Friday, August 6, 2010

Pioneer Handcart Trek Day 2; Rocky Ridge...

Day 2
This would be the 15 mile trek over Rocky Ridge... my strong silent mysterious man was very anxious for this day... and we were instructed to be up early and have camp packed up so they could get on the trail without any delay.
He could not sleep hardly all night. He woke me up at 330am for prayers and scriptures and we began packing up our buckets and taking down our tent.
By 5am we were all ready to go and waking up our handcart family... they quickly got up and ready and were gathered for family prayer.
We ate a wonderful breakfast and then finished packing up our tents and breaking camp.
Our ward was all loaded on the bus ready to head out for Rocky Ridge, and I was staying behind with some of the youth to do some service activities at the visitors center.
In talking with the leaders that were assigned to stay behind and the other priesthood leadership that was assigned to take water buffalo's to meet up with the trekkers at designated points on the trail... it was determined that there were some youth that had been on the list to stay behind for health or other predetermined issues, that had gotten on the bus to go trek over Rocky Ridge thinking that they could do the 1st 5 miles and come back with the water buffalo truck if they couldn't go farther... however the water buffalo truck was loaded full and not able to transport youth... with the exception of an extreme emergency, like a broken leg or something.
So one of the stake presidencies wife and I were supposed to drive two of the cars around to meet the companies at our next camp at Rock Creek Hollow, so we took them as far in on the restricted BLM roads to wait until we got word that nobody in the companies would need help, or need to be taken in by car.
So we headed out to follow the water truck...
After the chief refilled the buffalo... we were off...
I was hoping not to get lost because we were literally in the middle of nowhere!

I saw so many critters... the antelope were amazing...
At one point we saw our company way off in the distance on the trail...
Then we reached the last point that we could take the extra vehicles and we would sit and wait.
We talked together, just a little worried about any potential problems we might have with anyone coming off the trail... would we be equipped to take care of them.
Then we had a prayer.
We stopped for lunch and waited a few more hours, when finally we got word from the missionary couples who are serving out there, came in from the trail with word that all of our companies were healthy and well and all would be traveling on to Rock Creek Hollow.
So with that, we drove around to meet them at the end of the trail.
Good news!
Answered prayers!!
During that same time, back at the visitors center the youth and adults that didn't go over Rocky Ridge were busy making quilts.
Oh what sweet service! And on the trail...
They trekked up and over Rocky Ridge, a 15 mile all day hike...

There were strict rules for most of the land they travelled, that the carts could not be taken off or around the trail... so they had to be taken through the mud bogs.
The couple missionaries told those boys, they would have been considered heroes if they were pioneers taking the carts for other families where they could not travel for themselves... and to wear that mud as their badge of courage.
They hiked the rest of the day with those muddy shoes and clothes... and remember, only one pair for the week. So even when they got back to camp to clean up in the water, they would never be really clean again.
This was the 1st company that arrived back to camp!
A good sight for everyone!
We set up camp and had family prayers with much much gratitude for safety and courage within our family and went to dinner.
After dinner we gathered for a fireside devotional after dark, but kept it short because of the intense mosquito's and a very tired group from the long day, with another early morning ahead.
That night we camped at Rock Creek Hollow the place where the Willie company pioneers after 27 hours crossing over Rocky Ridge lost 13 in their company the next morning and were buried in a common grave.

Two of the men who helped bury the thirteen pioneers died later and are buried in nearby grave sights.
There is also a marker added in 1992 by President Hinckley to "Remember" them, and recognize the second rescue. A Riverton Wyoming stake president inspired his congregations to do research for their ancestors and have their names taken to the temple to perform sacred ordinances for those who have passed and could not do the work for themselves. It was during this time, they found many of these very pioneers had not had their temple work done, and it was completed, thus the first rescue being the atonement of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice he paid for even all of the suffering these saints endured for their faith. And the second rescue being the consecration to a higher purpose as their temple work was completed bringing them to eternal life.
I am grateful I have not had to endure or suffer as the saints that came before... but I have some concern that because of the comforts and peace that I know in my life, I may never know in the same way that they came to know, in their extremities, of their Savior and His love for them, and the absolute knowledge that God lives.
But for the burdens I do face, and I have had to endure, He has said "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am enjoying your trek experience via your narrative and photos. What a great experience for you and the youth!
Brett M

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