Jun 8, 2012

Pioneer Trek 2012 - Day 3

After another difficult night (warmer, but hard ground) I woke up at 5:30 again and made a fire. We had breakfast of biscuits and gravy, fruit and milk (which was delicious, by the way) and then started on our hike for the day. It was fairly warm with a slight breeze, and felt pretty good. This time on the trail there were several "experiences" to make it more real. As we went, we passed by another family from our ward who was on their knees with a hole in the ground burying their baby. It was even more heart wrenching because the mother of the family really is pregnant. Just seeing them there staring into the hole tore at your heart strings. Knowing they had to go on anyway, and leave the grave behind, wow. Just, wow.

Soon after that, the angel of death (Emily Petty) came through our camp and took one member of each of our families. Considering that many families lost multiple members, losing one was still quite sad. They went off with her, and we were left to sort out our family. We lost Kyra, and while some lost the Dad's and Mom's in the family, we still missed her, even for just the 1/2 hour she was gone. Some of the families had harder times than others.
Those who died in happier times

We went about 2.5 miles into the hike then stopped for lunch. We had a short program during lunch, then started what was called the Women's Pull. The men went off, leaving the women behind. We had a short talk about the importance of women in our lives, and how they should be treated well by Joe Fox.

Then the women started up the hill. It was about 3/4 of a mile at a fairly steep incline, and the men were not allowed to help. There really was a feeling of helplessness, coupled with awe at the strength of the women, pulling and pushing because there was no other choice.
After that was one of the most awe-inspiring experiences I have ever had. Michelle Allen (who is WAY tougher than I am) pulled her handcart alone with her husband in the back. She represented the story of Elsie and Jens Neilson who, when he fell ill, asked her to leave him behind. She wouldn't, loaded him in the cart and kept going. She was 4'11" tall and her husband was at least 6 feet. She pulled alone, and to watch her struggle, and only be able to watch, was so hard. There was not a dry eye to be found.
After a couple of minutes of struggling (which seemed like hours) her "children" were allowed to help, and she made it up the hill. We finished the 6 mile hike is relative silence after the experiences of the day.

We got back to camp and had dinner of Sloppy Joe's and salad. They were delicious. The missionaries set up square dance which was better attended than the one on Wednesday Then the "Pony Express" came and delivered mail to all the youth from their parents.
Then we had dutch oven peach cobbler, talked around the campfire and went to bed -- this time in the back of the van because I was tired of being cold. (did I mention I'm a wimp?)

Keep Reading --> Day 4
Read Day 2

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