June 27, 1997
Location: Pacific Springs, Wyoming
Summary: Rock Creek to Pacific Springs -- up and over South Pass
Journal entry: Today was long and hot, but enjoyable. We started out at 6 AM to get an early start on our long pull over South Pass. Amy and I were actually camped in Atlantic city with the authentic camp, and we had to catch a ride over to the wagons.
Our numbers were few, and we all pulled the handcarts hard all day. The trail over South Pass is a very gradual ascent, but quite sandy in spots. We stopped a few times, and Stewart Glasier pointed out important landmarks and sites.
The terrain is still small sagebrush and small wildflowers of all colors: purple, white, yellow, pink. The locals say that there was a foot of snow on the ground only two weeks ago. That explains the wildflowers. There is still a lot of snow up in the mountains. I'm coming back some day to go backpacking in the Windrivers.
We have travelled about 980 miles, 22 of them today. The road was dusty and sandy, but it was exciting to go over South Pass -- another pioneer funnel. Our campsite is at Pacific Springs, the first real sign that we are over the continental divide. The creek runs from East to West. We have a great view of the entire valley and of the nearby mountains.
This is Amy-- We are all tired and a little cranky. There is a great feeling of comraderie and a deep friendship that has developed among the handcart company. At the beginning of this journey, we treated each other politely and carefully, like neighbors. But formalities have disappeared as the weeks go by. Although we all care about each other, disagreements do arise. The biggest cause for friction in the handcart company is the pace we go. There is a division between those who want to go faster and those who want to go slower.
I am somewhere in the middle because it seems painful for me either way, so I don't really care how we go. I hope we can find a compromise. This may seem like a petty issue, but it is serious enough to cause some real strong feelings. I believe that the appreciation and affection I feel for the others in the group are shared by all and it is normal for us to feel strongly about these things because we are knocking ourselves out every day. We are all trying to do the best we can.
The advice I give to anyone coming out to join for awhile is to start walking now if you can. Make sure you bring water bottles with you and comfortable walking shoes and a change of socks. Sometimes putting a clean pair of socks on halfway through the day really helps. But most important is bring a good attitude. This is a great experience, but like most things, it is up to us to make it that way.