July 23, 1997
Location: Salt Lake Valley (the right place), Utah - The end destination for the trek across the plains.
Summary: Happy Birthday, Salt Lake City
Journal entry: Our group stayed in the This is the Place park last night. We had light rain and it helped keep us cool. The day looked to be a cool, cloudy drizzly day. I didn't mind at all.
The tradition of the pioneers of old, was that they would parade through the streets of the city to cheering throngs of people, and would camp at what is now the City and County building. That is what we did today. Well, I didn't. I just couldn't walk. It was too painful.
But, the wagon train and handcart company did this. They left This is the Place, travelled down Foothill Boulevard to fifth south and ended up at the City and County Building. Here a celebration was planned for the city of Salt Lake to wish them a Happy 150th Birthday. It was full of dignitaries and speeches. Osamu, our Japanese friend from Japan, presented Mayor Corradinni with greetings from the people of Japan. Osamu and his wife, Takako, have travelled with us all the way from Omaha. Their two sons have been a real source of fun and laughter as we have watched them get accustomed to wagons and horses. Tom Whitaker, who drove the Salt Lake Wagon, gave a speech about his family's travels across from Nauvoo to Winter Quarters, and Winter Quarters to Salt Lake. They have been true stalwarts with this wagon train. Many people have just been here and done their duty every day with little or no thought of any kind of recognition or reward.
The city had a birthday cake that was the biggest cake I have ever seen. I took a picture of it and also the people who prepared it. They said it took 1,200 eggs, so you can guess how giant it was. It was really tasty, too.
There was a constant drizzle during the ceremony. I don't think anyone really minded the rain. It kept us cool, from what could have been a really hot day.
Our group stayed at the Fairgrounds tonight. Many of our wagons and riders took off for Ogden to be in their 24th of July parade. We really felt their absence as our group is now starting to split up and go different directions. It is sad to watch our numbers dwindle and our friends say good-bye. It has been a great experience. The people on this wagon train have been wonderful to associate with
Three months ago, when our group was just beginning, I walked with
a good friend. Linda, we made it! It seems like years ago, when
we walked through those muddy roads and laughed together. I won't