So why do we subject ourselves to this experience, along with all the misery and even agony that goes along with it? In the end, I was completely amazed at the strength of those kids. They worked hard to overcome obstacles. They gained an appreciation, (albeit only a small taste) of the sacrifice and strength of our pioneer ancestors. But the lesson we hope they all learned is they they can do hard things, and overcome any challenge. When they saw a large, steep hill looming ahead, and they thought, "there is no way we can get up to the top of that steep slope", they all pushed together and made it up. We endured it all and successfully reached the end. I personally learned how important it is to be aware of the needs of those around you. We offered help to others on a few occassions, and then we ourselves needed to be rescued on the last day when we suffered injuries. We were grateful to the "angels" along the way who provided an extra push when we struggled. Maybe later, I'll post "The Parable of the Handcart Train" that I wrote after the last day. We are glad it is over, but we are sooo grateful for the experience.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
We spent the last 4 days with the youth in our stake on a Handcart Trek. Here we are waiting to leave--so excited, and looking so clean and dry in our awesome pioneer attire. We had an inkling of what lay in store for us because we had been keeping an eye on the weather forcast. Each of our kids were assigned to different families, and we were Ma and Pa to a group of youth we had only met once.
A glance at those clouds in the background gives you an idea of what was in store for us.
We experienced all kinds of weather: lots of rain, wind, hail, and even one full day of sun (the day we hiked 10 long miles). The first night it rained hard ALL night and flooded the tents. We treked nearly 30 miles over 4 days. The group suffered blisters, a few sprained ankles, lots of heat stroke, a bit of hypothermia, and lots of aches and pains and fatigue.
Here we are on the end of the second day, when the sun finally peeked out, a little worse for wear, but still smiling.