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

Margaret Clark Journals

June 14, 1997

Location: Casper, Wyoming - Location: 42:52:00N 106:18:45W

Summary: A rest day--My family arrives

Journal entry: Today finds our little group in Casper Wyoming at Ft. Caspar. I tried to do a little housecleaning and preparing for the arrival of my husband and children. I decided that a months worth of dirt should be swept away and things cleaned up. There is just so little time to keep up on stuff like this. There is only time for just the very basics of life. You find time to eat. You find time to sleep cause we are so exhausted. We go out on the trail. That's about it.

The more simple you keep things, the easier it is. Sometimes it is hard to find the time and place for a shower, although we have been so very lucky to have schools, fairgrounds etc. for showers. And it is not uncommon to wear clothes for 2 or 3 or 4......or 5 days. Talk about degeneration from the 1990s.

It was great to see my family. They are excited to be here. I hope they still feel this way after a day walking. We had a lot of things to catch up on since I haven't seen them for 2 months. My kids look great. My oldest daughter just finished up 4 years at the Univ of Utah and is waiting for her mission call. She should get it out here somewhere on the trail.

My seventeen year old daughter is our seamstress. She has sewn all of our clothes and dresses. They are glad to be here. My 14 year old son is not so sure he even wants to be here. He is hesitant about the walking and is smart enough to know this is no picnic. He is quite realistic in his thinking. He holds no fantasies.

Yesterday morning this family of mine saw my second son off at the Salt Lake airport for his mission to Colombia. I could not be there. A lot of real life keeps going on back home for all of us here on the train, and we surely could not be here without the support and love from all those people and family back home.

We are still getting rained upon, although a great big storm blew over us this afternoon and went further south. Casper is green green. The Platte River is very high and running quickly. I don't think I would want to swim in it today.

This is the place where the pioneers last crossed the Platte River. The museum here at Ft. Caspar has a great display on the fort and river crossing. It is an interesting part of the trail. It is good to see big hills and mountains again. This is the first time on the trail that I have felt close to the mountains, and they are close here.

I guess the tough part of the trail is coming up....the mountains. It's kind of unnerving to think about what lies ahead and wondering if you are up to the challenge. Even though we are over half way there, I feel like the first part of the trek is now over and the second part is just beginning. And being a mother, I now have the responsibility of my family. This adds a little greater challenge and hopefully another perspective to what the pioneers had to endure with their families along. It is all very interesting.