One incident on the trail might easily have ended in tragedy. While coming down Christmas creek, which the trail crossed seventeen times, little Ben, Jr., was strapped to the back of one of the horses to prevent him from falling off while he slept. At the top of a short hill a log protruded over the trail, apparently too low for the horse to pass under without rubbing Ben off. The lead horse was stopped and the one on which Ben was riding stopped also, putting one hind foot over the edge of the trail where the shale slope ran sharply down toward the creek to a sheer 20-foot drop.
The wildly plunging horse began sliding downward, but Barker, grabbing the horse's head, by sheer strength quieted it until Ben and the pack could be removed. The horse was then led, without difficulty, back into the trail.
Barker, an excellent canoeman, took Mrs. Northup, the two girls and Lester and Ben down river in his canoe, while Northup and the others brought the stock down the trail.
"They all reached the Ainsworth, or John Cooper place, on Sunday afternoon - a week after leaving Seattle", Ray Northup said. "Everyone was hungry and tired, but mother and the girls soon had a meal of potatoes, rutabagas, carrots, and other vegetables from the garden which Father had purchased from the Ainsworths, and everyone was happy."
The cooperative spirit of the pioneers resulted in the eventual arrival at Clearwater of all the Northup belongings abandoned at Burnt Mountain. Other settlers coming along the trail packed clothing, shoes, and household equipment ot the Hoh River. From there they were transported by canoe to the river mouth, transferred to the schooner "Surf Duck", operated by Capt. Hank, and taken by ocean to the Queets River and up the Clearwater. The wagon, traded for pigs, was sold by Andrees at Forks.
The Northups spent the first winter in the little John Cooper house of alder logs, and the next winter was in its own home on the homestead which Northup later "proved up" on. Later that year Robley and Dale with their families arrived and established their homes also.
Among the settlers already there were:
C. J. Andrews
J. J. Robinson
Bill and Dave Kerr
and Lib Thorp