Monday, July 9, 2012

Trek: The WHOLE experience

We started our trek experience at the temple.
Good things happen here.
Step two was to climb aboard buses and make our way to Auburn, NH where we met our families.  Mr. Dub was a stellar "Pa" and I am the lucky one to be paired up with a wilderness survival all-star like him.  We told everyone that our family was the dream team.  They seriously were.

 Sweet, SWEET Mesquite!
She was on trek too.  Mesquite was in a different family, but it was good to be able to connect with her from time-to-time just to pass along a squeeze.  Doesn't she make a cute little pioneer?
Darling Rooney joined us along with about 25 others on the last day (in her stylish Vera Wang-style pioneer fashion) and pushed a handcart with a family made up of 12 and 13 year-old youth for the final three miles and into "the valley" where our friends and families were waiting to welcome us. Dub, Mesquite and I greeted her with three days worth of sweat and grime encrusted onto our clothes and bodies in an enthusiastic family hug.  Secretly, I think that was her favorite moment.  It might have been mine too.
We walked and walked and walked...
most of the way we trekked on rail trails that were pretty well-groomed. Many bikers and runners happened by, but few stopped long enough to find out what we were up to.  I'm sure 80 (or so) modern-day pioneers pushing handcarts were a stunning sight for an unprepared jogger.  There were some rocky spots and quite a few hills that made our journey challenging.
Eighteen miles pushing handcarts in pioneer clothes and sleeping on the ground was enough to increase appetites, leave bruises and sore muscles.  Getting poison ivy and tick bites didn't prevent us from having FUN; we built character and all were inspired.  Delving into the stories of pioneer faith, courage and determination increased those same virtues in all of us.
 Our handcart had a pioneer bumper sticker made of rocks (one to represent each member of our family) and held on with duck tape.  Every pioneer should have duck tape in their bag.
 At one point on the second day the men were hauled off to join the Mormon Batallion to fight the war against Mexico.  That left the women to pull the handcarts alone.  We pulled an additional two miles up and down a series of rocky hills.  We earned our stripes and rocked the pull.
 On the afternoon of the second day, we couldn't have been more relieved to camp on a beautiful piece of property with a lake to swim in.  I wasn't thrilled to discover that we shared the water with some very large water snakes... it was refreshing, but I didn't make more than one jump off the rock.
 We had handcart pride!  In the form of wildflowers and a dead snake; we gathered memories and experience along the trail that will remain with us for a long time.

Hooray! for a great bunch of youth who swim upstream in the moral currents of society every single day.
Hooray! for experiences that make you value your heritage and leave you wanting to make a difference.
Hooray! for an amazing experience on Trek.  And finally,
HOORAY! for a family to come home to.


Swimmingmom said...

Looks like an amazing adventure. How lucky those youth were to be a part of your "family".

shirlgirl said...

I'm sure your shower and your bed looked wonderful to all of you after days in the hot sun and wearing pioneer clothing. Glad you had a great adventure and sharing what you did over the few days you were away.

Jo Jo said...

Your sunglasses are the only thing that seems out of place ;-) Isn't that first shower wonderful? We loved our trek as well. Almost looks like the same place, except for that cabin. Hooray for Israel!

The Mormon Monk said...

Two things: 1) if I have to go on trek, I'm taking Dub with me. 2) Abby's "pioneer" dress has to be the best looking outfit I've ever seen a pioneer in. Ha!

LL said...

You (and your daughters) make beautiful pioneers. It's your natural beauty. What a lucky group of kids to be in your family (at home and on trek)
You remind me or MA on Little House on the Prairie.
Sounds like it was amazing, sad we missed it.

ellen said...

Very cool. I went to welcome our youth "into the valley" last year and I was really emotional.

Christy said...

That looked like an truly down as dirty fun time!

Melissa Sysling said...

Love the running sneakers and sunglasses! Looks like fun (cough, cough)

Doran & Jody said...

Looks like an awesome time!!
We are leaving Wednesday morning for our Trek. It sounds like 28 miles of sagebrush and no shade for 3.5 days and definately no water to jump in.

Say an extra prayer for us this week!!