June 16, 1997
Location: Willow Springs, Wyoming - Location: 44:18:42N 104:08:18W
Summary: a hard long day
Journal entry: Today we travelled 28-30 miles. It hasn't been really clear how much we walked today. It was a toughy. The authentic group is really big this week, so even though I haven't walked for the past two weeks because I have been sick, I walked. It was like starting all over again. I didn't choose the best day to start again, considering it was such a big day. We had fun singing songs and playing around. It was a bonding moment for a lot of the group that hang around with the most because so many of us were walking on the same day. (This doesn't happen very often.) The group included Daniel Whitaker, Brent, Amy, Cyndi, Heber, Jon, Elizabeth, Sarah, Ben, Matthew, Laura and Jane. The Andersons joined us with the walkers, instead of walking by their wagons sometimes, because Judy their horse broke their tongue on the wagon. They continued on the trail like usual because their wagon would be shuttled forward on a flat bed. It was a really hilly day. Up and down was the way it went. It was hard so we bonded and became closer to each other. When you share a touching moment and difficult moment with someone it makes your friendship stronger.
Heber has made a song up about the train. It is made to an army chant and he adds a verse every day. At first when the wagon train started out I think it got on some people's nerves. Now people love it because it tells the story of our train. It gives so much energy to so many. The nice thing is all the greenies can join in because it is a repeating song.
I walked until 2 pm. I took a 4 mile break. I had pinched a nerve in my left calf. I hurt each step I took. I couldn't figure out how I had done this. It was hard to jump back out of the sag truck and walk again, but once I started it wasn't so hard. It was like I was on my second wind. I am so glad I finished walking.
We left camp this morning at 7 am and into camp at 6:30 pm. During lunch we had a rain/hail storm. We (the authentic group) didn't have any protection. We took shelter under the handcart. We had 8 people stuffed underneath. By lunch we were still joking and playing around. By 2 pm. I needed to have a break. After riding for about a mile or so, Amy, Ben, Daniel and Matthew joined me in the sag wagon. At one point, we left the wagon train and got ahead to get an accurate mileage reading. We have, on occasion, had difficulty getting accurate mileage readings. When we returned I decided I would walk. I am so glad that I did. The spirit of sacrifice was very clear to me. It helped to remember what I had felt before and had the feeling somewhat dimmed because of riding on the wagons for two weeks.
When we got to camp luckily Steve and Wendy Sorenson, and company had set up camp. It was so nice. Even supper was on. As I laid on the ground there was a banjo playing in the background. It was nice.
I got the biggest blister that I have ever had in my entire life today!!! The coolest part is I didn't even know that I had gotten it. That part of my feet wasn't even sore. It was a little bigger than a quarter. It came a far ways off my foot, maybe a 1/2 inch. Wendy Sorenson popped it for me. What we do is stick needle through the bubble part of the blister and cut the skin with a knife. The fluid then drains out which is really awesome to watch. It doesn't hurt a bit. The skin is dead. The harder part is after when the squish Neosporen inside the blister and then make sure it gets to all of the areas of the blister underneath the skin. It burns like crazy. You just grit your teeth and bear it. It is soon over anyway. The next day you feel much better anyway. This helps them to heal faster. The best or the really funny part is the German film crew was in our camp when Wendy was doctoring my feet. They filmed the whole process and my faces I made as she poked the needle through and squished the Neosporen in.
There was such a strong spirit on the trail, I could feel it within my heart. The pioneers sacrifice seemed so great as I listened to the wheels of the handcart crushed the pebbles.
Tonight there is a big storm. The skies are completely black with clouds as lightning streaks across the sky. The thunder shakes the ground.