Polly Lavinia Coon
Journal of a Journey Over the Rocky Mountains
March 29th 1852. Started from the town of Lima Rock Co. Wis. on our long contemplated journey to seek a home on the Pacific coast, in the territory of Oregon. Passed through Janesville to the town of Plymouth where we struck our camp for the first time, & found that we had truly left all comfort behind at least as far as the weather is concerned. But all are in health & spirits seeming determined to manufacture as much comfort as possible from what material we have.
April 8th. We traveled yesterday 16 miles and camped on a vast prairie in Lafayette Co [Iowa] where nothing but land & sky were to be seen save one little log house . But to make up the absence of other interesting matter we found a wedding party assembled in the aforesaid "log house."
11th [May] Traveled near about 16 miles & camped again on a large Prarie [sic] near a beautiful spring which we consider a great treat After getting our tents pitched & supper nearly in readiness a heavy thunder shower struck us & we were nearly drenched b succeeded in keeping our beds tolerable dry.
11th [July] We have a beautiful camping ground on the bank of the s. Water [Sweetwater]. Clumps of willows thickly tangled with gooseberry & wild Rose whose perfume is sweet as "Home" are scattered along its banks.