May 23, 1997
Location: Lemoyne, Nebraska - Location: 41:16:21N 101:48:46W
Summary: Sandy roads from Keystone to Lemoyne.
Journal entry: We had a lot of rain last night. A lot of folks woke up to puddles in their tents, so we were glad to see a sunny afternoon so that sleeping bags and tents could dry. I was warm and dry at the Presbyterian Church. They opened their doors to us and showed us a wonderful neighborliness. The other Nebraska neighbors who have stayed with us since North Platte is the Army Reserve. It was so cold last night and they provided their shower units. Because everyone was cold with the rain, it was a great place to go and get warm. They also had a dry tent area and water. Water is really a precious commodity for us. Horses drink a lot of water and it is necessary to have pure water for all of us. We cannot thank you wonderful people enough for your help in our need. I understand tonight is your last night with us. So we want you to know we are grateful.
Well, the big news around camp today is that BC gave Amy a ring. It is called a prairie diamond. It is a shoeing nail for horses that is formed into a ring and it really looks nice. I think Amy is very happy. She has that certain glow. BC started the trek at Omaha. Amy joined a few days later. I don't think it was love at first sight, but it was engagement in four weeks. We are looking to having a wedding at the Sweetwater, unless of course they want to marry in the temple. I'll bet they wait.
Us older romantic women recall stories of love affairs on the old trail. It was actually a common practice for friends to fall in love and get married on the trail. Then when they arrived in the Valley, they would seal their marriage for time and all eternity in the temple. We all think it would be so romantic if they got married on the trail. What a story I could write. Better than any harlequin romance. You would know all the beautiful details. I guess we'll just have to dream about it.
Joseph said that when BC chased the cows through the fields yesterday at lunch, he had a suspicion that BC had been twitter-pated. What would a walker be doing willingly running through a field when he didn't have to? Love! I am impressed that BC called Amy's dad the night before and asked his permission. It's just like the fairy tales.
I've heard a few rumors that we might have a few more romances develop before this trek is through. I'll keep you informed.
Our day was cool, cloudy with occasional rainshowers. We followed a very sandy road for the greater part of the day. It was probably a good 20 mile day with most of it in deep sand. The horses had a tough time pulling those wagons. The handcart company was pulled back to the regular highway about half way through the day and we walked into camp on pavement. It is really hard on the knees to walk through that sand. We're all pretty tired tonight.
While we were walking through the deep sand today, a lot of people took off their shoes and socks and walked barefoot. I watched this little 6 year old boy and I remembered about my great grandfather, William Wetzel. He and his family traveled to Utah in 1859 in a wagon. William's responsibility was to herd the farm animals down the trail while his parents rode the wagon. He was 6 years old and barefoot. He kept his shoes for other purposes. Perhaps he went through a lot of sandy areas through the sandhills of Nebraska and the sand actually felt good on his feet...a lot like today. This grandfather was actually alive when I was born. He died a year later.
Brother and Sister Jim Tierney did a slow drive by today and threw me a Pioneer Trace t-shirt I had wanted to buy, but they had run out of. They came from North Platte if you can imagine. Sister Tierney has that love affair with the Plains. She told me she had lived in Utah with the mountains for awhile, but missed Nebraska. So they moved back, and if you could watch her gaze over this countryside, you would see the love she has for the Plains. You would also see the love and admiration she has for Jim. Jim, you have a jewel. Take good care of her.
Our campsite tonight is on the edge of a beautiful lake. If it were a smidge bit warmer, I'm sure there would have been a few swimmers. We have lovely lawn and big trees. These Nebraska state parks are really nice.
I met Dale tonight. He is another outrider. Nice guy. He spent a little while trying to teach Les Hill how to snap a whip. He almost learned. And only whipped himself once.