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

June 9, 1997

Location: Glendo, Wyoming - Location: 42:30:10N 105:01:32W Elevation: 4714 feet

Summary: 4-wheeling in wagons

Journal entry: Today was an extremely long day. We went 29 miles today through tough terrain. It was the most beautiful day. The sky was a perfect clear blue and the wind was gently blowing. Soon after starting we went into the back country and it felt like we were really treking across the land. We weren't asphalt or gravel roads.....it was a real trail with hard terrain.

The hills were so steep and rocky that each wagon had to go one by one down the hill in case of problems. The wagons had their brakes fully on and the wheels were locked. The people movers emptied to go down the terrain. I was in the back of the Winona with Nathan. He and I poked our heads out the back opening and watched the terrain fall behind us. We were amazed. The dirt started to become metallic from the fully locked brakes. We skidded and bounced over the slick rock. The sound of leather and wagon ruts was loud. People along the side lines shouted their encouragement. If you have ever been jeeping it was very similar. Just imagine doing that same thing with a covered wagon and horses. It makes it all the more challenging.

I think I went through at least another half roll of film. This was an unforgettable day. I didn't want to miss one moment of it. This was a day that I had always dreamed of. It was what I imagined the pioneers doing and going through everyday. We don't always get the same feeling by using asphalt. This path were were taking was a trail, not a gravel road. I don't think I will ever forget this day as long as I live. Jared Cornell agreed with me. (He was driving the Winona that day.) He and I both agreed that this has been one of the most beautiful days on the trek. The terrain kept us both awake. Sometimes when we are on asphalt, it is easy to fall asleep.

Imagining what the pioneers felt like was very easy to do today, more easy than usual. Along side the trail there were large ant hills. Children used to play with these ant hills. they would collect bead that indian had dropped and the ants would pick them up. The children would then make toys and such with them. There aren't words to describe how close I felt to my ancestors this day. I know that we have a kinship that grows each and every day.