Antoine of Oregon - James Otis

Hunger and Thirst

From Marsh Creek we journeyed to Goose Creek, a distance of seventeen miles, earning by most severe labor every yard of advance and failing to find water during the entire day. That part of the country yielded no grass for the animals, and when we made camp at night we took good care to see that every beast was hobbled so securely that he could not stray very far in search of food.

The next day's march ended at Rock Creek, and although the traveling was quite as hard for beasts and men, we made twenty-four miles, urged to most severe exertions because our store of food was being consumed rapidly. I knew we could not hope to find game and therefore we must go hungry until arriving at the trading post on the Snake River known as Fort Boise, while the animals would have great difficulty in finding grass. The country was stripped as bare of green as though a fire had passed over it, and many were the distressing tales I could have told of emigrants who had perished miserably by starvation while trying to make this portion of the long journey.

We left Rock Creek a full hour before daylight, urging the famished beasts at their best pace while we ourselves strove not to think of food lest the hunger which beset us should become more keen. Not until forty-two miles had been traversed did I give the word to encamp, and it was full time, for I question if we could have held on half an hour longer.