After his and the other travelers’ dramatic crossing of the Black Fork River, Mr. Johnson picked up his tale the next morning …

“On the 24th, on the banks of the Black Fork River, I was up making ready to move on. While getting my own breakfast I allowed my cattle free range of grass and then a feed of grain. I left camp about six o’clock; it was a fine morning as I left the Black Fork River, and having a good trail I went on my way with merry glee.

“About eleven o’clock we came to some good water where we stopped; I gave water and grain to my cattle and took a dish of cold coffee myself; this was all I cared for. I did not stop long and as my journey continued the road grew rougher. About three o’clock in the afternoon I met a train of six teams. I stopped and passed the compliments of the day, saying, ‘Gentlemen, where are you from and where going?’ ‘We are from Kansas and have not decided finally where to locate. We started, however, for Oregon, but it is a long road, and a rough one at that. Stranger, where are you from and where are you bound to?’ ‘I am from Ogden and going East.’ ‘How far East, we would like to know, stranger?’ ‘I can’t say for certainty, no more than you, but should I have luck, I may go as far as Massachusetts.’ ‘Massachusetts, the devil you are, that is almost the jumping-off place.’ ‘How far have you come today?’ ‘We have come from Green River City, about twelve miles I think.’ ‘How far is it to water?’ ‘About three miles, I should think.’ … After bidding each other goodbye, we went on.

“On coming to water, I gave my cattle water and grain and concluded to camp here for the night. My surroundings look rough, and not a house in sight. I gathered some sagebrush for fuel, made a good, rousing fire, got supper and made everything ready for the night. As I lay on my bed, to the right of me, I heard the whistle of an engine, then I knew that we were not far from the railroad. After a time, I was lost in a sound sleep.”

to be continued …