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.
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.