November 1, 1863: North Fork Smith River
[Today] was a dull, foggy, drizzly, rainy day, the first we had seen for many a long month—since last February or March. But we were in a very cozy place. We sat in the parlor and chatted with the ladies and had a pleasant time.
Mr. Lewis was born in Georgia but moved to Pennsylvania, lived among the Quakers, and married there. His wife was a Quaker, and uses the “thee” and “thou” in the good old-fashioned style. She has a rather pretty daughter, lately married, and still living at home. They live in a quaint house in a deep canyon, no neighbors near. Although it is a lonely place so far as neighbors are concerned, many teams pass, and the teamsters stop and make the house ring with their noisy mirth. An immense amount of teaming goes over this road into southern Oregon.
We sold our two poor, jaded, worn-out horses here—both, with their saddles and bridles, for fifty dollars. They were two that we bought this summer, and although I had ridden them but two or three hundred miles, yet they had been in the party and I felt like parting with old friends when I bade them good-bye. You cannot imagine how one gets attached to the poor brutes, when you travel with them by day and almost eat and sleep with them, when they have carried you over long and laborious trails, when they are your continual care and anxiety, as if of the family; and when from this long intimacy they have an affection for you almost human—it is not strange that we come to regard them not merely as beasts of burden, but as trusty companions and tried friends. There are two animals especially, a mule and a horse, which have been with us from the start, that I have ridden nearly five thousand miles, to which I feel more attached than I ever imagined I could be to any of the brute creation. We have them yet, and we may yet continue our companionship.