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

Margaret Clark Journals

July 7, 1997

Location: Granger, Wyoming - Between Green River Crossing and Miller Station.

Summary: Green River Crossing to Granger

Journal entry: I feel like somebody has beat my feet with hammers. They are so painful. I really don't want to do this anymore. Can I say it? This day was awful.

Today we awoke at the Green River. The river itself is lined with beautiful green trees, but the surrounding country is dry, dusty sage brush. Hills and hills of dry, grey sagebrush. That's it, sagebrush.... everywhere and that is what we went through today. More and more of hills and hills of dry dust and sagebrush.

The trail jumps from the Green River to Blacks Fork at the Black River. So what we did was a 25 mile marathon walk across dry, hills of....you guessed it....sagebrush. And it was sooooo hard.

The walkers left at 6AM and had a good half hour of swarms of mosquitoes. We were covered with them. I thought Jeffrey City was bad. Ha! Nothing to today.

Then after the mosquitoes, started the marathon march. Dirt roads, rocks, sagebrush for 25 miles. It was a day to remember...or better yet, a day to forget. It went on forever and ever and our walking group really had some problems with the heat.

The water and potty people try to make the rest stops so that they can service everybody well. Sometimes when the walkers and wagons get separated, getting water to everybody is really difficult. Today was one of those days. We had one walk this afternoon of almost 4 miles between water breaks and it was so terribly hot and the wind was just blowing a gale. The dust was blowing. It was miserable, and we were all running out of water.

By the time we made it to the water trucks, we had people with heat problems. We poured water over our heads and gulped down the precious liquid. Fortunately, we also were given food: sandwiches and fruit. It tasted so good. We left Amy at the side of the road and miraculously she and several other walkers showed up at camp tonight. (Joke!)

We filled the shuttles with exhausted people. We really have a problem with some people who are not accustomed to walking 25 miles straight at a pretty good pace (3 miles per hour). It is not easy to come out here and just walk straight for 10 to 11 hours with a few breaks... in the hot sun with absolutely no shade. It is terribly hard.

Those of us who have been here, even 3 or 4 weeks, do pretty well. We are pretty much accustomed to the pace, the routine, the work of pulling and pushing the handcarts. It is not a party here, and it is not a picnic. We get blisters still (I got two new ones today), our feet ache horribly, some of us are sick. Heber threw up all day today.

We are sunburned and my poor nose has been peeling now for 6 weeks. I just cannot imagine the incredible trial it was to have to cross this incredible land with only what you have on your back and in your wagon or handcart. This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. How can I even express how hard this is? It is hard!!! If you come out here to walk....prepare yourselves. Especially if it is hot.

And our walk on the pavement the last 3 to 4 miles was over this road with big huge rocks in it and that's why I feel as if somebody beat my feet with hammers. When I got to camp, all I could think about was putting my feet in the river. It felt so good. And all three of my kids found a swimming hole and just jumped in....clothes and all.

In spite of our difficulties and trials, we have had to entertain ourselves with new words to old songs that portray our plight. We have to laugh at our situation, or else we would cry. One of our favorite handcart stories now is that wonderful sister who pulled her handcart all the way to the top of Emigration Canyon. She took one look at the valley below, shoved her handcart over the cliff, and walked into the valley. We all just laugh and cheer at her actions. We ALL TOTALLY understand and I think we would love to do it to everyone of these stupid carts.

And I thought the walkers had it bad. My poor husband has been shuttling people from the new camp to the old, so that all the vehicles can get moved. Yesterdays shuttle was 80 miles round trip, and he did seven shuttles yesterday. It was mostly over dirt roads and into a swamp where everybody got stuck in the muck. It was 14 hours of driving.

Our poor van is almost dead. It's been a great family-scout van, but I'm afraid it is on its last leg. The front doors don't open anymore from the inside, so you have to roll down the windows and open from the outside, but now the knobs are broken off of the windows. And the sliding door doesn't even open anymore. The dust is doing a number on every part of our poor car. He said it over-heated yesterday and died about 10 times. It only holds 15 people, but he's been cramming it full of people (up to 22 one day). Poor, abused car! Oh the joys of volunteer work! Bishop, looks like you're going to have to get another Scout leader. Our van is dead.

Well, I hope we make it. I am ready. I can imagine the great joy of finally reaching Salt Lake Valley. It must have been a great joy to know that horrible ordeal was over. I will make it. I want to watch just one cart go over a cliff. HappyNetTrekking!!