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 4, 1997

Location: Simpson's Hollow, Wyoming

Summary: Valley fever, patches, and tick dreams.

Journal entry: We went 11 miles today. As we walked it was dusty, more dusty than I can remember it ever being before. This part of the country has more caterpillers than sagebrush. I keep stepping on them, sorry mister caterpiller.

Our handcart company was a haze of dust moving across the land. The dust was so thick that we could feel it coating our throats, yet we sang and talked anyway to pass the time. We get dirt clods up our noses. It's kind-of gross. When we blow our noses it comes out full of dirt and dust.

This may sound crazy, considering this trek has been a dream of mine, but I'm ready for it to end. I want to be clean again. We are getting desperate to be clean. I got a taste of what it was like to be in regular society again when I spent so much time in Rock Springs and I'm ready for those small conviences that I'd forgotten exist.

What did it to me was getting supplies in Wal-mart. I wandered in the store (bad idea) to see if I was missing any supplies. I saw soap and dish pans and broom. I missed my apartment and easy access shower and kitchen. If I hadn't spent so much time in Rock Springs...

The bad thing -- once it's over it's over. Thirty minutes out on the trail and your hair, body and clothes are filled with dust. It makes many people's hair appear grey along with their eyelashes. Imagine going for days like this without a shower and each day you accumulate more dust. I now understand about old western movies and novels why the first thing the cowboy did was go and take a bath.

Amy Freestone says we are turning into dust monsters and we need a dust buster. Amy Proud and I have been repairing our dresses. Cyndi has been helping us to put our patches in. I am not the best seamtress, in fact, I'm not good at all. I have one dress that is my favorite because it has patches on it. It still has other places that need patches. Right now I have three, and 4 more patches to go. Each patch has a story. The ones that are on there right now are the porta-potie patch, falling out of the wagon patch, and Heber's, Jon's and my tickle war patch. It is MY trail dress. It will mean the most to me out of any dress.

I have become paranoid about the bugs. One major reason I thnk that they've gotten to me is because I sleep in the authtentic tents. This means there are no floors to the tents, and bugs can come in. I slept on ant hills and places. I dream about ticks.