Day 47 of William John Clarke’s Westward Journey

The following is an excerpt from the diary kept by WJ Clarke as he traveled by wagon train from Illinois to the California gold diggings in 1849. One hundred and sixty-six years ago today…

May 12, 1849

Started on the west of Crab Creek. I was much surprised to see the remains of what is called the Bluff Ruins. The bluffs here bears the most picturesque appearance of anything I ever saw. They rise like large cities above the flat to the height of from twenty-five to four hundred feet. They are all shapes, some form a cone and others of every description. We today crossed the beds of several dry creeks, from four to twenty rods wide. Passed several emigrants wagons left on the way. We are now in sight of Chimney Rock, one-fourth to one-half mile from our camp.

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