers?’ ‘They are high at this time, but will be higher before you get through.’ ‘Are there more rivers one way than the other?’ ‘No. Either way, you will have the same rivers and the same road a part of the way.’ ‘There is Bear River to begin with. How about that one?’ ‘It is the best river to ford on your whole route: a good hard bottom and no rocks.’ ‘Is it a broad river?’ ‘Yes, it is. That makes it much better to ford. If it were narrow, the water would be much deeper and a much stronger current. When do you leave here?’ ‘Tomorrow morning.’ ‘On the morrow, I will harness up and drive my team to the river and across. You follow me closely, then you will be all right for the next river.'”

Tomorrow: crossing the Bear River …