The Barlow Road wound around Mount Hood, then abruptly descended into the Willamette Valley. The eastern slope had been gradual but on the western we found an extreme example of the ruggedness of the country. The road fairly dropped. Of course only the wheel horses were used, as the leaders cannot hold back. Again trees were tied by the tops to the coupling poles and men strained back, holding to long ropes. With the heavier wagons the ropes were snubbed around trees and the wagons eased down. It would be hard to describe the feeling of relief we had when we knew that the last bit of hard road was behind us.
Before we reached Salem, Florence and I were to have one more experience to remember. As we were riding behind the train the next day, busily talking, Florence said, "I wonder how far behind we are? We must hurry." We rode fast but found that all the wagons had forded a river before we reached them. We rode into the stream, but not knowing that the ford slanted across the river, we started straight for the other shore. Almost immediately, our horses were swimming. Florence's big horse swam high, but even so, her feet were wet. My little pony fairly wallowed. Splashed and drenched, not knowing how to manage a swimming horse, I had my hands full. The people on the bank were excitedly trying to point out the ford to us. At last we reached shallower water, and with Uncle Isaac pointing the way, we gained the bank.
The next day ended that summer's journey. Until the following year we were to stay in the Willamette Valley. After four long months of travel we were in the new land, a new country, yes, a new world. To us children the journey had seemed an interval of four months of play; then from the familiar life of a long-settled region, we were dropped into the barrenness, and the richness, of the new, the untried.