August 17th, 2009


13 Miles

As I spent another insane night next to the trains last night and it is getting cold at night now that I am at around 4500 feet in elevation. I have been able to see my breath each night as I crawl out of my tent to go tinkle. By the way, even sleeping in my clothes and with the one blanket under me and the other over me… I get c o l d… and I have another 4000 feet in elevation to go. I have no doubt that I will get dusted with some snow in the Rockies before I get home on Sept. 26th. So the lack of sleep will change in Casper from losing the train whistles to gaining the cold and uncomfortable nights. Welcome to being a pioneer.
As I was leaving Ft. Laramie this morning, a very large gentleman in his night clothes came running out to meet me and said that he had been following me and he wanted me to take some squash and a couple of small watermelons from his garden that he had been saving for me. Hallelujah Brother! The Lord keeps sending me more food and because I was still in the Ft. Laramie trading zone, I graciously accepted. I’m saving one of those little watermelons for my birthday, Sept. 13th. It will be quite a pioneer party, even though I will probably be by myself, I have been carrying an “add only water” cranberry muffin mix for the last 70 days and it will be the center of the meal on my birthday. So I will have the muffins, watermelon, and hard tack dipped in my choke cherry juice for flavor for breakfast. Remember the choke cherries that put me in the hospital, well it cooked down to three quarts and I earned each drop.


By the way, I am at the Guernsey Ruts. Go Google it on the net and read up on the area. The ruts and Ft. Laramie are a focal point on the trail. I took my handcart up to the ruts this afternoon and did an historical narration with the handcart actually in the ruts. I have no doubt that my handcart is the first handcart that has been in those ruts since 1860. What an honor to be in the exact same spot as my grandmother and every other pioneer. Let me just dropped a couple of names: Everyone in Brigham Young’s wagon train, every handcart that ever went to Salt Lake, John C. Fremont, Jim Bridger, and on and on. Do a little history lesson for yourself and Google the Guernsey Ruts.

Updates: the leg is doing well, or as well as can be expected. Hernias are still a concern. Feet are doing well. Rash on upper body is a concern. Mental outlook is better because of being in WY and getting additional food stuffs. The daily grind is more tolerable with Reiker to help pull.
In my mind’s eye, my motivator is I see myself entering the Salt Lake Valley and meeting a lot of wonderful people. It will be an honor for Grandmother Sarah Goode Marshall that has been 153 years in the making. I am also looking forward to meeting and walking that last mile or so with people of all religions. This is what drives me at the moment… plus a Godfathers Combo!

Time for bed… not sleep… just bed.