June 21, 1997
Location: Jeffrey City, Wyoming
Summary: Split Rock to Jeffery City -- Clouds of mosquitoes and a ghost town
Journal entry: We continued on the original wagon ruts for about 4 miles until we reached the highway to Jeffery City. The highway took us along side the rocky bluffs that guard the Sweetwater River. We were up and down hills all day. As soon as we went over one of the hills, we had a great view of the snow-covered Windriver mountains off in the distance. About a week from now, we will be passing over those mountains through South Pass. From then on, we will be on the other side of the continental divide. We are only a month from Salt Lake!
As we began our trek, the mosquitoes were thick. It was hard to keep my hands on the handle of the handcart because I was swatting them away. We had to climb some steep hills covered in sagebrush and sand, and as I took deep breaths, I breathed in a mosquito every now and then. You can feel them squirming around, waiting for you to spit them out. Amy and I sprayed each other down with repellent, which seemed to work well. We have heard that drinking two tablespoons of vinegar each day will do the trick. This coming week will be a trial run.
By lunch, a breeze had begun to blow, which put most of the mosquitoes out of commission. We stayed on the highway until we got to Jeffery City -- a total trek of 17 miles. This is by no means a city, as the name implies. It is more like a ghost town. About 15 years ago it was a booming uranium mining town, but the boom ended and now there is nothing much left except a bar and a few boarded up buildings.
Before everybody left, the town did manage to construct a brand new gymnasium. It was there that we took showers this afternoon -- the first shower I've had in a week. The showers were either all hot or all cold, so I turned two spickets till they pointed to the same spot. I turned on on hot and the other on cold, and my shower was just right.