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

May 21, 1997

Image courtesy of: Heritage Gateway Project Images, These images have been gathered to support the Sesquicentennial celebration of the immigration to Utah.

Location: Paxton, Nebraska - Location: 41:07:27N 101:21:21W Elevation: 3054 feet

Summary: Original trail

Journal entry: We traveled 10 or 11 miles today. It was a relatively short day except it was "media day." CBS and PBS was here to take pictures of us going over the original ruts. We took a lot of time out of lunch to retrace 1 1/2 miles of the original trail. It was much harder than I had expected.

I helped to push a handcart. I kept tripping on my skirt. When you are pushing you are leaning slightly down and your skirt gains a couple of inches. I ripped out my hem. You only pay attention to keep walking and pushing. It was even hard to pay attention the the terrain we were walking on even underneath our feet. We would all of a sudden find a rut and trip or something. It was hard pushing up the hills.

It helped me to appreciate what my forbearers went through. They did it with 200-300 pounds along with sometimes no shoes. There are burs all over the place and they really hurt. Even when they are just stuck on your dress and petticoat. The spirit was so strong it brought tears to many of our eyes.

To think that we were adding our own legacy of faith to the trail made us speechless. There are no words to describe the incredible feelings felt that day. It only made everything worth every moment. I know I was born at the right time at the right place. I used to not believe that, but now I have a surety of being born at the right time.