170 years ago today - Jul 16, 1849

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal]
I left Mr Eldridge & shouldered my travelling bag & walked and walked 7 miles to M C Cor-rells & waited 3 Hours for the Stage to go to St Johns. When it came along it was loaded down & Could not take me.

Here I was 42 miles from St Johns on foot & no Conveyance with A Heavy travelling bag with A vast burning forest to go through. I did not stop to meditate or complain of my situation but swung my carpet bag over my shoulder again & started on my journey on foot in good spirits. Most of the road was through dens forest rocky & poor soil. Many parts of the forest was inhabited by bears & wolves.

After travelling a few miles I overtook an Irishman on foot. We walked together several miles. A man Came in a waggon & took my bag & Carried it 4 miles for me to Mr McGowins which was great relief to me. On my Arival at McGowens I found my bag safe & got a Chance to send [it] on 15 miles further to Mr Tiltons, & was glad to get rid of the load if I had to walk myself. I took dinner here the Irishman left. I saw no more of him. I had now walked about 20 miles at 1 oclok besides waiting 3 hours for The stage. I had 15 m more to walk before I Could stop for the night.

I found the whole forest as I came along laid waste by the late fires which swept fences, dwellings, barns, Mills, lumber yard & evry thing els in its march & but few dwellings remaining. Although I began to be vary weary & lame yet I entered the dark forest before me And I found my last 15 miles A sore dreary road indeed. And it seemed as though I could not get through.

And when I did arive at Mr Tiltons I was so lame I could scearcely walk at all & was under the Necessity of going to bed without my supper. I washed myself in Cold water from Head to foot to take the soreness out of my cords & limbs & went to bed but was to weary to sleep much. I had walked this day 35 m A thing I had not done before in 10 years.

[Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies]

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