Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pioneer Trek (Day 1)--Yes, I SURVIVED!!!

Before I do my post about trek, I wanted to share this picture I took as we were heading home. I love when we drive by the canola fields--they are just gorgeous this time of year. (I hope to be able to get a shot of the flax--which both Allan and I love.

I am so excited to do this post all about Trek. We had such a wonderful time, in spite of a few annoyances, AKA ticks!!!! In fact, I was going to title this post--"Here a tick, there a tick, everywhere a tick, tick."

You gotta love this picture I took using my gorillapod of Allan, Kyle and I the morning we left for Trek. Note to self--next time put the gorillapod on a table and don't shoot UP--looks a little silly. And, if I ever have to sew another pioneer dress, I won't make the collar on the dress so high--can you say "choke" ; ) I really should have my bonnet on--sorry.

I know many of you have done trek before, I had not and neither had Allan, so for us it was a great adventure. Kyle thought that since he had graduated and was no longer in the Youth program, he shouldn't have to go. HA!!!! Fat chance, he was going, and HE WAS GOING TO HAVE A GOOD TIME. (And, he did--he really enjoyed himself ; )

We took a bus out of town about 2 1/2 hours and immediately got our family assignments. Allan and I were Ma and Pa to 9 children--two of them were from our Ward. Most of the kids know him, but they didn't all know me. (One of our sons asked if any of the youth were intimidated having Allan for a Pa--NOT AT ALL. One of the girls was from a neighboring "district", and she was a delight. (Actually, when she was little she lived in our Ward and I was her mom's visiting teacher. This is our family at the end of trek.

First thing we did was assemble the handcarts--boy those things are well-made.

After assembling our handcarts, we began. When we started the trail had washed away and we found we had to go around by going down a bit of a gully. It was an interesting start.

We encouraged everyone in our family to drink lots of water and be checking themselves whenever we stopped for ticks. We did fine for quite awhile, but we had a couple of boys who wanted to be first, so we passed several handcarts. They didn't seem to understand that being first on the trail equated to having the most ticks. I can't tell you exactly how many ticks Allan brushed off my clothe, but it was close to 30. He did remove one from the back of my neck and when I went to bed that night I took off 3 from inside my clothes.)

We had several stops along the trail--the first was at Sugar Creek. At each stop we would hear pioneer stories--they were great and it gave the youth (and the old folks) a chance to stop and rest for a few minutes. At our first stop, there was a place to get a snack and to "earn" a candy bar by sharing a talent. Some of the youth sang a song, recited a poem, or shared a scripture. Second stop was Garden Grove.

Because Trek was in place of Girls Camp, the YW leaders thought it would be great to give the girls an opportunity to fulfill some requirements for camp, and of course, there is the requirement to name flowers--how about this one???? Any ideas what this flower is called? Click on it and notice the little creature that is attached.

We then stopped in Council Bluffs--which later became Kanesville and was again changed back to Council Bluffs. It was the starting point for the Mormon Battalion. I can't imagine what it was like for those women to kiss their husbands, sons, brothers, goodbye and send them off to join in the Mexican-American war.

I loved when we stopped at Winter Quarters and were taught about the cabins the pioneers built to spend the winter waiting to continue the trek to the Salt Lake Valley. In this picture you can see the rope on the ground which is measured to show the 10 x 10 feet area which represents the approximate size of their cabins. The youth couldn't even imagine--it was a great teaching moment.

When we had about a mile left, the men were called to join the Mormon Battalion and the women were left to push/pull the carts. Unfortunately, I don't think all of the young men got a real understanding of this part which was too bad. I know Kyle was just relieved that he got a break from having to push/pull. The women were too fast and some of us pulled into the stopping point before the young men got there ; )

We pulled into camp and had a lovely dinner--I have to say our cooks were FABULOUS. The first evening we had chicken breast, baked potato with all the trimmings, salad, and beans. Before dinner most of the youth put their tents together.

After dinner we gathered in our families to have a devotional and to work on skits. (I HATE DOING SKITS SO THIS WAS THE PART I WAS DREADING THE MOST. As always, the youth came through and did a FABULOUS job ; ) We gathered in our families after the skits to have family prayer and send everyone to bed.

In my bucket was my little pump so I could inflate my air mattress--the thing that SAVED MY BACON. Here is our "little" tent--referred to as "The Mansion" ; )

Yesterday, I went out for lunch with a couple of friends who were also on Trek and then we each had pedicures. It was a lovely treat.


Sidenote #1: Sunday was my first Sunday alone at Church in years--Kyle is now going to the Young Single Adult Ward.

Sidenote #2: Be sure and enter my giveaway. It's open until Saturday.


Neal said...

I would want to have Kyle in my Trek family - he's strong enough to push the cart for awhile ; )

In our Trek, they handled the Mormon Battalion scenarios really well. They had the YM run for almost a mile. It simulated the LONG trail the Battalion had to endure, and it made sure that the YM ended up at the meeting place before the YW. I'm tearing up right now, thinking about watching the women pull/push those carts on their own - and the amazing reaction the YM had when they arrived...

JustRandi said...

Oh, Yvonne. You are amazing. We've never done Trek here, though I would really like to!
How much diet coke do you think I could get into my bucket? I would even give up the air mattress....

Heffalump said...

When our Stake did the trek they had the YW pull the carts up hill. The YM were at the top waiting and they had a really hard time not going to help those girls pull the handcarts. It got the point across.

ShEiLa said...

I am glad you survived day one... the ticks would have freaked me out.

Love your canola field photo... beautiful.


Natalie said...

Oh my goodness. You are amazing! I really admire the pioneers, but even the simulation is amazing to me. Good job. I admire you too. I could not have pulled one of those wagons.
Our youngest got to go on a Trek and she really loved it.

PJ said...

So fun...except the ticks! What a wonderful experience, I'm glad Kyle went along!

Sheri said...

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I have never been on trek either and have always wanted to go. My family is going this year... but unfortunately it is looking like we may have to pass as we can't leave the restaurant for 3 days!:(

Nancy Face said...

Kyle sounds JUST LIKE LAUREN! Our Trek was one month before she graduated, and we made her go, muahaha! >:D

The ticks sound awful, but your trail is so much prettier than ours was! We were on part of the Mormon Battalion Trail that's just an hour and a half from where I live. It was dusty, sandy, barren and HOT!

You're so blessed to have all those great pictures! We were not allowed to bring cameras at all. There was an official photographer, and each person was promised a CD of all the pictures. Well, the man in charge of that project failed to follow through, and NO ONE got any pictures! I still get upset when I think about it! :(

Nancy Face said...

P.S. Sierra made her cute apron by following the shape of an apron she already had. Lauren and I have no idea how she figured it out! :)

txmommy said...

your outfits were awesome! what a fun trek :)

txmommy said...

I just read my email, but I can't respond. I don't know why. Anyway. Val and I would love to meet you at cold stone. We could go Friday night or saturday afternoon. Do you still have my cell number?

Corrine said...

what an awesome experience, and yucks to the ticks!! scary! how fun...man what a neat experience.

sweetpea said...

Wow! I can't wait to see how the rest of the trek is!

Valerie said...

You did it!! You survived! Yay, Yvonne! Looks like a wonderful, amazing experience. (I could do without the ticks too.)

Our stake did trek once, 4 or 5 years ago. I don't think they have plans to do another one. It makes me sad.