The following is Chapter Thirty-Seven of my story about a pair of free black siblings making the journey to California in 1849:
Chapter Thirty-Seven - Disappointment on the Trail
September 14, 1849
Ten days have passed since we had parted from the old wagon company. Unfortunately, we have yet to find a new source of water. The amount in my wagon's barrel has become perilously low. I can only assume I can say the same for the other wagons.
Judging from the expressions on everyone's faces - save for Mr. Mr. Goodwin - our wagon members are beginning to regret breaking away from the old company. I thought I was alone. But even Lisette is beginning grumble at her decision to take this cutoff to California.
September 17, 1849
Regret within the company's ranks is slowly transforming sheer disappointment. After all this effort to avoid the Forty-Mile Desert, the wagon company finds itself traveling through a desert since yesterday. I have no idea what it is called. We finally managed to find water from a nearby stream, but it proved to be brackish and barely drinkable. Recalling our experiences along the Humboldt River, we ended up boiling the water before drinking it.
Mr. Goodwin tried to rally the wagon party and remind us that this new route will get us to California faster than the trail going through the Sierra Nevadas. I had the distinct feeling that no one was in the mood to embrace this speech.
September 19, 1849
The Goodwin Wagon Company finally reached Antelope Springs. I wish I could say that it provided us with plentiful water. But I cannot. Instead, we found seeps of water . . . but barely enough to get us through the next body of water. I think. I have the oddest feeling that no one, let alone Peter Lassen was thinking when this route was created.
End of Chapter Thirty-Seven