June 25, 1997
Location: Rock Creek, Wyoming
Summary: Silver Creek to Rock Creek -- or, how to dodge Rocky Ridge
Journal entry: We met at 6 AM, hoping to get a good start up Rocky Ridge. Stewart Glasier bore the news that we didn't have permission from the BLM to go up Rocky Ridge. Everybody was bummed out, but Stewart told us that we could return and hike up tomorrow, our rest day. So, we began to trudge up the trail towards Rock Creek.
Halfway through the day, we passed a snow bank on the shady side of a hill. Joseph Johnstun and I left the handcarts and walked over to the snow. We scooped up as much snow as we could and put it in our hats. Running along, we hurried up and caught back up with the handcarts. We passed out our precious frozen cargo. A snowball fight ensued, but I was not a casualty.
We had lunch at the Rock Creek crossing. This is the place where the Willey company regrouped after they struggled up Rocky Ridge. There are graves and markers where fifteen people died that next day. Another snow bank lines the creek. It is a good reminder to still have snow visible. We have practically skipped across the plains compared to the saints who faced snowstorms here. The snow is a good reminder of the blizzards, the frozen limbs, the mass graves, and the rescue parties sent by Brigham Young.
The BLM grated and gravelled the road, in anticipation of thousands of people trying to use the roads here. Somehow the rocks didn't get packed down well enough, and there were over 25 flat tires today as wagon train people drove their vehicles into Atlantic City.