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 6, 1997

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

Location: Gibbon, Nebraska - Location: 40:44:54N 98:50:40W Elevation: 2060 feet

Summary: Walking, and a foot soaking. Playing in the horse trough.

Journal entry: Greeting from the Great Plains of Nebraska!!!!!

I decided to walk all the way today with the handcart company. I pulled a cart most of the time. It was a shock to my body because I have been riding in the wagons, with walking when I get bored. Pulling the handcarts is hard work, but fun. There are some really fun people back there. Amy Proud, Daniel Whitaker, Heber Dew and I sang songs half of the time. I was racking my brain for every camp song I had ever learned. We sang 99 bottles of pop on the wall all the way through first. I have to admit I've never sang that song all the way through. We usually got tired of singing the song. We also sang "Found a peanut", "There's a hole in he bucket," and "Stuck my head in a little skunk's hole." Margaret really liked our "Alice the Camel" song. At the end of each verse we shake our bottoms. It kept us entertained for a while.

There is a spirit that is different when you are with the walkers. To me, it seems to be a stronger sense of purpose. The people who choose to be walkers want to feel closer to their ancestors and feel a little more of the hardships that the pioneers did. There is a sense of purpose and unity. I want to start walking more than I have. Amy Proud and I will probably walk two day and then rest one and then go on from there.

I now appreciate the food of this century more than I did before. The lunches the authentic group get are really pathetic. An apple, carrot, some nuts, granola bar, one gross salty stale biscuit with cheddar cheese. That's it ladies and gentleman. Now I know why so many of them died. They all died of starvation or food poisoning. Maybe that's part of the reason they look so depressed in all of their pictures. I have to occasionally visit a grocery store or McDonald's to get some fat back in my system. I've already lost 10 pounds.

My feet are sore today. We walked 15 miles. The last hour was the worst. We kept thinking we were going to see camp over the next tiny hill and it never seemed to happen. Finally we made it. What kept us going (Amy Proud and I) was thinking of the horse trough. We kept thinking about how good it would feel to put our aching feet in that nice cold water. When we spotted the horse trough we seemed to find energy we thought we didn't have and headed straight there. It was great. Heber even jumped in. He put Amy part way in. After other people were got thrown in, I pushed Amy all the way in. We then got into a huge wrestling match in the horse trough. Amy's dress even got ripped. We both thought it felt wonderful, and it was fun as well. The Odyssey filmer even got it on tape. Everyone was taking pictures. It was really funny.