July 11, 1997
Location: Piedmont, Wyoming - Between Fort Bridger and Bear River Crossing.
Summary: Fort Bridger to Piedmont -- out of the frying pan and into the sagebrush
Journal entry: Today was long, but the weather was rather cool and enjoyable. Leaving the green valley of Fort Bridger behind us, we began our descent into sagebrush country. The Bridger valley was truly like an oasis, and it was a bit like leaving the garden of Eden as we trudged back into the wilderness.
From lunch on, we kept on hearing various estimates on how much farther we had to go. Some people said "Oh, we only have about five miles left". Another would say, "Well, we have gone fourteen miles so far, so we should have seven to go." That is quite typical for most days. In other words, nobody knows. Out here, rumors fly faster than any mosquito ever could. For instance, last night people started saying that the walkers were leaving at 6 AM. In the morning, nobody was hardly stirring at 5:30. We didn't leave until 7, after the wagons pulled out. The problem with rumors is that they are usually not correct. The best bet is to believe nothing, keep smiling, and walk until you get to camp.
Amy's dad walked with us this morning through some beautiful and scenic country. It was enjoyable to talk and find out about each other. He certainly has many insights and a great ability to talk with people and make new friends. Just after our first rest break, a lady named Linda Adams fell off a wagon and broke her hip. Nance and Amy's dad rushed over to assist until emergency medical units could arrive. A helicopter soon arrived which took the woman to Salt Lake for medical treatment. It is interesting that the closest site for medical treatment is Salt Lake. We must be getting close.
There is a man walking with us named Ken Blair. Ken is one of the only remaining sons of pioneers. His father was two years old when he left from Fort Laramie and crossed the plains in 1868, one year before the railroad was completed. They were the last wagon train of Mormon pioneers. Ken was born when his father was 69 or 70 years old, and he is one of the lively walkers and musicians in our company.
One additional comment about the button tradition. Erica was back earlier this week, and she explained that many pioneer girls collected only 999 buttons. Number one thousand came from the groom on their wedding day. Any buttons that they received above and beyond 999 were to be given away to other girls.
All is well.
Hi -- this is Amy.
I am so amazed at the response to the button story. I thought it was so sweet when Erica sent the buttons out to me. I don't think she had any idea what she was starting. The story has gone around camp, and around the world on the Internet. So many people have sent buttons. I have tried to make a list of names as they have come, but I am afraid that I may have missed some. I will likely post it here one of these days. It is hard to explain how moving this whole experience is. Many of the buttons are simple, some are old from a grandmother's button collection. All of them are treasures.
It is hard to believe that so many people would go out of their way for someone they don't even know. The buttons are a symbol to me of the goodness and kindness that exists everywhere. I appreciate everyone who took the time to send buttons and I loved the many letters that came with them. It is fun to hear from people who read these entries. You are funny and entertaining and kind.