Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Trek Begins - Day 1

We awoke Friday to a chilly morning. It was a good thing we went back for our jackets at the last minute the day before. Camp was stirring early and it was nice because they already had items on tables for us to make our lunches. Even better, the girls went to work and made lunches for everyone. It doesn't seem that long ago that I would have sat there and made lunches for all my littles and now they were making lunch for me. I think I could get used to that. It was nice that they were so helpful.

Like the last time, we spent the first day over at Martin's Cove, an hour's drive from our campsite. We drove caravan style again and picked up the Ham Wagon (Hamblin's). We made a short stop at a gas station to buy a couple more water bottles. Instead of bringing nice ones, I had just brought bottled water, but some smaller children thought the bottles were made for smashing instead of refilling when empty. But they got the hang of it when we got on the trail.

The atmosphere was super charged with excitement at the beginning. The kids were a bit subdued because of the chill in the air, but they were still curious to explore the new area. Pearl was very good to stay nearby during the whole trek.

Robyn found it interesting to draw in the soft dirt.

The company was busy making flags and getting handcarts ready. Our handcart consisted of the Cazier and Moore family. The girls hurried off to get a good cart.

We wrote our names on the flags and many people also put the name of who they were trekking for.

I checked twice to make sure we wrote our names right side up this time around.

Cazier and Moore: We made a great team, but we were a bit surprised that they paired our families, because between the two of us, we easily had the highest ratio of children to cart.

We also had a large contingency of girls. Well, you can probably see that. Little Christian is the only boy between our families. He is quite the bundle of cuteness.

Luckily, we had many children who were able to walk, so the cart wouldn't get too crowded. I can't even remember how I got all five of my kids in there last time. Pearl and Charlotte were our popular riders.

I need to document on here that June and Hannah walked the entire way. Actually, they pushed and pulled almost the entire way. June was almost always on the front of the cart and sometimes it was only kids manning the entire thing.

We stopped to watch the obligatory film before leaving. Here is our crew parking the vehicles.

I didn't hear hardly any of the film last time thanks to Pearl, and oddly I still missed a good portion this time around taking Daisy to the bathroom, but I got the gist: Pioneers, hardship, death, drink water...

Then we were headed out onto the trail.

The first exciting event was Robyn losing a tooth. Apparently she had been wiggling it all during the movie and one trail mix later, we had a winner. We saved it in a bag and then lost the bag later. I hope there is a Martin's Cove fairy who gets the remnants.

Tyler snapped this photo and we both think it would make a great album cover. You know, if there were a soundtrack to our trek.

We took a lot of pictures, as per usual, but somewhere along the way, the Bishop thanked us for taking photos for everyone. We became the unofficial official photographers. So it was probably good that June and Hannah were pulling the cart because at any given time Tyler or I was off taking pictures.

The day warmed up quickly and jackets were ditched. It was still overcast, so I didn't get the sunscreen out until lunch time. Big mistake on my part. I'm fairly sure I will never learn. I think I can see myself starting to burn in this picture already. It doesn't take long.

Robyn requested that we sing a song on the trail. I can attest that it is pretty hard to keep up a good tune while walking. We sang 'The Spirit of God' and got the cart behind us to join in with some harmony. But after a couple verses, we focused our energy on walking. I am wondering if the pioneers really sang all that much on the trail.

My singing did lull someone to sleep though.

Just kidding, I am SURE it wasn't my singing.

Tyler and I switched off who had the camera and often along the trip you can tell who is shooting by who is pictured, but I have to admit I came across this photo and was stumped. Who had the camera?

Tyler told me later that TJ had taken that picture.

It hadn't been too long when we came to a fork in the road. Our captain informed us that the children were going to sing for us. The children gathered further down the trail.

And the adults climbed a rise to watch the proceedings.

As I walked up the trail, it was quite sandy. The hill was commonly used for the Women's Pull, and I remember thinking that I was glad that we wouldn't be pulling up that hill. (The Women's pull is traditionally done the second day at a different location.)

I should have seen it coming, but sometimes I don't put two and two together at all. We reached the top of the hill and our captain, Jon Fairbanks, told us that the children would sing us a song and then they would do a kid's pull. WHAT?!? Just the kids pulling? But I had just walked up that sandy incline and it would be hard for those young ones. I was worried for them. Jon sat and talked to us. He told us that as parents, we can do as much as we can for our children, but there comes a point that they will be without us. They will have to pull on their own. They will need to be strong by themselves. Likewise, they will need good friends to help them pull. He spoke about how important it was for them to surround themselves with friends that will help them reach their destination instead of holding them back. It was a very emotional moment for me.

The parents stood on the sides of the path and we watched as our children pulled and pushed heavy handcarts up a sandy steep hill.

And they were strong.

Here comes June.

I believe they asked for kids 8 and up to do the work. That included Robyn. And poor Hannah...I think they ran out of room back there.

The others still had to climb the hill, even if they didn't push a cart.

Next was Daisy.

At the top they allowed us to hug and congratulate our kids. I started the process, but I feel bad, because I don't think I got through all our kids. Because one of mine had never come up the hill.

Where was Pearl?

I admit that I started to get a little frantic. Losing a child is right up there with thinking about a fire in my house. It makes me all panicky. Pearl was nowhere to be seen. And I thought ALL the children had come up the hill, so where could she be? Did we leave her back in the handcarts? I strained my eyes, but I couldn't see any movement. The only person who was still down the hill was a guy I didn't know, and he seemed to be alone.

Graciously, he was NOT alone. He was keeping my Pearl company. When the adults had left, he found her wandering around. (This is uncommon because her sisters usually keep an eye on her, but they had been called away to sing.) He picked her up and kept her entertained watching an ant hill. In fact, he had her from the beginning. See?

I was so grateful to him. His name is David, and he kept an eye on Pearl for the rest of the trip. I can't complain about an extra set of eyes watching over my children.

The rest of the group came down another trail to rejoin the handcarts.

I don't think I will ever forget that event.

Pearl, of course, had no idea that she was ever lost. She joined right back up with our group and did her share of pulling. What a sweetheart.

To be continued in River Crossing and Martin's Cove - Day 1

1 comment:

Scott and Svetlana said...

Love those days of Martin's Cove. It always touches my heart, making me think of pioneers. Great pictures. Thanks for sharing.