On August 9, 1846, a group of nearly 100 wagons headed out of Fort Hall to try the new route. In September,
that wagon train left the Humboldt River and headed across the Black Rock Desert. The trail harsh and
inadequately surveyed. The leading wagons were delayed by the need to chop their way through trees and
underbrush that had not been cleared. The journey was miserable with mountains, marshes, sinks, and barren
streches of desert.
They continued on and the rains came. Wagons bogged down in the mud while they struggled on. Food was scarce.
Wagons that had fallen to the rear of the column; which by this time was stretched out in small groups over
more than 50 miles; were in such sorry shape that when they reached the valley of the Rogue River, they rested
there until the winter rains set in and forced them to move on.
The plight of these stragglers eventually became known to the settlers in the valley, and a pack train was sent
to meet them. They met the emigrants at the North Umpqua River on November 14th and led them safely to the
Willamette Valley. About a dozen emigrant families were trapped in the valley of the Umpqua River until
January or February, when they were able to resume the journey with their wagons and surviving livestock.