Mile 1020: Icy Slough

“The road continually crossed and recrossed the conspicuous ruts left by the caravans which at this point had saved weary miles by cutting off a bend in the river. Men and women both, and especially children, here had looked forward with a the keenest anticipation to the hour they would spend at Icy Slough.

We have many descriptions of the place, for inevitably it proved a diversion. Delano wrote that they here encountered a ‘morass, perhaps a mile in length by half a mile in breadth. Some of the boys, thinking that water could easily be obtained, took a spade, and going out on the wild grass, commenced digging. About a foot from the surface, instead of water, they struck a beautiful layer of ice, five or six inches in thickness.’ . . . 

Companies planned to noon there for the sake of genuine enjoyment afforded. The travelers could use a little diversion; and, as a morale booster, Icy Slough, the last of the trail landmarks that everyone must pass, had few equals.”