|"Parting of the Ways" Sublett's Cutoff or Salt Lake road turnoff
Eighteen miles west of South Pass, the emigrants came to the first of many decision
points on the road to California. Parting of the Ways offered the choice between a safe,
established trail following water and relatively level ground or a substantial shortcut
through dry, barren and mountainous country. Many chose the shortcut. Mountain man
Caleb Greenwood pioneered the shortcut, but it was known as Sublett's Cutoff by most
pioneers. It offered a direct route west to the Bear River eliminating the southern dog-leg
to Fort Bridger followed by the older, established emigrant road.
June 18th – we came eight and one-half miles to a small creek; if there is water here, it is not fit to use. Six
miles farther the Salt Lake road turnoff; three miles farther to Little Sandy. This is a beautiful stream, five
yards wide and eighteen inches deep, with a considerable growth of willows in the bottoms, but not much
grass. Here we camped. Distance seventeen and one-half miles. We had fine roads today, but grass is very
scarce. Grundy and I took the mountain fever last night. We take this fever with a chill, with aching of the
limbs and head, and the fever lasts about twelve hours. All that is necessary is a dose of anti bilious pills. We
camped tonight opposite the Wind River Mountains; they look like the dead of winter. There was a white frost
this morning, the boys brought up a bucket of water about sunrise and in ten minutes it was frozen over.