July 4, 1997
Location: Simpson's Hollow, Wyoming
Summary: Farson to Simpson's Hollow -- flags, dust, and holiday visitors
Journal entry: Someone was passing out small American Flags today, and the whole wagon train was red, white, and blue as a result. Most handcarts had one or two flags taped or tied to the front or side, and Bob Johson, of course, was up ahead bearing the large flag that he carries each day.
The only sign we had that today was the Fourth were the flags and the amount of visitors. It is still hard for me to fathom that we are only about three hours away from Salt Lake City, Utah, and it shocks me to talk with people who come out in the morning and go back for the night. For so long, Salt Lake has been months away by wagon, days away by car, and hours away by plane. Now it is neither. We are getting close. That was evident today as we tried to make our way down the wagon trail (a dusty mess). Many people have driven out for the day from Salt Lake and lined the roads, taking pictures and offering support.
We reached our camp near Simpson's Hollow after about 5 hours of eating dust. Most people were covered from head to toe, and complaining didn't change anything. There are now almost 50 wagons (parked in a large circle) and about 600 people with the wagon train. Driving up on the scene, all you can initially see is a large parking lot of RV's and tents. The wagons are only visible if you venture into the middle of that mess. It is worth the journey, though; it's really a spectacular sight. There are wagons representing people from all over: New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and all over the USA. Speaking of the USA, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!