#1 - THIS IS THE PLACE Monument marks the spot where Brigham Young first saw the Salt Lake valley after crossing over the Wasatch Range through Emigration Canyon on July 24, 1847. Brigham was sick with Rocky Mountain spotted fever at the time and announced, "It is enough. This is the right place." So the phrase "this is the place," spread through the wagon train as the Mormon pioneers descended to the valley, and their long journey came to an end. The rest is history...
#2 - IN APRIL 1846, a year before Brigham Young, a party of emigrants left Illinois to settle in California. They followed the California Trail and attempted a shortcut known as the "Hastings Cutoff" through the Wasatch Range, but the snowy pass and thick forest delayed their progress by almost three weeks. Unfortunately, their difficulties were just beginning. The party reached the Sierras in late October and encountered more heavy snowfall that blocked the higher Sierra Nevada passes, trapping the emigrants in a frozen wilderness for the winter. Only half of the original party eventually reached California after being reduced to cannibalism to survive the winter. You may have guessed that this was the ill-fated Donner Party.
#3 - AND NOW, in 2016, I'm on my way over these same mountains following the Lincoln Highway (I-80) on my walking journey to the eastern seaboard. Fortunately, the highway department has provided a clear path to follow through the Wasatch Mountains while Mother Nature has dusted the road with light snow showers but spared us from any treacherous snow packs. What a difference 170 years makes!
Week 12, Miles 790