May 25, 1997
Location: Ash Hollow (Lewellen) - 633 miles left, Nebraska - Location: 41:19:53N 102:08:36W (south side of the river. So named from a grove of timber growing on it. It occupies a space of about fifteen to twenty acres, and is surrounded by high bluffs.)
Summary: Day of rest, rain.
Journal entry: Some of us ended going in a truck 20 miles to Ogalalla yesterday evening to do laundry and get pizza and groceries. I know -- not exactly authentic pioneer activities, but I really didn't want to wash my clothes in the Platte. When we got back to Lewellen, it was starting to rain.
It rained on me all night, and I woke up with a couple of puddles in my tent. Rei still hasn't sent out my new tent, and I have been having to make do with what I have.
Our bus driver, Buddy, is leaving today, since he has a broken hand. He was passing out suckers to all the kids today. We are all going to miss him.
We held church services in one of the exhibit buildings on the fair grounds. There were people from the wagon train and members from all over this part of Nebraska The building was so full that there were a lot of people standing. I have gotten used to wearing a shirt and tie to church all my life, but it is refreshing to come to church and see people dressed in pioneer attire -- boots, vests, bonnets, and dresses. "Sunday best" takes on an entirely different meaning. Various people got up in the meeting to express their gratitude for the way the Lord has been watching out for us. Walt should have broken his leg when his horse fell on him, but after getting a blessing, he only had bruised muscles. The parents of the little boy who was kicked by a mule talked about the miracle of their son's health. There are miracles that happen each day here.
I promised to tell a little more about how I met Amy. It might take some time, so I'll only be able to start today. I also thought it might be nice to hear of the tale from her point of view, so you might be hearing from her periodically.
Amy joined the wagon train only a few days after I did, when we were in Fremont. She was with a couple of friends from school and only was planning on being here for 3 days. But all it takes is one day with the wagon train to become enchanted with it all. There is a wonderful spirit here, and life is so much simpler. She decided to make arrangements to stay out here for the entire length of the trek.
I became interested in her because we seemed to have so much in common and because she has a real genuine and sincere love for people. She loves to sing and play her guitar, and her music has become a breath of fresh air to all of us on the wagon train, especially when we are tired or sad. Sometimes she reminds me of Mary Poppins or Maria Von Trapp from "The Sound of Music." But the icing on the cake was that we happened to have identical tents. People have joked that we were destined for each other because of our matching tents. Who knows?
Hi, this is Amy. I thought I'd introduce myself and explain how I ended up out here in case anyone wants to know. The first time I heard about the wagon train was last spring when I went to Nauvoo. It sounded like an amazing experience and I felt that I would love to participate. I thought about it now and then as the year went on and eventually decided that it would be too much to spend my whole summer out here walking across the plains. It seemed like it would be too much to ask to be away so long. So I resigned myself to coming with some friends as soon as winter semester was over and spending a few days on the trail.
We arrived in Fremont to meet the wagon train on the twenty-third of April. I was so excited to be there and to see the wagons and the people. It is hard to explain how it felt. It was a beautiful sight. My mother's and my father''s ancestors traveled across the plains.
From my early childhood I have heard about the pioneers. It is part of my heritage. But that does not completely explain the feeling I had when we arrived to join the wagon train. It felt like it was important for me to be part of it. I felt completely at home in the environment, as comfortable as I have ever been. I still feel that way.
We walked from Fremont to North Bend on the twenty-fourth of April. I met B.C. at lunch and he seemed like a nice enough guy. Look, I have more to say but it is late and we have a lot of walking to do tomorrow so I better go now.