May 8, 1997
Location: Elm Creek, Nebraska - Location: 40:43:10N 99:22:18W Elevation: 2262 feet
Summary: Good day on the train.
Journal entry: Today I walked again. It was great. I'm really getting in the spirit of this train. My feet are sore, but I'm having a wonderful time. The reason I'm not walking everyday is Margaret has suggested that I condition myself and not do it all at once at a time. Many of the walkers have swollen feet and torn ligaments. I will slowly get used to the rigorous schedule. Again we sang songs, though not as much as yesterday. I'm racking brain for every camp song I can think of. Luckily my mom is coming out on the train for my birthday and she will bring my song book.
A smaller girl walked with me today with the handcarts. I almost think it was tougher than pulling a hand cart. Pulling a lagging kid behind you is just as hard, especially if they are dragging their feet. I wonder how the pioneer women did it. Out of anyone they had the hardest job in camp. Not only did they keep the children occupied, make the meals, keep clothes mended and sewn, laundry, keeping peace in the family, but they pulled their children along the trail as well. Let me tell you it is tough work. It's enjoyable though. Children and people in general are very affectionate and everyone feels loved. Our groups have gotten to be a really tight group. Some are closer than others, but we are all great friends. We depend on each other and know that we can count on each other and that is a nice feeling to have.
We had another dance tonight. It was a lot better than yesterday. We had an awesome live band. They played a lot of the old fiddle songs hat we are familiar with. I taught a lot of the young men how to dance, along with a lot of the kids. It was great. Before long we were all doing the suicide polka and bumping into each other and having a grand time.
Romances are blooming on the trail. There are about 3 or 4 that I know about. I'm sure there are a lot more that I haven't seen. I discovered another one today.
Well now that my feet hurt from dancing and walking I'm going to call it a night and get some shut eye.