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 20, 1997

Location: Split Rock, Wyoming

Summary: staying behind

Journal entry: Today I had to stay behind and the train moved on. They were heading into BLM land and the authentic group did some filming for the German film crew. We loaded up our handcarts with all of our authentic gear. We pulled the handcarts around in a wide circle many times until they got the shots they needed. We went over many ruts. It was a more authentic experience then what we would have gotten on the trail.. Everyone was in complete authentic clothes.

After filming the rut shots they needed, we moved on to crossing the Sweetwater river with the handcart. The handcart was filled with mock authentic bundles so that we wouldn't lose anything on the river. The hand cart floated when we got halfway across the river. The bundles started to float away - we caught them all.

We faked a drowning that the father saved his son as they all our bundles. This experience helped us to understand how much pioneers went through, more so then train sometimes. Luckily we get both experiences.

This gave us an appreciation for what they went through because if we would have had to bring all of our belonging across that river we would have lost many of our belongings and everything would have been wet for at least a day possibly more. Our food could have also been ruined. The pioneer's sacrifice amazes and astounds me. I am truly grateful for them. Their faith and courage was incredible.

Sometimes we think that we are experiencing what they experienced. In reality we are just getting a taste. We can travel on the road on occasion. We have the assurance that if something goes wrong we can get life flight in here to help. We know that we will have enough food and clothing and if we don't we can always get more. We know where we are going and they did not. We have so many more luxuries than they had out here. We have porta-potties and they had a friendly bush.

This is a day I will not forget because of the realizations that I have made. Some I already knew but it didn't seem so relevant.---Now they are.