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 23, 1997

Location: Sweetwater Station, Wyoming

Summary: another practical joke.... sort-of

Journal entry: Today we went 20 miles. The harnesses jingled and the horses snorted as we moved slowly along the hills and valleys of Wyoming. There were many big badger holes that the teamsters had to watch out for. A couple of times the horses legs went in the holes and the teamsters were worried about their horses breaking their legs if they were to get stuck in a really large and deep hole. The outriders did a good job of telling the teamster where the holes were. No one had any big problems. Some of the teams found some of the holes, but it was nothing traumatic.

I rode in one of the people movers with Elizabeth and Julie. We did what has become tradition for us to use each other as human pillows and sleep. I am glad Julie got some sleep, she was so tired. She feels much better now. After lunch I went back to the sag wagon with Amy, Cyndi and Ryan. We had fun teasing the little kids in the wagon. We had a wonderful time laughing so hard until our tummies hurt so bad. It was wonderful. We hit a pot hole and we flew at least 2-3 feet in the air. It was fun. We did that around 3 times. We have never flown out of our seats before.

We arrived with the walkers around 4:30 pm. The sun has shown most of the day with a small rainy time. It was a pleasant day, warm but pleasant. The wind is blowing right now. Hopefully it will continue to blow until we go to bed.

We are at Sweetwater Station camped on someone's personal property. They came around and met us all and told us that there was kool-aide at the house. It was so nice. They fed us kool-aide and cinnamon rolls. They were heaven. We were so hungry after being on the trail all day.

Of course there was a group gathered around eating food and socializing. Amy was being a smart allec to her mother in a teasing sort of way and Julie, her mother, asked Heber to throw her in the river that was just behind the house. Heber picked Amy up and started down the sagebrush covered hill to the river. Amy was yelling and kicking the whole way, asking her mother to take back her request. Julie just laughed along with the rest of us.

By the time he had gotten her over the barbed wire fence there was a small crowd gathered at the top of the hill. He threw her in and quickly pulled her out. She had the most astonished look on her face. She couldn't believe that he actually threw her in. She climbed up the hill with help and was laughing by the end of the hill. She said that it felt good to be cool because it was hot outside.

The terrain was beautiful today. The sun shined with partly cloudy skies. The shadows from the clouds helped to make the hillside appear serene. Because we were away from roads we saw similar landscaping that the pioneers would have seen. It made me speechless to think that I was seeing the the same landscape that the pioneers saw 150 years ago.

We travelled on the original trail today for a long stretch. It was awe inspiring. It was fun to watch the wheels go around as the sagebrush would go by. There were so many huge ant hills. The are around 1 1/2 feet in height of the ground. No wonder many pioneer children could find many indian beads. The ants are quite the industrious bunch. As long as you didn't worry about being bit it would be fun to try and see what you could find in the ant hills.

I was bit Saturday by a red ant. I don't think I would risk it. My leg felt like it was on fire. Around the bite there was a 2 inch circumference of redness. It was awesome, not necessarily that I was bit, but that it was a new experience. I had never been bit by one before.