Our Vantage Points
First Stop: Three Island Crossing

Promontory First Stop

Utah Journal
Monday evening, April 26, 2004
"We lost 2 of our men, Ayres and Stringer.  Ayres got into trouble with his mules in crossing the stream.  Stringer, who was about thirty, went to his relief, and both were drowned in sight of their women folks.  The bodies were never recovered."
-- From the journal of Samuel Hancock, Oregon Trail emigrant.
This is but one of the human tragedies played out here at Three Island Crossing more than 150 years ago.   This crossing was the choice of about half the Oregon bound emigrants, those who wanted to stop first at Ft. Boise before continuing on to Oregon.

We are camping tonight at this historic spot, now an Idaho State Park, on the right bank of the Snake River.   This place has become our favorite one-night stop when traveling this way.   It's just 65 miles southeast of Boise, Idaho.   Except for the distant whistle of a modern railroad locomotive and faint highway traffic 2 miles away, all is peaceful.   The splashing of men, wagons and animals has been reduced to the faint echoes of history.  It is quiet enough to hear the occasional croak of a frog or the honking of geese.  All is well tonight at Three Island Crossing.
"Husband had considerable difficulty crossing the cart.  Both the cart and the mules were capsized in the water and the mules entangled in the harness.  They would have drowned, but for a desperate struggle to get them ashore.  Then after putting two of the strongest horses before the cart and two men swimming behind to steady it, they succeeded in getting it over."
-- Narcissa Whitman

...  just echoes.
     Dick and Mary
         and motion sick Appy.


This was transmitted the following day from my mobile amateur radio station, W7DHS, using "Winlink 2000," the Amateur Radio e-mail link to the internet.
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