June 15, 1997
Location: Casper, Wyoming - Location: 42:52:00N 106:18:45W
Summary: The Sabbath - a visit from Pres. Thomas Monson.
Journal entry: The Sabbath - a visit from Pres. Thomas Monson We awoke to another partly cloudy day that left no doubts in our minds that we would have rain. Church for us today was held under a giant tent at the grounds of Ft. Caspar. Sacrament was passed to the congregation while the skies opened up and poured on us. It rained during the entire meeting. There were lots of drips through the canvas of the tent and the edges collected a lot of water and had to be pushed up and poured off. We had a large group today. The Spirit was very strong. As we sang the closing song, the rains stopped and the sun came out.
We ate our lunches and returned for an afternoon fireside meeting. Pres. Thomas Monson of the First Presidency of the LDS church was our speaker. He spoke so genuinely and kind. He is a man we could all relate to. He feels like a good friend, even though we don't know him personally.
This afternoon we watched another of the Odyssey films, Legacy West. We are becoming attached to our weekly showing of these films from previous weeks treks. It is fun to see the people we have grown to know and love on television telling their stories, living their lives, showing the fun and hard times of the trek. I can't help but think when I am old and grey and I watch one of these videos, how the memories of these wonderful people will flood my mind and more than likely bring lots of tears to my eyes. We are so close. And in this closeness have seen each others good and bad. We are thrown together and as such are experiencing the trials of having to get along.
Pres. Brian Hill and I were walking together along the trail the other day sort of speculating about this trek and the original trek. He voiced the opinion that we have certainly had our problems. Problems with every aspect of the journey. And because we are all people, and the kind of people that gather to accomplish some- thing like this are generally quite strong willed, he said it has been an incredible challenge to bring this together and just keep it going and keep peace among the ranks. He voiced the opinion that Brigham Young was quite a man to be able to accomplish what he did with all the people that he was involved with and keep peace.
Pres. Hill said with a little smile on his face that this trek is probably quite similar to the original one in many ways. We had problems with hay for the horses at the beginning and that was the Pioneers' biggest problems...finding adequate grass to feed the animals. We had a water problem to begin with. They had to follow the water sources, and sometimes got into bad water. Many people died from drinking bad water. The food was tiring and monotonous on the pioneer journeys. Our food has been terribly monotonous. Good, but unbelievably monotonous. I'm sure the pioneers lacked many nutrients in their diets. We have found that to be a similar problem with us.
We are walking the same trails, and seeing the same country. We try to look over the broad landscape, remove the railroad tracks, the highways, the power poles, the farmhouses, and see the country the way they saw it. Things have not changed much, and when you travel at 3 miles per hour the scene becomes etched in your memory forever. We don't pass over this land in a car at 60 mph. We have walked the roads, and smelled the grass and now the sagebrush. We have stepped on the rocks and dirt, and stopped to admire the flowers, or shy away from the snakes. We have been in the pouring rains, and been eaten by the mosquitoes. We have battled the winds and tended to the blisters. But amazingly enough, we just keep on moving...and I guess we will...until we get there. Until the Valley floor is beneath our feet and the brass band plays.