We woke up at 4:00 AM, had a quick breakfast of Pop-Tarts and milk, and met everyone at the church at 4:44 AM. Why 4:44? Because it's easier to remember than 4:45 (Was it 5:45, 6:45?) After several shuffles of who was going, driving, etc, we loaded into 11 cars, trucks, and vans (including our own) and headed out around 6:00 AM.
After a stop for gas, we continued on until we got to the 6th Crossing, Wyoming also known as the Willey Handcart Company rescue site. Several of the men got out to go get handcarts for the group, including me, while the rest of the group headed up to set up camp. I thought pulling a handcart would be rough, but it was quite heavy and awkward to pull by myself, even though it was empty.
Steve & Brittany Helm were the Ma and Pa of our family,
Diana and I were the Uncle and Aunt. As children were Ben Murdoch,
Steven Howes, Kyra Pace, and Julisa Maciel. It was a very eye-opening
experience to pull the handcart fully loaded like that. Two people
pulled and two pushed, in sandy soil four were on the front and back. We
had a good time getting to know each other, and finding our "groove."
We had lunch (sack lunches from home) then headed out on a 4 mile hike. Each handcart had a 5 gallon plastic bucket with up to 17 lbs of gear for each person in the "family" and two 5 gallon coolers of water. The hike included a Sweetwater River crossing. It was rather marshey and soggy, and then had an actual crossing in the deeper area. It wasn't very wide, but was still a struggle to get the handcart across.
Then we headed to bed at 10:00 PM after a bit of chatting by the fire. The wind had died down, but it had also cooled off quite a bit.
Keep Reading --> Day 2