Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

Wendy Westergard Journals

July 13, 1997

Location: Bear River - 63 miles left, Wyoming - (6 rods wide, 2 feet deep. Swift current - clear and cold water; plenty of timber and grass. Altitude at ford, 6,836 feet.) - [Nine more miles and Brigham Young became sick with tick fever on July 12.] 950 1/4 miles from Winter Quarters.

Summary: Family and dreams.

Journal entry: I woke to the sound of my name being called at 7 am. It was my family!! They had arrived. They woke up the entire authentic camp. It was wonderful to have my family come out and visit me. They'll never know how much that meant to me. It helped me to feel that I wasn't an orphan of the trail for a day. It was was nice to help them experience a little of what I've and other have experienced. It gave them a little taste of what the pioneers went through.

We went to church together, which was really touching for me. I don't usually get to go to church with my extended family. After church we took pictures next to the wagons. I had lent some dresses to my cousins that were girls. Not all of them got to wear the dresses, but it was nice to give them a taste of what I've been doing. Some even got to wear drawers and a petticoat. They loved it.

I got to take my cousins on a small trail ride. We rode bareback double. It was the most fun, yet touching experience for me. It was funny to be in a completely different environment than what I was used to with them. I felt funny wearing my dress, because that is not the normal kind of clothes I wear around them. I don't have words to express how much that meant to me. They left soon after the trail ride-which made me sad. I wish they could have stayed longer.

Nathan, Justin, John, Amy, Cyndi and I went into town for a shower!! We stayed in town for a long time just hanging out at the Anderson's motel room.

When we got back to camp I thought I'd get ready for bed and I discovered a bunch of stuff in front of it. I asked the new docent group who the things belonged to. It turns out that we have a really large docent group this week and they needed to sleep in the tent as well. I knew that there was no way all three of us could fit because I had slept in the same tent with two small children and I ended up sleeping halfway out the tent. I decided to go and set up my dome tent. It is weird to set up my dome tent after being in the authentic tents. The stakes are so much more flimsy. It's like being transported into another time, back to my century. No wonder the people staying in this century tents had a hard time adjusting at first. It a lot easier if you just jump into it.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to fulfill more than one dream out here on the trail. I originally only thought I would fulfill one. I have fulfilled three. The first, the trail. Second, to become part of other families and see how they function differently than my own. Third, I know what it feels like to feel like an orphan still----it's not as romantic as I used to think. Being an orphan on the trail makes me so much more grateful for my family. It makes me realize how much they do without actually doing much at all. Just being there gives a tremendous amount of security that I never realized made a difference in my life. I hope I will never take it for granted again.