The first company of Mormon pioneers to leave Winter Quarters lived according to basic rules that were established by Brigham Young. The pioneers were told that they should stay close together while traveling. Everyone was to work hard and help take care of the animals. Their day was to begin at 5 A.M. when a bugle call awoke them. They were to eat, feed the teams, and be prepared to move on by 7 A.M. The pioneers were instructed to walk beside their wagons and to always have a loaded gun in hand or within easy reach. At night the wagons were driven into a circle, with the horses and stock tied inside the circle. Everyone was to be in bed by 9 P.M. except for those on guard duty. This calendar notes a few of the daily events that occurred and the number of miles traveled during May on that pioneer journey. The entire journey can be followed on the April, May, June, and July 1984 calendars of the Friend.

Pioneer Trek

May

1

First buffalo seen and hunted for food (18 miles)

2

Sabbath Day; Joseph Hancock returned to camp after being lost (2 miles)

3

Forges set up to shoe horses and repair wagons (no miles)

4

Traders agreed to carry mail back to Council Bluffs (9 miles)

5

Because of prairie fires, forded river to safety of island (9 miles)

6

Rain put out most of the prairie fires; little grass left for cattle (15 miles)

7

Brigham Young’s spyglass, lost previous day, found (7 miles)

8

Prairie black with herds of buffalo (11.5 miles)

9

Sabbath Day; traveled to find wood and water (3.5 miles)

10

Grass burned so that new grass would grow for future emigrants (10 miles)

11

Dug two wells to obtain water (8.5 miles)

12

Device for precise measuring of distance traveled used for first time (12 miles)

13

River with bed of quicksand crossed (11 miles)

14

Travel through sand hills was slow and difficult (9 miles)

15

Continued winding travel through sand hills (7 miles)

16

Sabbath Day; erected guidepost 356 3/4 miles from Winter Quarters (no miles)

17

Found good grazing land and water; three buffalo shot (13 miles)

18

Brigham Young counseled men to shoot animals only as needed for food (16 miles)

19

Heber C. Kimball was surrounded by wolves but was unharmed (8 miles)

20

Some crossed Platte River to visit Ash Hollow, a resting place on Oregon Trail (16 miles)

21

Found large leg bone of mammoth (15.5 miles)

22

At night danced and held a mock trial (15.5 miles)

23

Sabbath Day; Nathaniel Fairbanks bitten by rattlesnake and lived (no miles)

24

Friendly Sioux Indians visited pioneers (16.5 miles)

25

Passed Courthouse Rock and Jail Rock; traded with Indians (12 miles)

26

Passed Chimney Rock, considered the halfway point in journey (12 miles)

27

Trail led through majestic and sublime rock formations (14 miles)

28

Prickly pear cactus fruit picked and eaten (11.5 miles)

29

Brigham Young refused to continue on unless spirit and attitude in camp improved (8.5 miles)

30

Sabbath Day; special prayer meeting held (no miles)

31

Crossed future stateline of Wyoming; camped by stream (17 miles)