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

June 2, 1997

Location: Mitchell, Nebraska - Location: 41:56:25N 103:48:29W Elevation: 3945 feet

Summary: Our camp that became a lake.

Journal entry: Today started as a pleasant day. I rode in the "slack wagon" that rides behind the walkers with Ryan, Brent, Nathan and Daniel. I never realized how hard that job is. To keep an eye on all the kids and drive the team at the same time is hard work.

We are pitched at the fairgrounds in Mitchell, NE. Camp was mostly set up when we arrived. I am so greatful for the people who help to camp jack and help to make life easier on the people who have been on the trail for the whole day. I know that it is very much appreciated.

After camp was entirely finished I headed off to find a phone to register for classes at USU. By the end of the phone call it was raining buckets, literally. Within 20 minutes it had rained 4 inches. It slowed down by the time I had gotten off the phone so I headed back to camp to see how everyone was back at camp.

I laughed the whole way back to camp because all I could see around me was a huge lake of water. There was not a patch of ground that was not covered with water. When I got to camp I discovered that the camp had been abandoned. I had put my things in my tent and I went to check and see if my things were all right. I found that they were sitting in the middle of the lake that surrounded us.

The ground had at least 3 inches..... I promise, this is NO exaggeration. I picked up my bag and headed over to the dry pavillon, laughing the whole way. The whole situation seemed so funny to me that it could rain so much to be a lake in 20 minutes. I never knew it could rain so much so fast. I wonder if it was like this for Noah.

I had my skirts tucked into my apron so that they would not be dragging on the muddy water. They got wet, but at least not everything was muddy. Most of the women helping in the authentic camp had theirs tucked in. We were being immodest for those day and had our bloomers showing.

After moving all the things that would get ruined in the authentic camp elsewhere we realized that we should see if the revenue cutter floated. (It's a small boat that is made of wood and on the bottom covered in leather. It does actually float in lakes. We checked it out.) We put this small boat in the middle of our camp and it floated!!!!!! Amazing! We all decided to get in. Of course after that it didn't float because we put 6-10 people in there and by then the water was only 4-6 inches deep.

We had the best dinner tonight. It was elk stew with rolls. I had 2 huge helpings. I was really full. It was heavenly.....soft potatoes, juicy carrots and tender meat.....yuuummm.