Mile 1113: Big Sandy

“After a long stage of twenty-nine miles we made Big Sandy Creek, an important influent of the Green River; the stream, then shrunken, was in breadth not less than five rods, each = 16.5 feet, running with a clear, swift current through a pretty little prairillon, bright with the blue lupine, the delicate pink malvacea, the golden helianthus, purple aster acting daisy, the white mountain heath, and the green Asclepias tuberosa, a weed common throughout Utah Territory. The Indians, in their picturesque way, term this stream Wagahongopa, or the Glistening Gravel Water.

[Note: Asclepias tuberosa, “Locally called milkweed. The whites use the silky cotton of the pods, as in Arabia, for bed-stuffings, and the Sioux Indians of the Upper Platte boil and eat the young pods with their buffalo flesh. Colonel Fremont asserts that he never saw this plant without remarking ‘on the flower a large butterfly, so nearly resembling it in color as to be distinguishable at a little distance only by the motion of its wings.'”