July 1, 1853

Friday July 1st. Made quite an early start again. “Independence Rock” 2 miles ahead. Struck Sweet Water River 1 mile before we reached the rock. This rock is another curiosity. It is about 300 yrds. long, by 100 yrds wide and about 100 feet high. It is composed of beautiful white granite, and was named by a party of Americans passing it on the 4th of July, who chose the top of this rock and held their celebrations. Before leaving it they inscribed this name upon it with each of their names under that. There are upwards of several hundred names inscribed on the top and sides of it. All have a curiosity to climb to its top. It is situated on the north side of Sweet Water River. The northwest end is shaped like a dome, rather broken at the top, but it gradually slopes off to the ground which is level all around it. We forded the river 1 mile above the rock. Four miles farther is the “Devil’s Gate” at the right of the road. This is one of the greatest among the many curiosities of nature. The river here runs through perpendicular rocks about 300 feet high in a channel from 50 to 80 feet wide. These rocks are granite also. Upon looking at this it would seem that it had been made expressly for that purpose by the blowing and blasting of many months; but not so, it is the great, the wondrous work of nature. The road here passes around the point of the mountain between two cliffs of rocks and strikes the river again. One-half mile ahead is a small creek. The road follows up the river 26 miles. Plenty of grass and water, fuel sage, camped in this distance. Traveled 18 miles to-day.

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