Thursday May 30, 1850
Route: Crossed over South Pass (Wyoming)
Approximate Miles Traveled:
GPS Latitude: 42° 22.738′ N; Longitude: 108° 55.288′ W
Elevation: 7,618 ft
Notes about this post: It is not possible to drive to John’s exact location, but these coordinates are on his trail. On the east side of South Pass (the Continental Divide) there is a small place called Atlantic City, and on the west side there is a place called Pacific Springs. It is no accident that these are named in this way. Water on the east side of the divide flows toward the Atlantic Ocean and water on the west side flows toward the Pacific Ocean. The emigrants always looked carefully at which direction the water was flowing in the streams when they neared this area as evidence of when they actually crossed the Continental Divide. Sometimes they paused and celebrated. The “pass’ is actually about 20 miles wide and not everyone crossed at exactly at the same spot. Today, wagon wheel ruts (or tracks) are still clearly visible as the trail winds west. They look similar to the unimproved road tracks that cars and trucks make when traveling overland, but these marks were actually made by the wagons. The ground is so dry and hard-packed that the tracks still remain clearly visible.
May the 30 th we Passed the summit or dividing Ridge of the Rocky Mountains had a very heavy frost that night.