In June the pioneers switched to the south side of the Platte River and followed the Oregon Trail. They had been traveling the north side of the Platte to avoid competing for grass, wood, and water with the many other groups who took the Oregon Trial. However, when the terrain became too difficult, the pioneers were forced to ford the river to its south side.

The Oregon Trail was used by many groups traveling west, including a number of people from Missouri. Occasionally the pioneers recognized some of the men as those who had persecuted them in Missouri. The pioneers did not associate much with these groups, but on occasion the travelers did help one another. For example, Burr Frost of the Mormon company set up his forge and repaired wagons for the Missourians more than once. The Mormons also contracted to ferry Missouri groups across the Platte River. The Missourians, in turn, often provided meals and a place to sleep for wandering members of the Mormon group who didn’t make it back to their own camp before dark. These incidents of kindness improved the feelings between the two groups.

Pioneer trek

June

1

Fort Laramie sighted; met Mississippi Mormons who had wintered in Pueblo (12 miles)

2

Obtained flatboat at Fort Laramie to ferry wagons across Platte River (no miles)

3

Ferried most of the wagons across Platte River (no miles)

4

Finished crossing Platte River; 17 Saints from Pueblo joined company (8.5 miles)

5

Trail become crooked, uneven, and steep; washed clothes in warm springs (17 miles)

6

Sabbath; moved on after meetings in order to reach water next day (5 miles)

7

Worked to level trail for themselves and those who would follow (13 miles)

8

Harriet Crow’s leg and foot run over by wagon, but no bones were broken (15.5 miles)

9

Some men sent ahead to build raft and prepare for next crossing of Platte River (19 miles)

10

Many fish caught in stream near camp; rich bed of coal discovered (18 miles)

11

Eight antelope killed; camped near Missourian companies (17 miles)

12

Ferried Missourian company across Platte River in trade for food (11 miles)

13

Sabbath; after meetings camp prepared to cross Platte River (no miles)

14

Crossing river more difficult than expected; some wagons damaged (no miles)

15

Ferrying of wagons slow because of strong winds; one horse drowned (no miles)

16

Started building boat to ferry future companies of wagons across river (no miles)

17

Finished crossing; spent night ferrying two Missouri companies across river (no miles)

18

Nine men chosen to stay behind and operate ferry for other emigrants (no miles)

19

Animals in good shape after delay at ferry (21 miles)

20

Sabbath; moved on because of bad water and treacherous mires (20 miles)

21

Found good water and grass at Sweetwater River; crossed river (15 miles)

22

Missourians carried load when Lorenzo Young’s wagon broke down (21 miles)

23

Sand made traveling difficult; mountain snow-covered (17 miles)

24

Started early to reach good campsite; Brigham Young’s horse accidently shot (18 miles)

25

Came upon bank of snow; some enjoyed snowballing each other (19 miles)

26

Made note of good campsites; cold because of surrounding snow (18 miles)

27

Sabbath; crossed Continental Divide; three years since martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith (15 miles)

28

Visited with mountaineer Jim Bridger and discussed trail ahead (15 miles)

29

Many suffer from fever; traveled long hours to find grass for cattle (24 miles)

30

Samuel Brannan arrived from Pacific coast to meet with Saints (8 miles)