August 28th

Sorry this one is longish, but Narcissa is so happy for the journey to be ending that I had a hard time leaving her words out!

Aug 28th “After dinner we left the plains & ascended the Blue Mountains. There a new & pleasing scene presented itself, mountains covered with timber thorough which we rode all the afternoon, a very agreeable change, the scenery reminded me of the hills in my native county Steuben.”

Aug 29th “Had a continuation of the same scenery as yesterday afternoon. ….. Here I frequently met old acquaintances, in the trees & flowers, & was not a little delighted. The singing of birds, the woods, all had a strong resemblance to bygone days. But this scene was of short duration. Only one day. Before noon we began to descend one of the most terrible mountains for steepness & length I have yet seen. It as like winding stairs in its decent & in some places almost perpendicular. We were a long time descending it. The horses appeared to dread the hill as much as we did. They would turn & wind in a zigzag manner all the way down.” Remember, Narcissa was riding sidesaddle!

“We were late in making camp tonight. After ascending the mountain immediately after dinner, we kept upon the main divide until sunset, looking in vain for water and a camping place. While upon this elevation, we had a view of the valley of the Columbia river. It was beautiful. Beyond the valley we could see two distant Mountains, Mount Hood & Mount St. Helens. The beauty of this extensive valley contrasted well with the rolling mountains behind us, & at this hour of twilight, was enchanting & quite diverted my mind from the fatigue under which I was laboring.”

“Dearest Mother let me tell you how I am sustained of the Lord in all this journey. Yesterday & for two or three days past I have felt weak restless and scarcely able to sit on my horse yesterday in particular.” (Narcissa may not have realized it yet, but she was about two months pregnant and perhaps her symptoms were evidence of that condition and not just fatigue.) Today she felt better “If I had had no better health today than yesterday, I should have fainted under it. Then the promise appeared in full view, ‘as thy days is, so shall thy strength be, & my soul rejoyced.”

31st “Came to Walla W. river, within eight miles of the fort. Both Husband & myself very much exhausted with the fatigue of this day’s lengthy ride. Sandy most of the way, and no water for many miles.

Sept. 1 “ You can better imagine our feelings this morning than I can describe them. I could not realized that the end of our long journey was so near. ….. If you could have seen us now you would have been surprised, for both man & beast galloped almost all the way to the Fort. The first appearance of civilization we saw was the garden, two miles this side of the Fort. The fatigues of the long journey seemed to be forgotten in the excitement of being so near the close.”

They arrived at the fort and were greeted warmly, “seated in cushioned armed chairs”, given breakfast, then shown a room: “I’m so well pleased with the possession of a room to shelter us from the scorching sun that I scarcely noticed” a large cannon behind the door.

“At four o’clock we were call’d to dine. It consisted of pork, potatoes, beats, cabbage, turnips, tea bread & butter, my favourite dinner & much like the last dinner I eat with Mother Loomis”
Sep 3rd “About noon Mr. & Mrs Spaulding arrived with their company, having made better progress than was anticipated. Here we all are at W W. through the mercy of a king Providence in health & all our lives preserved. What cause for gratitude & praise to God.”

Narcissa was now repacking her belongings for a 300 mile boat ride to Vancouver. Marcus was going and as long as it was not on horseback, she wanted to go along.…/histor…/the-many-fort-walla-wallas.htm

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