Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wagons Ho! pioneer trek, day 1

We're back, new and improved, thankful that we live in the day and age of running water! The trek this last weekend was an experience that taught us to be thankful for much more than that plus a myriad of life lessons.

We started off weeks and months in advance preparing (I've posted about our hikes).  We each sewed our skirts and aprons and a sweet lady made our bonnets.  That pretty white that you see quickly got covered in trail dust.  

 The place that we went to, Riley's Farm (Mile High Ranch), made the trek experience a total reenactment.  We tried to do everything that the handcart pioneers did (minus the starving, trudging through snow and dying).
It began with a reading of the extermination order of the Mormons from Govenor Boggs then the instructions for the Saints to gather their belongings and move West for their own safety.  We were assigned into families.  We were given 8 children--5 girls and 3 boys (what a coincidence) and even a "flour" baby to carry (it was heavy).  Since we were the Jacksons, the kids named him Michael (clever).  Then we loaded our belongings that were packed in buckets.  We had a family flag that I painted our name that happens to be from a real pioneer family.  No bushes or holes in the ground for us, we had a "john" following us (by the end of the trip, I think we would rather have had the bushes).

We even had the opportunity to see what it was like to cross a river on a floating platform.  It was quite tricky.

On the small hills, the kids would run up them to get their momentum.  After walking 8 miles, we stopped at a big grassy area  for the night to have dinner then spread out our sleeping bags under the Big Dipper (girls on one side, boys on the other with leaders in the middle).  But before going to bed we listened to a man who looked very much like Joseph Smith talk to us about listening to the Spirit.
The first day was a wonderful way to start.  It was as though we were getting our "sea legs" trying to figure out our limits and strengths.  It gave us a good foundation that became helpful for the days to come.  But now, it's very late, so I need to end this, but will share more tomorrow.

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