Like so many bad trips, it started out as a fun adventure. The so-called Brewster wagon train left Independence, Missouri on August 10, 1850. Ninety-three religious pioneers seeking a life in the Land of Bashan, were headed West in 43 wagons, loaded down with eight months worth of provisions. One of the young women accompanying the train described their stock of foods and preparation: "Each wagon had a supply of jerked meat, dried apples and berries, flour corn beef, meal, preserved fruits, bacon and beans that we had prepared during the spring months. . ."
Young Susan Thompson also said of their journey, "It was a continuous picnic and excitement was plentiful." They stopped every two or three days and "while the women baked and washed, the men hunted for antelopes and buffaloes or smaller game. Often when we were camped near a stream, we had quantities of fresh fish."
"In the evenings we gathered about the campfires and played games or told stories, or danced. . .as the young folks danced in the light of the campfire and lard burning lanterns. There was plenty of frolic and where there are young people gathered together, there is always plenty of love-making."