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

July 8, 1997

Location: Miller Station, Wyoming - Between Granger and Fort Bridger.

Summary: Human pillow, outrider, dehydration, pioneers out of place, and burrs.

Journal entry: Today we went 20 miles. I rode in the Winona wagon with Sarah, Libbi, Keith and Paul. I became the human pillow for the two young girls. I am their big sister on the trail. After a while, around an hour and half, I really had to go the bathroom and they were sitting and laying right on my bladder. I now realize that is wasn't a good idea to continue sitting there, but I did because I wanted them to get as much sleep as possible. When my bladder couldn't take any more bumps and jostling about I got up and rode with Paul in the front seat. I imagine what I felt is much like being pregnant. When we finally got to a break I was first in line to use the porta-pot. What a relief!!!

We crossed a river this morning much like the pioneers. We did not use a bridge, we just plowed right through. Only 2 of the wagons of the train got stuck in the mud trying to get out of the river. It took a couple of teams to pull them out. They had sunk up to their axles. Both of them also happen to be good friends of mine. Steve Sorenson an Al were the ones to get stuck.

After lunch I was able to ride a horse in the back with the day riders. I have never done that on the trail 'till now. It was really fun. I don't know how the outriders can do it day after day. My bottom and knees were quite sore, especially when I got off the horse 2 1/2 hours later. It felt like I had walked a 15 mile day on my knees. I got to trot a lot because my horse named Joker just wanted to catch up with the wagon he usually was with. I kept him back well.

I got to go off the side of the very dusty county road and go through sagebrush and a river, and a couple of dry river beds. It was a dream come true. I've wanted to ride a horse on the trail for some time now. The river came at the best time. It was hot today!!! We were all very dehydrated. I started feeling sick around 11 am. Just like my stomach had a lot of air in it. Little did I know I was dehydrated. When I started riding the horse I started to drink lots of water, but it didn't take away the feeling in my stomach. When I got to camp I drank a lot of Gatorade and water and laid down and took a small nap. It felt wonderful.

After dinner, which was stew and a roll with butter (which my the way was very good), some of us piled into Naomi's van and we drove to Little America to swim. We changed in the car and jumped in. It felt wonderful. We only swam for about 20 minutes, and then went out to eat. We didn't quite fit in at the restaurant in Little America. It was a nice kind of classy place. We looked like homeless orphans. Red dirty faces and clothes, with classy waitresses around. The service was wonderful. It was nice to be served and not have any prairie dust in our food. I am stuffed. It was great. We drove back laughing and making jokes. Just making memories to last a lifetime.

We've run into a new kind of burr. It reminds me of a tiny jellyfish. They hook on to you and hang on for dear life. They are difficult to remove because they are so little and there is nothing to grab onto. All their prongs are attached to you already and nothing is poking out for you to grab.