Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Martin's Cove 2013 - Getting to Camp

It has been three years since we visited Martin's Cove as a family. (It may seem like 2 years to some people, but that is only because it took me a year to blog about it last time. I am determined not to make that mistake again.) Now, we technically moved out of the ward before they went on trek, but it was always our intention to go, and Tyler was on the Martin's Cove committee and they didn't release him when we moved anyway. Plus, I was excited to take the kids now that a few were older and could appreciate it more.

As before, I have a LOT to say and there are quite a few pictures, but this is my journal of trek and I don't want to leave anything out. Let's start at the very beginning. It's a very good place to start. We met at the church to carpool and caravan. We made a quick stop to get Hannah, June's best friend. Hannah is very interested in all things pioneer and June was interested in having a friend along, so it worked out well. This meant that I was constantly counting to six instead of five, but that is minor. Plus, I only lost one kid at one moment, but we'll get there...

So, back at the church. Tyler was distributing a booklet that he made for trek. It had maps, songs, and information about each handcart company. He worked really hard on it and I think it turned out great. I saw many people using them over the course of the next couple days and that is what mattered. Tyler was also busy at the church making sure everyone had enough pressure in their tires. He remembered Bro. Eddy bringing car fluids the last time around and he wanted to do something useful. I think it was a great service to people about to embark on a really long drive.

Last time around, we caravaned with some other cars and we thought that would be useful again. In fact, many families had radios so we were able to put together a six car caravan. That was nice because there were a lot of fun people to talk to, but not so nice because if anyone had to stop, EVERYONE had to stop. The drive that is supposed to be around 5.5 hours, took us almost 8. I still like the idea of the caravan, but perhaps not one quite so large.

One of the best parts of using the walkie talkies is coming up with call signs. We had quite a good mix:

Code Monkey and Cupcake (Jake and Sandy)
Frog Gel and Didge (Kari and Tyler) driving the Maroon handcart. (I really wanted them to be Maroon 6)
Fanny Pack and County Fair (Darin and Deanne) Darin did start with the name Bloobs as in 'blueberries' but somehow it didn't sound right coming across the airwaves. We suggested he change it so no one misheard it without the 'L'.
Slick and Caliente (Sarah and Julie)
The Chaos car which housed Sitty Girl and Crazy Clogs (Lily and Olivia)
Our vehicle was Team Ceasar with Raging Stallion and Miss January. Our kids had to name themselves too, so in the back we had Jaguar, Blue Egg, Bubbles, Cakes, and Porta Potty. (We named Pearl, poor thing.)

We had some good laughs, but it really was a long trip. At the end, I was driving and noticing that the steering wheel was shaking badly when the brakes were compressed. We broke away from our group half an hour before our destination thinking we might try the next city and have someone look at our brakes. But upon inspection by Tyler and a phone call to J.R. we decided that we would probably survive. And the Lord was on our side. We were able to drive over 800 miles with wonky brakes. (Remind me to have those checked. The steering wheel still shakes a little, I just haven't found time to take it in.)

Amazingly, on our last stretch to the Willie's Center (our caravan gone on ahead) we got stopped for construction. Yep, out in the middle of nowhere we sat there for a half hour waiting to drive ahead on a dirt road. The kids were worried we would NEVER get there. (I don't blame them.) But arrive we did. Dinner was all ready for us, and we set up tents quickly while children fed themselves. I say tents because we brought Hannah's four man tent thinking she would enjoy some privacy. The three oldest girls camped in there and had a pretty good time as far as I know.

There was a short fireside after dinner. June wrote about it in her journal and I quote, "After we set up the tents, and heard a story about Ephraim and his rescue (we had already seen the movie that week, so it was kind of boring, but I listened anyway), it was time to do some pioneer dances." I laughed when I read that, because I felt the exactly same way. We did watch the movie, Ephraim's Rescue, the Tuesday before we left, and listening to the fireside was more like someone trying to explain a movie than someone recounting pioneer stories. I guess that means I highly recommend the movie.

Square dancing was our last activity of the evening. June and Hannah were in heaven since they did the same song they learned for the dance festival. (Man...I haven't even blogged about that yet. Seriously, I'm going to have to do some major repenting once we move into the new house.) Anyway, June and Hannah dancing a jig = happy. (In fact they memorized some songs and sang them for the rest of trek.)

Ivory and Robyn found partners and were enjoying themselves.

Daisy and Pearl....well, we let Daisy dance in there periodically. Pearl was happier on the sidelines doing her own thing.

Oh, wait...it looks like Daisy found her own partner after all.

The dancing was super fun, and we used up all the daylight we had. Then, as the pioneers knew, it was time for bed because it would be an early morning. Someone forgot to pack pajamas for the kids, so there was a bit of consternation, but really, someone was just trying to make the experience more authentic by letting the children sleep in their clothes. Tyler packed his own stuff, so there was much chagrin when he pulled out his jammies. (Sheesh, way to make me someone look bad.)

The girls fell asleep pretty well despite the crazy wind. CRAZY wind. The tent flapped all around and I thought at times it would fly away, but I guess the stakes (and our weight) kept it down. Tyler didn't sleep right away. He spent some time talking to Taylor Hamblin about the stars. I wasn't awake for that, but since stars are one of Tyler's favorite things, I'm thinking he had a great time.

By the time Tyler finally got back to the tent to go to bed, it was pretty late. He tried to sleep, but the tent flapping kept him awake for over an hour. At that point, jammies and all, he went outside and secured the rain fly to keep it from flapping so much. 15 minutes later...he was asleep. Of course someone else was awake from all the stake pounding.

To be continued in 'The Trek Begins - Day 1'

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