“The road leading west from Fort Laramie was anathema to the overloaded Argonauts, for it marked the beginning of the Black Hills, whose low, rough summits shouldered the sky just ahead. The travelers . . . were tired and (in cholera years) badly frightened. Their sense of values had changed. things that had been great treasures when they were carefully packed for transportation to the new land, were now only extra weight wearing out the suddenly precious draught animals. . . .
Excess supplies of food were thrown away here too. The wagon masters had repacked at Fort Laramie, but it took the pressure of actual present necessity to key them up to the wholesale abandonment that was now in progress.