Monday, July 18, 2011

Oh Some must push and some must pull...



ah beautiful prairie with it's outhouses under the big pink sky...










best to only look at this picture from a distance...

When I was a delightful teenager our area held a Pioneer Trek...and I refused to go. Obviously. I was a cranky high school girl, and it was the appropriate thing to do. Unfortunately I really did want to go, and of course I expected my mother to force me into it. Well the days went by and she didn't bring it up, and then my sisters left for the trek, and I stayed home. I've been bummed about it ever since. This week I finally got my chance to go.

Pioneer Trek, for those who may not know, is a Mormon phenomenon where the teenagers dress up like pioneer ancestors and go push a hand cart across the prairie somewhere for a few days. Some treks are really hard core, with very little food involved and rules such as No deodorant and no chap stick and many, many miles. My first trek was not this type. We went 14 miles total in 3 days. We had all sorts of modern conveniences and enough hot, good food to last actual pioneers a few months.

When I got back to work with my sun burnt puffy lips and red peeling nose, a coworker asked where I had been, and when I told him he shook his head and said "Ah you Mormons. I'm Scandinavian and you don't see me out on a Viking Ship."

But really...wouldn't you WANT to go out on a Viking Ship? Thought so.

It was hard work. I was one of the medical staff going, and we were BUSY. Most of the issues were just your typical teenage drama--I stayed up all night playing truth or dare and eating candy and now I don't want to go walk in the hot sun all day...that kind of thing. But not all of it. We had some real medical stuff, and it's kinda spooky to be out there.

Of course, not nearly so spooky than it was for the actual pioneers. We were in the area of Martin's Cove, in Wyoming, where a large group of late season handcart pioneers were stuck in an early snow storm in November camped for 5 nights in a cove of rock somewhat out of the wind. About 20% of them died and buried out there. Plenty of them lost hands and feet and had them amputated out there in on the trail. They were all starving. And after the storm died down, they still had hundreds of miles to go. I had heard many of the stories before but it's something else to actually be there and hear the stories. Kind of made me think if they could travel from Europe across an ocean and country and starve and freeze and die for their faith...maybe I can teach primary once a week. Not only that, Charlotte and Lily as well as Ella and Ava were never far from my mind. In a much smaller way than they did, I've watched my children suffer, and I've watched two die in their father's arms. It sounds ridiculous but in that way I feel a kinship with the mothers who had to do the same, but then had to leave them out there and keep walking.

It was awesome. And yes, my nose is bright red and I'm covered in bug bites and scrapes and my brother is getting married in three days, but I'm so glad I finally got to go. Thank goodness for large helpings of spirituality. It helps me to keep walking.






8 comments:

Stinky said...

no chapstick?!! That would be a huge determining factor!

Looks fun anyway!

Aunt Charla said...

This was my first Trek as well. I'm so glad I got to go with you. It was amazing!

Kim said...

I love that area of Wyoming; it is the first place I got to see President Hinckley speak in person. I can not imagine the winter they had to endure. What an amazing trip for you.

Susan said...

I'm glad you got to go, too(and that you even wanted to this time).

thack said...

I'm glad you got to go! But I'm still wondering how you weaseled your way out of the first time. I'm pretty sure Allison was forced to go--and as a result I was forced to go too. (Glad I did, of course. But obviously wasn't at the time of mandate.)

Julie said...

Such a great entry. So much to be thankful for on this pioneer day. Thanks for the reminder!

Julie

MK said...

Hey! My stepmother is morman and does the Trek in California...looks like you had fun!

Aqsa Rao said...

Nice.......
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