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This is a view to the west of Owl Springs showing the Grouse Creek drainage with comes from the north and turns southeast by Lucin and empties in the Newfoundland Basin mud flats. Modern farming has captured all the water. Apparently the creek was dry when the Bidwell Party crossed it at Lucin in 1841, because they made no mention of crossing the creek.
Thousand Springs Creek comes into this valley from the west in a gap in the mountains near Montello, Nevada. There is enough water even today in Thousand Springs Creek to water the meadows northeast of Montello.
If Bartleson had led the party to Thousand Springs Creek and west they would have been the first wagons to travel the creek and down to the Humboldt Wells which later became the California Trail. The Bidwell Trail then might have become the California Trail.