Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Should be Blogging About Moving, but...

But we haven't posted about The Trek yet and it was way more fun than moving. Wait, it was like moving but not really. Anyway, our excuse to wear hats. I did don the bonnet when required but I avoided it except when the wind was blowing and my head was cold. Not really fashion statement.
Meet Ma and Pa Harrell. Only Dick decided we should be the grandparents so we were known affectionately as Grandma and Grandpa H.
The family. There were three daughter and five sons and they were all terrific kids. Now I understand why families preferred boys - they can work harder - but the girls were so special. And so cute. And then there are allowances for age, personality and body build, but I digress. Ages 12 to 17.
 The daughters.
 Dick and some of the other Pa's.
 The cart on the first day of trek.
 The first of many very cold streams. That's two members of our stake presidency on the two horses which came to be not such a good idea.
 The cart. Very noisy and very heavy but got the job done.
 Fortunately the first day was very warm and so the cool water wasn't so bad.
Fact:  Horses are stupid.
The horse that almost killed Pres. Clayton. He was skiddish and eventually there was an accident which I don't have the details of but Pres Clayton got rolled over on by the horse. He should have shot the horse but it was a rental.
 Fact:  Boys love to carry girls across streams. Who knew?
Fact:  Pa got sick of loading and unloading the cart, but by the third day we had a new system. It was called "let the stake carry some of our extra stuff". Which they should've been carrying all along but we didn't realize it.
Fact:  Starving children are helpful children.
My favorite part besides walking. Cooking. It was all dutch oven and they kids were very helpful. Because they were very hungry by dinner time. Which the first night was about 9pm. Or later if you weren't really handy with a dutch oven. Fortunately I caught on fast and we came up with some shortcuts so our meals were always done asap.
Our stake borrowed these handcarts from the Soldotna Stake who trekked several years ago. They were featured on the cover of the New Era that year. We were Moroni's chosen. Of course.
One of the many, many, many stops along the 25 or so mile trek. (Are we there yet? I need to go to the bathroom! I'm hot! I'm tired! I'm hungry! I need to see the doc!I need sunblock!)

Our stake provided so many fun activities that we hardly had any extra time with out kids. Games, crafts, black powder guns, hair washing by the river, pie and ice cream brought in on four wheelers - as was all the food- square dancing, firesides, a testimony meeting, tons of yummy food, doll making, whittling, and so on. Their dedication was amazing. They must've spent a fortune.
Did we have a good experience? We certainly did. Like the real handcart companies, we had our own set of trials, weather conditions, injuries, dangers, hardships and so on that were dramatic enough to give us a feeling for their circumstances and sacrifice.  Our company was very blessed on many occasions and we observed many of our own miracles during the week. The longer we stayed out in the wilderness the easier it was to imagine what life might have been like. There were some things I preferred and others I missed. I am more indebted than ever to the Pioneers and their perseverance in the face of the unknown.

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