June 7, 1997
Location: Guernsey, Wyoming - Location: 42:16:11N 104:44:28W Elevation: 4361 feet
Summary: Ft. Laramie to Guernsey -- Mile-long wagon train, guernsey wagon ruts, Mexican food
Journal entry: We pulled out of Ft. Laramie this morning as usual -- wagons first, then horse riders, then handcarts. There were about 400 walkers and only 9 handcarts, so there were about 110 people per handcart. Obviously, we took turns pulling the carts. As we went over a hill, I looked back to see the walkers; the train stretched out for over a mile. It was truly an incredible sight.
In the past, when we only had 150 or 200 people, I would try to get to know everyone who was walking. But today it wasn't possible. I met a man from San Francisco named Berus. He came with his wife and two daughters, Ariana and Kiana. Singing and storytelling soon became the entertainment as the two girls rode in our cart. Kenny was especially adept at keeping the kids spellbound with his songs and playfullness.
Another man, Dave, came out with his daughter from Cincinnati. He is working on a PhD in toxicology, and was able to take some time off to come out here for the wagon train. Dave plays the fiddle, so we are planning on getting together one of these evenings to jam a little.
When we got to outskirts of Guernsey, we passed the Army National Guard base near the rocky cliffs. We are getting our first glimpses of juniper and pine trees -- so we must be getting into higher elevations.
Amy's mom is here, so she let us borrow her car to go see the famous guernsey wagon ruts. They were impressive: deep ruts carved into the rock in the hillside. Some tourists from North Carolina thought we were part of the landmark with our pioneer attire, so they wanted us in their pictures.
After the ruts, Amy and I went into town and ate dinner at a small Mexican food place. Amy had tamales and I had a taco and burrito. Before long, the Whitaker family and other wagon train members had joined us at the restaurant. Mmmmmmm.....