Thursday, August 15, 2013

River Crossing and Martin's Cove - Day 1

We came to the first river crossing shortly after the Kids' Pull. Being so late in the season, it was hardly a stream. However the deep symbolism that accompanies the crossing was still there. We crossed in silence and honored the pioneers who crossed in much different circumstances.

Captain Fairbanks and his family crossed first. I like this side view of the handcart.

June was especially excited for the river crossing. She carried Charlotte across right away and then came back to get more. But most people were riding in handcarts or crossing on their own. Ivory and Hannah decided to dip their feet.

Soon it was our turn.

I like this shot. It was after we had all crossed and most people were putting their shoes back on, or drying their feet. It seems we were always in a line, so I like how the carts are staggered.

Next up was lunch. There was a large pavilion with shade. This is where I put suncreen on my already sunburned face. There were some friends nearby watching us eat. I think people decided they were antelope.

After lunch was the long, hot part of the trek. This rock is actually pretty familiar to me, and I think, very beautiful.

The company traveled, without handcarts, into the Cove which was named for Martin. I should remember next time we do this hike that even if you have to carry a water bottle, it is worth it. My poor kids were very thirsty by the time we got back from the 2-mile loop.

We met in a little amphitheater (Dan Jones Cove) to listen to a few more pioneer stories. I am surprised that even with seeing the movies and hearing MANY different stories, there were still some that I hadn't heard. In particular they talked about how the handcart companies were becoming weary with all the extra baggage in the carts. Two weeks before the early snow, they took out all the extra stuff that they didn't think they would need, namely heavy coats and blankets, and burned them to cut down on the load they pulled. How sad that they burned items that would have been invaluable only a few short weeks later. But you never can tell what the weather will bring.

It was hot sitting and listening. Pearl sat still for a few moments.

And then she found a better spot.

Here we see that I actually wore my bonnet sometimes. I can't imagine why I got burned??

Here is our group headed into the cove.

Look at that ruggedly handsome man carrying an equally beautiful child.

In the lower cove, the missionaries spoke to us about how 500 company members camped in the shelter the cove provided from the storm. They said that the Lord knew these people would end up there and he built Martin's Cove especially for that time of hardship. It made me think that the Lord knows what we have ahead of us, and he will give us a refuge from the storm. The idea that no trial we are given will be beyond our ability is strengthened when we know the Lord prepares places especially for us. It is a comforting thought, even if the thought of trials is not.

This trail goes from the lower cove to the upper cove.

We walked through the cove silently while Bro. Yesslith played 'Come Come Ye Saints' on an accordion harmonica contraption. The kids were a little scattered at this point. I had Pearl with me, but she was now sans bonnet and I honestly didn't know if June had it still (ahead of us in the company), or if Pearl left it back at the lower cove. This led to Tyler taking a scenic journey back by himself. Oddly, it was just the ticket for him. It is rare to find yourself alone in the cove without an entire company swarming around you. He was able to find a bench and contemplate on the stories and experiences that had played out in that very area back in 1856.

I forged ahead with our group and gathered children along the way. I like this photo as we exited the cove.

When I found the kids, they had found shade?

I love all these kids. It was so great to be back with our old ward one more time.

Robyn seemed to be digging the scene. (Don't be fooled. She is not flashing the peace sign...she is trying to give someone bunny ears.)

Katelyn could always be found helping out the younger kids. I don't know if Robyn counts as 'younger,' but she managed to catch a ride.

Daisy was riding high too once we met up with our mountain man.

Tyler grew out his scruff for trek. Doesn't he look authentic?

When we reached our handcarts again, we had a little time to kill while they sent some back to start dinner. Most of us were pretty tired. Here is Bishop and his family. This is a great family photo. Too bad their oldest wasn't there. I'm sure they would have framed it for their front room.

Everyone relaxed for a moment. There was plenty of rocks and dirt, so all the children were entertained. I laugh at this picture, because I sat there trying to figure out who was sitting next to June. What name starts with HAN? Then I thought maybe they were spelling handcart. It suddenly dawned on me that it was Hannah. Yep, I'm a little slow sometimes.

We were invited us to go back and view the statues we had passed after the river crossing. Many chose to remain at the pavilion, but (with some persuasion) I joined Tyler and the kids to view the memorial.

It was interesting to hear about the sculptor. The people being carried almost seemed like infants, but they were depictions of how frail the pioneers had become after the harsh conditions. In this photo, it looks like a young girl being carried, but she was a mature woman.

The kids seemed to enjoy the stories rocks. Here we see again how patient Katelyn was.

We were one of the last carts out of Martin's Cove that day. It is such an amazing landscape, especially when you take into account those who have walked there before.

One last bridge to cross before reaching the base camp, and hopefully dinner. I was wondering where June went in this picture, but don't be fooled. She is right there between those two. See her hands?

Dinner was in the works when we arrived and it was time to just chill. Tyler and I found a nice spot on the grass and kept all the kids in reasonable eyesight. The weather was hot but not unbearable. And then in the blink of an eye, everything changed. Just seconds before dinner started the wind picked up and it became blustery. Plates were flying away. We held onto our cups as we ate. You could see the storm coming in, but it wasn't there yet in this photo.

There was a nice plan to visit Independence Rock after dinner, but our crew was done. So we left. On the way home we experienced our own little miracle. All across the landscape there were storms. You could see the rain coming down in sheets. It was beautiful in its own way. There was only one problem. Back at camp in the morning, they suggested that we flatten our tents to prevent the high winds from blowing it away. We felt our tent was pretty secure, so instead, we opened our windows so the wind could blow through the tent instead of knocking it over. Well, open windows and rain don't go well together. The closer we got to camp, the more worried we became. We drove into and out of several storms and the puddles along the road were not promising. Then just a mile or so before camp (after a large bird flew into my car) the rain stopped and the road became dry. We checked our tent and none of our gear was wet, or even damp. It was a miracle. The girls were thrilled to have the camp to themselves. They played and chased each other to their hearts content. That is, until the rain came for real. The rest of camp came back as the light faded. Our girls were already sleeping. Actually, so was I.

To be continued in On the Trail Again and the Women's Pull - Day 2

No comments: