Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Trek!

It's possible that I am the last lds person on earth to go on a pioneer trek.  For those who are not lds, a pioneer trek is a reenactment of some portion of the Mormon Pioneers' journey across the central plains and mountains to Salt Lake City.  Generally (but not always) it's a youth activity, and it takes various forms, and is done in various places, but it always involves loaded handcarts being pushed and pulled by people--- as they were in that great migration of the 1850's.

 Handcart


So a year ago, when I found out that not only were we going, but we we had a chance to go on the real National Historic Trail, and push handcarts up this historically notorious place:

Rocky Ridge

I was IN.  Which was good, because The Brain and I were also in Charge.

Anyway - It was amazing.  There's no way to do an event like this without a crazy supportive ward -- and our ward jumped in right from the start. Then the committee, the support crew, the leaders, and the kids were all beyond wonderful - which really made it so we could do and see a LOT of cool things.


Silent River Crossings



 Noisy River Crossings


 Independence Rock


 Martin's Cove

 and of course
Rock Creek Hollow


And through the week, even through all the 



Wind

Rain




Mud

And seemingly endless walking...


...every single kid made it the whole 47 miles.  And some of us even walked an extra 3 so we could have bragging rights to 50 miles.

We had a blast!   We learned a ton about the pioneers, and why they did what they did.  But that wasn't really the point of the experience.  We never wanted anyone to have a testimony of the pioneers, or the trek. We wanted them to have a deeper relationship with their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

I was so proud of the youth for making the connection that Heavenly Father loves ALL his children, and he asks all of them to do hard things.  The hard things in our lives are different from the hard things the pioneers did, but that doesn't mean he loves any of us better or worse.   He just wants us all to know that we can do hard things with His help.  And that is the key -- to ask for His help.  Because with Him, we can and will get through all life's mud, wind, and rainstorms, and we will come through the other side more devoted to Him and to the gospel, and to our families, and to serving others.

I think they got it, because we had a special testimony meeting in Sacrament Meeting last Sunday after we got home.  And the bishop didn't want to cut the kids off, so he kept extending the time, and extending the time, until finally he had to cut it off at 2 1/2 hours because the next ward needed the chapel.  So basically I think we all understood a little better after last week, that when we do hard things, it becomes an opportunity to get closer to the Lord.

And that was really the point.


---------------------------------------------

 incidentally - -MY hardest thing of the week?
the absence of THESE along the trail.
I mean, srsly - how did people survive? 
luckily I have amazing people in my life who kept me hooked up to civilization.  

35 comments:

Dave said...

that sounds pretty, dare i say?

EPIC!!!!

i'm so glad it went well. and you are not the last person to do one. maybe just the last person to do one that lives out west!!


i love this line "Heavenly Father loves ALL his children, and he asks all of them to do hard things. The hard things in our lives are different from the hard things the pioneers did, but that doesn't mean he loves any of us better or worse. He just wants us all to know that we can do hard things with His help."

so true, innit?


oh, and FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Julie Ramsay said...

Wow! Awesome! I've never been either but I'd really like to go!

Kristina P. said...

I never did a trek. We did do a hike up the mountains, in the middle of the night, but we didn't do anything Pioneer related. I woudl be OK with driving along side them, while they did all the hard work.

And I'm sucking on a Sonic Diet Coke right now.

Scuttle said...

I wish I could have been there to clap and yell you did it! We are in Kansas now. I love it there. The feeling you get there and only be gotten there. I hope the rest of the stake youth felt the same as your youth.

JustRandi said...

Hey Scuttle! I wondered if I would see you there!?
It was just a ward trek, so we were all in one little group - of 60 or so.

goddessdivine said...

Wait; I didn't know pioneers had tents! ;-0

Glad you had a good time. And no, you are not the last person to go on one. If I can help it, I will remain trek-free in my life (kinda have an excuse with the bad knees and all).

Lucy said...

I'm jealous! I'd like to do it on the original trail. In fact, I'd like to leave from Winter Quarters and follow their trail as closely as I could to the SL Valley. That trip never fails to fascinate me totally.

JustRandi said...

Also - for those who were wondering - yes that is Lizzie on the left in the mud picture. She and Mimi were both troopers and got right into that mud as if pulling handcarts was in their blood.
Oh, wait...

JustRandi said...

In fact, if you biggify that picture, you can see Mimi behind the next handcart back, ready to push it through.

Julie said...

I LOVE it! We did our trek earlier this summer (in June) and it was CRAZY weather. I'm downright jealous of your river crossing...it was about shoulder deep when we were there, and only a few we allowed to cross, and we certainly were not allowed to take handcarts across. We lost about half of our tents in a 80 mph windstorm and ended up with 12 inches of snow on our last day. but you are right...Martin's Cove is an AMAZING experience. Thanks for sharing yours!

Hannah said...

I love it!!! it looks like such a great experience!!! I'm glad everything came out GREAT. I knew it would :) you did such a Great job!

Erin said...

Yea! Randy's blogging again! I've missed reading about your adventures!

What a beautiful post! I can only imagine what that trek and testimony meeting must have been like. Amazing. Just amazing. Thank you so much for sharing!

That Girl said...

Well, I'VE never done it, so you're not the last one on earth. (Though I really would like to - especially hearing your experience!)

Barbaloot said...

I've never done one either...and I never want to. Although, the pictures and recap were great. But if I were a pioneer, I'd be up in heaven thinking, "Why on earth are they trekking that thing when they don't have to? I only did it cuz I DID have to." Just sayin. :)

FluffyChicky said...

I've never done the trek. And I will never do the trek. I would have been one of the non-pioneers who stayed behind in Iowa to die because I refuse to tromp through the mud and rain and wind and heat while pushing some damn handcart.

But you are awesome for making it!

Celeste said...

You did an amazing job. I loved the picture of the wind- Justin was telling me how much he hated that wind, and all those tents!

Celeste said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bsu fam said...

We were just there also. We were there August 3-5th. It was awesome! Way to go! We just made a candybar poster for all the support people and took it over last night. If you want the words just let me know. They all loved it. It was fun to see your pictures and recognize the places. Fun!

JustRandi said...

yes I would LOVE the words! Email me!
Hey that's exactly when we were there! Were you with that giant stake from Boise?

Khourt said...

That looks fantasticly fun! I want to go on one.. I cant wait until my children can go (so I can go) haha

Heather said...

It sounds like it was amazing! I've never been on a trek... so I could possibly steal the title of last LDS person to not go on a trek from ya. Tempting.

SO GLAD YOU ARE BACK, and glad the trek had the effects you hoped for!

Heather said...

And since I'm thinking it... do you and DAVE conspire so he can always be first?? I'm mean really! :)

rocslinger said...

My daughter went on trek last year. I am soooo jealous of you both.

Yvonne said...

That looks like such an amazing experience. I'm so glad everyone got it. Those kind of experiences, although a whole lot of work for leaders, are always worth it when there is a positive outcome.

GREAT JOB.

Dave said...

Heather, it's more than a conspiracy. It's a Grand Collusion!!!

Kerri said...

My daughter (also rocslinger's) came back with that same moving testimony that she has kept with her. I, however, will have to continue to build my testimony in any other way possible. I was born in this dispensation because I would have been a lousy pioneer! Camping? Oh, that's at a motel, right? hahahaha

Jennifer said...

Sounds incredible! You did an amazing job if all those kids wanted to share their experience with others! Congrats!!

LisAway said...

What a great experience and I love the way you explained the reasons for doing it. Beautiful.

Lee said...

I totally teared up reading this. I don't think it was just pregnancy hormones either!

Tammy said...

I teared up too. Well written Randi! You and Kevin were incredible leaders! I want to see more pictures! :)

Super Happy Girl said...

Independece Rock = Oh My WOW.
Seriously amazing :)

Melissa said...

I haven't done a Pioneer Trek. I did get to pull a handcart when I was about 14, but we did about 5 miles or so. Nothing like what you did... but it was an amazing experience. I would love to do the Trek you did!

Linda said...

Amazing. It is humbling that so many are willing to give time and yes, money so that testimonies can grow. A big thank you to your really great ward and all the prep work and after the fact reinforcement everyone did to engrave this memory in the harts and testimonies of these chosen young men and woman. You amaze me.

Vern said...

Don't you think someone should put a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory at the top of Rocky Ridge? I think I could make BANK.

The Atomic Mom said...

Never did a trek, and honestly I never want to. But, I'm glad that you had fun and that your kids did too. :)