Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Heritage Trail: Pioneer Path part 1

I'd never thought much beyond the 1847 Utah arrival besides knowing that the pioneers showed up somehow at This is the Place.  But the pioneers had quite a journey down canyons and over mountains to get to that point, and this past weekend we had the unusual opportunity to tour some of those sites with Connie Bauer, a local expert and family friend.  

Bringing along our list of pioneer companies, we thought of our many ancestors who had made this trek in much less comfort than our climate-controlled vehicle. In particular, Addison Everett was part of Brigham Young's vanguard company.

In choosing their route long ago, as Parleys Canyon was as-yet impassable, the Donner party had done some scouting and determined that coming through Echo Canyon and down through Henefer, East Canyon, and Big Mountain Pass would be the best route into the valley. Later pioneer groups followed this route, although some chose instead to pay Parley Pratt's $1 toll when he cleared that route. After 1869, the railroad helped to speed the journey up.
Echo Canyon off of I-80
We started in Echo Canyon, learning about the fortifications built there for Johnston's Army;
ancestor John Cottam was stationed there for a month during the siege
This is also where the train tracks came through 
our original travel group grew in size throughout the day
and we suffered just like those early Saints
yet enjoyed my birthday excursion!
Pony Express stations 
The site of prayers for Brigham Young's health and recovery;
the group hiked up to Sentinel Rock in the background 

what was supposed to be the view over the valley at Big Mountain
Camp Grant, where the pioneers and their animals
 rested up for a couple days before the final push over Little Mountain
Little Mountain--location of Mary Fielding Smith's triumphal climb
and vanquishing arrival before Cornelius Lott
Still to come: Emigration Canyon and the arrival point!  A journey for a future day.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to go! I had many pioneer ancestors that also followed the Mormon trail from Council Bluffs, Iowa to Salt Lake City. I am more excited than ever to check out the route!