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

Letters of Encouragement to the Pioneers

Apr 3 - May 23 | May 23 - Jun 30 | Jul 1 - Jul 15 | Jul 15 - Aug 13

July 1 - July 15, 1997

July 2, 1997

Ted and Melinda wrote:

Dear Wagon Trainers, We are so excited to meet up with you again. Since being with you at the start at Winter Quarters we have followed you every night on the internet, every day in the media, and every waking minute in our hearts. There have been nights that I culd not sleep wanting to be there, and tonight is one of them. But, wait we are leaving tomorrow to go and meet with you in Farson. We can hardly wait to feel that overwhelming spirit that you are stirring up in the hearts of thousands. We feel your tiredness and pain but carry on. You can't believe the feeling that is coming out of your trials, sorrows, joys, and strengths. We will see you in less than 24 hours. Give our love to the Whitakers (distant relatives), Condies, Worwoods/farbaers (sp), Gines. See Ya Soon Ted and Melinda Orem, Utah

Deirdre Jones writes:

Hi! My name is Deirdre Jones and I am from Santa Barbara California. The Third Ward Young Single Adults in the Santa Barbara Stake want to say "HI" to a friend of ours, Courtney Bridgers, who is on the trail. If you see her, tell her that we are proud of her and that we are looking forward to hearing some great stories when she returns home!

Thomas Soucek from Austria wrote:

Hello! Do you know Alfred and Elisabeth Pietsch from Austria ? They are doing the whole trip, so you must have seen them. Say hello to them from his former counselor. Their picture was on the front page of the most popular newspaper in Austria. They are really famous now!

Servus, Sissy und Freddy ! Geht«s Euch gut? Ich denke oft an Euch. Iris wei§ nur ein bi§chen was von Euch, weil Ihr ja immer auf Achse seid. Alles Gute!

Mike wrote:

Dear Pioneers, I have been reading some of your journal entries on the internet and I have been so enriched by your letters and comments. It shows how much dedication the original pioneers had for their beliefs. [...] Thanks again for sharing some of the experiences along the trail with us on the internet. It's been great !!!!

Kyle wrote:

To Julie Proud: Hello Julie, Cyndi, Amy and Elizabeth. We're watching your progress on the news and the internet. It's exciting to see your pictures. It looks like you're having the time of your life. Everything is fine back home.

Kelly wrote:

I noticed that Wendy Westergard mentioned that the three boys (well she said two actually but it WAS three) who ferried the members of the handcart company across the Sweetwater river died because of doing so. This isn't acurate!! As the following excerpt from the Willey Handcart story says they in later years died from their efforts on this day these boys lived to adulthood.

The excerpt:

"The handcarts moved on November 3 and reached the river, filled with floating ice. To cross would require more courage and fortitude, it seemed, than human nature could muster. Women shrank back and men wept. Some pushed through, but others were unequal to the ordeal.

"Three eighteen-year-old boys belonging to the relief party, came to the rescue; and to the astonishment of all who saw, carried nearly every member of that ill-fated handcart company across the snow-bound stream. The strain was so terrible, and the exposure so great, that in later years all the boys died from the effects of it. When President Brigham Young heard of this heroic act, he wept like a child, and later declared publicly, 'That act alone will ensure C. Allen Huntington, George W. Grant, and David P. Kimball an everlasting salvation in the Celestial Kingdom of God, worlds without end.'"

Having studied their act at various times I wanted to set the record straight.

P.S. I am totally engrossed in the enactement and find it a sad day each day I sign on and there isn't a new journal entry. I have passed Margaret's June 5th entry around to many. And I feel I know all who are pareticipating in this enactment. I am even sending a button or two to Amy Freestone. Also a great cook is coming up to feed you guys staring the 25th so be ready!! KSR

Lisa wrote:

Hello Pioneers! Which you truly, truly are. James and I just came back from being with you for one week and we miss you terribly. I'm wondering if my black purse, gray duffle bag, and small plastic file box have been found. Please let us know some way. Maybe in your journal entries. We love you and pray for you every night. Thanks. Lisa and James Arrington

July 4, 1997

Gretchen wrote:

I am so impressed by what you are doing and so jealous that I am not with you. I just finished doing an elementary education degree at the U of Utah, so time would not permit me to join you. I just barely found out about this web site, which makes me so mad that I did not know about it before. I am not that computer savvy to say the least. I will be watching for you as you go down Emigration Canyon. I hope that somebody is writing a book about all your experiences. My heart is with you all the way. What a neat experience to be a pioneer. I love reading about the pioneer times. I am sure that I must have been close to a pioneer ancestor or friend, because I have always had such a high interest in this period of time. I was so sad that I had to be in school so that I could not join the original company. If anyone wants to repeat a trek, please let me know!! love, gretchen

July 5, 1997

Karen asked:

The question I have is about sending buttons to Amy. I got a little behind on reading the journals and am wondering if the address Margaret gave us on June 28th is still the one to send them to? (Evanston, Wyoming.) If not, do you have a new address for us to send them to her? Is there a way we could send mail directly to the journal keepers to thank them for sharing such a special experience with us? Thank you so much for taking the time to put the journals on this web site! You're great!

Karen wrote:

My family and I joined the trek for one day (July 4) and two nights. I absolutely loved it and wish I had looked into it sooner so we could have stayed longer. I felt the spirit very strongly while there and felt really close to my pioneer ancestors. What a wonderful thing you are doing. Thank you!

July 6, 1997

Dixie wrote:

I would like to know what one thing each individual modern-day pioneer has "learned" from the Wagon Train experience--one concise statement--"I learned "__________________." I think this information would be most interesting.

I noticed a newspaper article in the Herald Journal front page that stated there are now a few openings on the trail the week of July 7-11. I tried calling the cell number. My three daughters and I would dearly love to join the train July 8 pm and walk July 9 and 10 through Lyman, Wyoming and to Ft. Bridger and beyond--is there any hope???? We follow the heritage internet site every day. The Wagon Train has hold of us! It occupies our daily thoughts and prayers. We joined the train in Nebraska May 31-June 2--but couldn't get enough and want so badly to return.

July 7, 1997

Val wrote:

Just got online today (July 7,1997) and would like to check on my daughters (Whitney & Micalyn Wheelwright), they are traveling with grandparents (Richard & Sara Macfarlane from Manti). They joined the trek in Farson and will travel to Fort Bridger. Would enjoy knowing that you talked to them and tell them we look forward to their safe return. I just wanted to say Hello to the Dicken family! I hope they are all doing okay and if any of you know them could you tell that Rob & Jamy love them and are thinking of them? Thanks we would appreciate it. Best of luck with the rest of your trails! Jamy Dicken

Renee wrote:

I just had to write you and let you know how wonderful this web page is! I don't know how to get in touch with Margaret Clark, so I thought this might be the way. If who ever is reading this could let her know how much I appricate her journal entries. Her writing is so vivid and detailed I feel as though I am right there too. Reading these entries everyday has made me appriciate the original pioneers and the things they did for us. If I could hug her I would. I cry when I read her entries. My husband has gone to walk with the group a few times and in reading these pages I can feel the special spirit that is there. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing this web page and for all those who have made the trek for all of us. [Margaret] needs to write a book (if she is not already doing so). Thank You again, Renee Gardner, Ogden Utah

July 8, 1997

Danny wrote:

I didn't know you could feel the spirit through a computer!! I am Danny Haupt, from Danville California. I was on the trail from Fort Laramie to Natural Bridge. Tell Nancy and Carli thanks for the IV June 10th in Douglas. I would walk every mile again, singing and praising God all the way.

Is the Odyessey team going to make a documentary or something, with all their footage??? They really should. Also the journals and everything from this page should all be bound and published...Others need to witness this great adventure.

This is an awesome web page!! Keep up the good work and hello to NAOMI, LIZ, CARLI, JENNIE, DANNY, JOHN, JAMES, AMY, HEIDI, DANNY from Illinois, CECILLY, LANA, ARIANA, BRENT, and everyone else I met out on the prarie. I can't wait to see you!!! peace, Danny xxii

Julie wrote:

Please pass this along to Margaret Clark if possible?

Sooo, you had lots of what? Sagebrush you say??? I wasn't for sure quite clear on that point.... :)

It has been very very fun to read your entries. You have quite the wit and under such stressful circumstances!

Good luck! considering the distance you have gone, you are relatively close and as for pushing the hancart over the edge? GO FOR IT!

My family and I look forward to seeing all you troopers in 15 days! (We will be the 5 cheering you from the edge of the road... er... wait, a parade? Well, my guess is that there will be a bit more than 5?!?!?!)

Again, Good Luck, and BTW, if you see any sagebrush out there? Well, um, never mind.

:) always
Julie from Lewisville, TX
ps. say HI to Dan from Torrey

Pam wrote:

Dear Margart,
I know how busy you are, and probably won't have time to read this. I just wanted you to know how much I love to get up each morning and read your journal. It has made my whole day. I have printed out each page for Brian Hill's mom, Karen Hill. She is my husband's cousin. She is going to make Brain a scrap book when this is all over. I have shared many pages with many people. I especially loved the story about the cloak. My great- great grandfather was James G. Willey of the Willey handcart co. My other Great- Grandfather was Lot Smith who was the one who took part in the burning of the wagons, that you had the reanactment of ,on the 4th. My Great- Great- Grandfather was Willard Richards, who was in the first treck to Utah, so I have always felt the pioneer spirit. I am going to Henifer on the 16th to see the wagon train! I can't wait! God Bless you. Love, Pam

Robert wrote:

Hi, my name is Robert Jones from Provo Utah. I wanted to send a big thank you to Bob Lowe ..., also thanks to Bre Cornell. Please let her know that we are praying for her recovery. Also I appreciate those who keep us up to date, namely Wendy, Margaret, Dan and all those putting together journals. Thank you very much, A friend, Robert Jones. P.S. hope to be there when you come into Salt Lake City.

July 9, 1997

Steve wrote:

Three cheers for Margaret Clark. As I have written before, she is performing a great service for all us who can't be with the trek but can still enjoy the experience vicariously through her journal entries. Her fame is spreading far and wide. Her name now comes up regularly in Church meetings here on the East coast. One member of our Ward just completed the bike trip from Nauvoo to SLC and one of the high points of his trip was when he caught up with the reenactment and spent a few minutes with Margaret Clark. Although he has been signed up for the bike trip for many months now, his enthusiasm increased many times after he started reading Margaret's journals. Margaret is certainly becoming the William Clayton of the reenactment, and is a blessing to all of us. Keep up the good work. I hope to see all the journal entries published in book form some day.

with tongue in cheek, Julie wrote:

Hey B.C..... Yes, I already figured out that B.C. stands for Brent Something-or-other and NOT British Columbia, Canada, right?

I was reading one of your more recent entries. It sounds like it is getting pretty discouraging some days, Go FIGURE! You guys are out there doing an amazing thing! Anyway, I thought of an option for you if you would like to hear it? See, you could stick your thumb out and hitch a ride with Margarets husband. You could probably talk him into running you into town. There exists only a minor problem or two: The first is that once you get IN the van, it seems, (according to one of her entries), that is it getting kinda tough to get back OUT of the van. Who knows, you may be trapped there for a very long time????

The other problem that occured to me, (also deduced from Margaret's description of the van), you will probably end up pulling IT into the Salt Lake Valley. Hmmm, I am not sure of what you will be able to use as the - what do you call them out there? - "Handles"? I think it might be one of the larger handcarts, certainly one of the most un-authentic ones! (See, I am not so sure that they had FM/AM radios in the handcarts way back then ya know?)

Tell everyone good luck! We look forward to seeing the whole troop in approximately "T - 14 days"!!!!

:) always
julie, Lewisville, TX
PS. Your decision that you and Amy made about changing your original kissing plans? Thumbs up to that one!

July 15, 1997

Steven M. Probert wrote:

My name is Steven M. Probert and we just came off the Trek today.

We arrived on Tuesday the 8th of July at Miller's Station. This camp was in a sagebrush area accesible via dirt roads the likes of which was hard on my trailer. I busted a U-bolt that was attached to my springs and though I was broken down for good, that is until someone found me some parts and the "fix it man" of the wagon train came by the next day and corrected the problem. Our first night was restless because we did not know what to expect. We were assigned with the handcart company the next morning.

Wednesday July 9th we woke about 05:15 and prepared for our first day out as "walkers". We met new faces and people that would become friends and helpers for our family. We were given a hand cart as a family. This morning we got our first view of how big the company was. The Wagons moved out first with our cheers and we followed right after. The pace seemned fairly good but as time went on it seemned too fast. Just south of Miller's station we took a hard right and saw a beautiful sight.

The wagon train was in the distance following this road and I reflected back upon the first Mormon wagon train to follow this route. It looked and felt so authentic to me. Perhaps the first time I really felt the scope of this re-enactment. From Miller's Station and walked a good 12 miles into Fort Bridger. The first few miles where dirt road and the last few where pavement. The pavement along with the general temperature was quite hot so we took more breaks than usual.

My daughter Kalie rode in the handcart the whole way but we didn't mind because her singing and general playfull attitude helped alot of us out. During our walk on pavement the water truck came by and gave us all a good spray. What was amazing to me is that everyone in the handcart company, men, women and children, wanted to be soaked. It didn't matter about hair, makeup ect. We where just glad to get the heat factor down.

We had several on lookers which I felt very greatful for. I for one enjoyed the attention of those whom I felt appreciated us. It helped me go on. We arrived in Fort Bridger and camped in a wonderful grassy area on Fort Bridger historical site. This was our first day on the trail and all of the 9 members of my family were tired and hurting. I tried soaking my feet in the cool stream running through Fort Bridger and found that to be relaxing. Soon most of my family did the same thing. We heard a guest lecuturer talk about Jim Bridger that night and went to bed fairly early.

To our dissapointment we had to end the trek today, July 12th 1997. After a reviving day in Fort Bridger (July 10th) with activities galore for all the kids we again started on the trail. Fort Bridger gave us an opportunity to take part in gunny sack races, pioneer neckless making, ice cream making, historical reviews, a dedication of Mormon wall, a play about the pioneers and reflective time to take in the whole idea of this wagon train, past and present. This is the time for me when it all sank in. I was so impressed with it all my feelings were often very deep and tears where shed in appreciation for the opportunity to be "on the trail". Officials at Fort Bridger made a smart move when they allowed the entire train to occupy the park. Many people came up to us, asking us about the journey and our handcarts. We were as it was, on display. You could tell that many folks respected what the train represented by their curiousity and intense interest in our experience. Many had relatives that had come across the plains and some direct descendents of the Martin and Wille handcart companies. Of course whenever I heard about these two companies my heart was always drawn out in honor to them for the sacrifices they made. My wife read some accounts to me of their struggles that couldn't help but bring tears to the eyes. It is my own feeling that there was a special spirit among the handcart company making this trek because of the signifigant struggles they faced together. We have heard many stories and have been involved with experiences of both the old and new wagon trains that leads me to believe there is great purpose in both of them.

On Thursday a reporter caught a glimpse of my youngest daughter, Kalie (5 years), who of course is a little doll. He wanted to know all about her experience and I hope we can get pictures or a copy of that story from the regional paper in Wyoming. The Fort Bridger stop will always be a highlight in our family. Well there was one last thing to do before we could go home and that was, complete another walking day. I had my reservations because of the poor shape that my wife and I were in but I still had to do it. The bell ringer rang the bell again at 04:30 on Friday the 11th and we found ourselves with another adrenalin rush in preparation for the day. We met with the wagon master and historian again who told us of our destination and what to be careful of.

At 7:00 we started on our journey. It was cool in temperature and great walking for the first few miles. A couple of cute teenage gals also helped me with the handcart. We found the spirit of helping all along the way. We had a stop where Earl our individual handcart leader strummed a tune and played his mouth organ as my wife and I danced. Such was the fun in the morning. We were all so excited for the cool weather, because 2 days before it had been so hot. We traveled far in a relatively short period of time. All is well. Then as the afternoon wore on I noticed that huge blisters where starting to form on my feet. The handcart was becoming noticeably harder to pull and spirits where not as high as before. It was gut check time.

I had to go back to the lag bus to pop my blisters and see if I could get my feet feeling better. I was thrilled to hear that my children had been found helping others along the way. My wife was struggling with the mileage too. Then we decided to get off the bus again and finish the day by walking to camp. We felt like giving up many times. I had to concentrate on just keeping myself afloat so I couldn't help my wife. Heber a young man came up and caught my wife's arm saying, come on you can make it, walking with her for several miles. My daughter Sara, saw me walking along and determined to continue because if her dad could do it she could to. The man who built the handcart we were pulling came up to me and took over the pulling of the handcart for the last few miles.

We were so excited when we saw a hill because we "knew" that camp would be in sight just over the next hill and guess what, it wasn't. Well we just had to keep going and going and going. It is always the last hour and a half of the trail that is the most challenging. You keep looking and looking for the camp not finding it but somehow when your feet say stop, your heart says go. Well we made it. All 21+ (I think 23 or so) miles. I was worried about my wife because the lag bus was no longer available, as it was being used to take wagon train people back to pick up their vehicles from the previous day's camp. After a few minutes I saw her, there she was arm in arm with a unknown woman crying together because they had made it.

Above all, if you where anywhere near our handcart you could here the joyous voice of our youngest singing all day (Of course she rode most of the way) to raise our spirits. She usually sang the following song, "You don't have to push a handcart, leave your family dear, or walk a thousand miles away to be a pioneer, You do need to have great courage, faith to conquer fear." And so we felt it was with us, we conquered a little of our fear leaving a sense of accomplishment. We loved it and made many friendships whose names we can't mention all here. Please have a continued great trek into the valley as our hearts are with you. If anyone would like to e-mail us try sprobert@wipd.com.
The Probert Family Steve, Judy, Jamie, Sara, McKay, Jacob, Nathan, Seth and Kalie.

After some encouragement from us, Julie responds to the trekker journals:

Hello "ya'll" trekkers!,
I can tell you are getting close, not because I can SEE you are anything like that, it's just that the Heritage site is becoming busier and busier and busier and busier and.... well I think you understand.

Margaret, I know this is too late now, but did you guys ever check with AAA before you left... to see if they had a "Handcart Plan" or a "Wagon Plan"? Something to consider for next-time I guess, let's see that would be in about the year 2047?

As for you Dan, As I recall, there have been several engagement anouncements along the train, (along with the missionary calls.. congrats to daughter of Margaret and others!) Anyway, I am just worried and had some thoughts as to what you could do in case the brides and grooms forget to send you and Margaret an invite. (You had better not show this to Amy or BC!)

Let's call it "Almost 101 Ways to Crash a Pioneer Wedding Reception":

  1. Take your pet Rooster along and tie his lease to the refreshment table while you go through the reception line.
  2. In full view of everyone, go to the gift table, choose the nicest and largest gift on the table and scratch through the name of the giver, substituting your own name.
  3. Slip your pet snake (or horny toads, which ever you happen to have caught that morning) into the punch bowl.
  4. Hook the electric organ up to a "Clapper"... (Wait! There isn't suppose to be any electricity yet?)
  5. Instead of rice, throw home-made cottage cheese.
  6. After the reception, replace the videographer's tapes with tapes of the 1997 Re-enactment Trek.
  7. UN-decorate the get-away handcart.
  8. Cordially explain to the Mother of the Bride, that it was your cubs night and you were unable to find a substitute, thus, the 26 cubs you brought along are earning an arrow for "Social Family Traditions" (or some such important sounding title.)
  9. Just before the bride is to throw her bouquet, carefully insert a small water-balloon, (available in 1997), filled with cherry jello into the bouquet.
  10. Tie empty cast-iron pans to the axle of the get-away handcart.
  11. Take a large fan and a bowl of sand to the reception. About halfway through the evening, turn on the fan at one end of the room and throw the sand into the air in front of the fan. (This will make the visiting pioneer friends and family feel right at home!) After that, RUN!
  12. Take a small glass of milk with you. As soon as you are through the reception line, head over to the cake table, using the great big knife with a bow on it, cut a piece out for yourself. Next, sit down on the floor and eat the cake by dipping it in milk first then taking a bite. (BE SURE to use your fingers!) Get seconds if you are still hungry.
That is almost 101 isn't it?

I hope you are all enjoying your last bit of the trek... Sounds as though you are getting plenty of additions to the company, (Including BRAND NEW ones!)

I noticed that you ALMOST mentioned the possibility, (NOT!) of eating that lovely, ever-present, constant companion, sagebrush. I decided to put together a few ideas for recipes for you. Let's see now:

Sweet-n-Sour Sage
1 lb sagebrush
Boil in 1 qt. water (you may wish to use water from the rivers along the wayside or then again, NOT!)
Add small amount of vinegar, (you know, the stuff you were drinking to keep away the bugs??? yyeeecchhhh!!)
Add a fresh orange from Florida. (Should only be a few months walk to get there....)
Serve hot.

Sage Stew
1 lb sagebrush
Boil in 1 qt. water, (see note above)
Add anything else you want. (kids automatically know not to eat something called "stew" so you can add items to suit the adult taste without breaking any children's hearts)
Serve hot

1 lb sagebrush
Boil in 1 qt. water, (see note in Sweet-n-Sour sage recipe)
Add whatever you need to add to make sushi. (I would suggest fresh, however I think there just might be a bit of swimming involved to get there, OK well, if you think your up to it!!!)

Seafood Sage Special
1 lb sagebrush
Boil in 1 qt. water, (you know the routine here...)
Catch a fish in the nearest stream (Or if you REALLY want "Seafood Sage" take the California trail at your nearest Parting of the Ways and head West for another month or two. You will have the opportunity to fish for shrimp and other salt-water inhabitants at that point)
Make a cream sauce using the boiled sage. Pour over fish item.
Serve hot

Sage Stroudel
1 lb sagebrush
Boil in 1 qt. water (need I keep typing these parenthesis??)
Send a singing telegram to Julie Andrews in Austria... She probably has the recipe. "Sage Brush on Pancakes and Sagebrush in Stroudel... Sage Brush in transport and Sage Brush in Noodles.... These are a few of my favorite things...."
Serve hot (I think)

Sage Surprise
1 lb sagebrush
Boil in 1 qt. water.... (yaddy yaddy yaddy)
Well... I don't know what is in the rest...
Serve _____

And FINALLY! (for the kids....)
Sagebrush PIZZA!
1 lb sagebrush
Boil in 1 qt. water.... ( )
Layer carefully on baking powder dough covered with squished tomatoes. (These can be purchased at your nearest trading post)
Milk the cow
Heat the milk while stirring constantly. Add some salt. Once you start
to see hard lumpy things, separate them from the liquid part. Spread the
hard lumpy things over the sage and tomatoes. Let sit in the sun until
the hard lumpy things become soft and melted.
Serve hot. Then in order to be environmentally with-it, serve cold for

Well there you go. Oh, wait! I was also wondering ONE more thing; you mentioned that you don't have to put up with TV. I have something that I am curious about.... "If you were given the option of listening to that Nintendo game music over and over for 12 hours straight, OR walking through sagebrush for 12 hours straight.... which would you choose??" Note: Plenty of liquid refreshment would be provided in either situation. (This is kind of like a word problem.)

We took the kids to see "Hercules" the other day. You know, a good HERO movie. I figured out that we didn't need to spend the money to see heroes there, all we have to do is check the internet for your latest information! You guys are all GREAT!!

PS. Oh yes, please tell Rob that I hope his shins are feeling better so that he can get right back into the "Race"! Uhh, bad joke...

I just thought I would mention a thing or two about those little [Giardia] guys... (NO! I am certainly NOT coming to their defense!) You see, THEY think they are very funny, even though nobody ELSE does. If you ever get the chance to closely observe one of them under a scope? Do it! (That is when you will get the opportunity to laugh and jeer at them!) See, even though they don't have eyes, or mouths, it appears that they are LOOKING at you with two big eyes, and a great big huge smile on their face. I guess it would be safe to say that they carry out their responsibilities with a smile!

Really though, as you already have experienced, it is NOT a good thing to be transporting those extra little "Trekkies" around, especially under the physically stressful circumstances that you are under! They are definitely the kind that use and abuse a good thing aren't they??? I know... maybe you should schedule them for some handcart pulling time. Knowing their personalities, they will probably take off once they know they have to do real work!

You have probably already thought of this but... I had a great idea for your flower arrangements for your wedding! You could get some ribbon and go out and gather up some sagebrush and make ALL the corsages, bouquets and other arrangements out of sagebrush! Now, just incase you haven't seen any sagebrush in the last month or so, it is this plant that grows out in the open. It would be in-expensive and yet, due to it's SCARCITY, I would bet that when you throw the bouquet over your shoulder you will have crowds of girls WANTING to be the one to get that sagebrush.

Also for a variety to the reception, you could have a "water boy". His job would be to walk around with a squirt bottle filled with water squirting all the arrangements or corsages, (try to hit ONLY the corsage and not the mother-in-law wearing it). The effect here is that you will have a variation in the aromatic atmosphere of the evening, see?

Tell everyone on the trail a big GOOD LUCK! You are all doing a wonderful thing and there are many out here who are cheering you on via cyber-space!

So, Bre...
You have been mentioned in all of these travelers journals. You have made quite an impression on everyone! I think from the sounds of it that you are definitely an "Intrepid".

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you of my thoughts on your latest little vacation. See, at first I considered that you must've decided to take a vacation back there. It didn't really make sense though because I figured that you are a smart enough woman to know that a hospital bed somewhere in Wyoming isn't exactly a highly sought after vacation spot! My suggestions for next time would be Hawaii, or the Bahamas, or how about Glacier Nat'l Park? Any of these would be quite beautiful this time of year, compared to the ceiling in the room you were in!

After I figured out that you didn't REALLY mean to go to all that trouble to get a vacation spot in a hospital bed, I thought that maybe you were just trying to be authentic. There again, I decided that you just aren't the type to go to THAT much trouble! Therefore, I now only want to say that our family is very happy, (and my daughter COMPLETELY impressed), that you are back with the train! I am sure you were missed and good luck the rest of the way!

PS. I noticed the photo of Mike Dunn in his blue bonnet... could you tell him that I think a Mauve color with a nice pinkish floral print would be better for his coloring?? Maybe he could get one of those color analysis things done once he makes it to the valley!

Hi Wendy!
So you wore jeans to church huh?? Hey, if you were a poor youth doing that anywhere else in the church, you might've had lots of dirty looks! (Even a note from the Bishop pinned to your shirt sent home to your mommy... did that stuff ever happen to YOU when you were a kid?) Soooo, hey, lightning didn't strike the meeting, I figure that means you must still be marked off in the "OK" column on the big checklist ya know?

I made up a really dumb poem for you, Margaret, Bre, and all the others out there that are getting tired of those pesky mosquitos. If you don't like the poem, well, just burn the thing. Unless of course you are reading this directly off the computer, that would be a rather expensive burning wouldn't it??

Ode to the mosquito
Tiny and Light,
quick of flight.
Hate imitation vanilla,
and that's all right!
(Hey! Their picky! They want the gourmet style vanilla!)
Goodness knows,
they dunna glows.
If they did....
their lives would come to a "smashing" close!
(OK, I got an idea - spray the air with glow in the dark paint!
Better yet, hire on some fireflies to track them for you.)
These smaller than small raiders,
(Desert Gladiators).
Stick to their job description,
that is.... "Eat up those pioneering mosquito haters"!
(Good luck in the "Battle of the Mosquito".)

Also, good luck to ALL in your travels. You are in the double digits in miles left to go now and that is AWESOME!!!

PS. Remember to keep those shoe laces triple knotted whenever possible! (a really smart Anti-Heber-Tickle-Torture move)

Hey Larry,
I saw that you had to get your hair trimmed? I guess it wouldn't be a very good idea to be driving up and down the roads if you can't see it, (or the people walking on it) right?? I realized through the photo that your journalistic "Beautician" had to resort to using scissors!!! Or even yet, was it just a peice of broken off iron from a handcart wheel? I thought I would write and tell you about a thing that has been invented, (that you will soon experience in less than 12 days!), and that is something called "electricity". See, there are hair-cutting devices that have a long tail-like projection on them. At the end of the tail-like projection there are two, (sometimes three), small metal units. These units insert into a plate usually on the wall of a home. These "homes" that I speak of have walls made of a solid substance, rather than a cloth-like substance that you are used to. Once the unit is "plugged" into the wall plate, the hair-cutting device runs by itself and makes the beauticians job a rather easy and quick one. I believe that there is also less chance of injury, (I HOPE she didn't accidentally get your ear with those scissor things!)

My daughter had another idea. She thinks it would be a really good idea to get Dan and all his friends out there to line up and get their hair cut? She said that what you have to do is take a bowl and put it upside down over their heads and then just cut around the bowl. My only suggestion to the beautician would be to make sure that the bowl is level!

Good luck out there!!! You obviously have a very important job and from the sounds of it, you are a very appreciated part of this whole deal.

PS: Do me a favor and ask Margaret if she has seen any sagebrush?