“The 1st of August found us among a range of sand hills which announced our approach to the valley of the Platte. These were a succession of knolls and ridges from thirty to sixty feet high. Amid their defiles our wheels sunk deep in the sand, and we frequently doubled teams in order to get through. From these we came to the broad, level bottom of the river, which was marked by numerous wooded islands. . . .
“Our route was about a mile from the shore, which we were unable to approach nearer on account of numerous ‘sloos,’ as the ‘Pikers’ [Missourians] call marshy creeks, which extended from the river.”