For most people, Trek in Wyoming at Martins Cove is a once in a lifetime opportunity if it even presents itself. I am SO THANKFUL that I was able to go on trek, and consider it a complete privilege to have been on such hallowed ground. Our first day of trek, June 30th, we left Fairview in the morning and arrived in Wyoming around 6 pm. We set up camp(at 6th crossing, sweetwater campground) and had a wonderful dinner and devotional.
July 1st. We did a day trip to Martins Cove. That day we walked 7 miles. Martins Cove was AWESOME! We got to do a river crossing and go up into the Cove. The missionaries were great, they brought the spirit with them. I loved the statues representing the men who carried the pioneer women and children across the sweetwater river. Martins Cove is definitely a sacred place.
July 2nd We walked 10 miles that day. We were able to go to the Willie meadow, where the willie rescue happened. We were able to pull our handcarts on the actual trail that the pioneers were on. As we were on the trail, Kade leaned over to pick something up. It was a handmade nail. We think it was one that came from a handcart or something from back in the day. We also got to do 3 river crossings where we got to play and swim in the 3rd river. (pictured above are my beautiful young women! I love them so much! I'm so lucky to get to spend so much time with them! They make my testimony grow because of their goodness. This picture was after we completed the womens pull. I love how the pioneer stories compare directly to our everyday lives. The womens pull taught me that we can do hard things! And we will be required to do many hard things throughout our lives. Ours are just different from the pioneers but we can draw strength from them.)
My nephew Trevon was able to come on the trek with us. I'm SO glad he made that choice to come. He is a tough kid! He pulled the handcart almost the entire 32 miles of the trek! We grew so close to him as we were on trek.
July 3rd was our last day in Wyoming. We walked 15 miles that day. We got up at 4:30 in the morning to clean up camp to be ready to leave by 6. It was a long long day. The last mile and a half, the wind was blowing so hard, directly in our faces, the dust was so thick that you couldn't see 50 feet in front of you. we tried not to talk to each other because our mouths would fill with dirt. It was interesting how that happened the last mile and a half of our trek. Again, it compares directly to our lives. When we are almost there, but we feel like its just getting too hard, often the Lord wants us to just endure a little longer, and he will reward us. There is something he wants us to learn. And maybe we endure to the end of our mortal lives before we get what we seek, but always for a greater purpose. So often we just need to keep pushing through the hard times and we'll make it....and it will be more than worth it!
I have so many pictures and so many experiences that I could share, but there are just too many, so I'll keep it short and sweet. When we reach Rock Creek Hollow, which was the end of our 15 miles, the end of our 32 mile trek, I could definitely feel the spirit. We had some dinner, sat down for a bit to get refreshed from our long walk, and then we headed over to where we would have our testimony meeting. We were tired, we were dirty, we were humble, ready to be taught. Rock Creek Hollow was where I really felt the spirit. So many people died in that very place. People who wanted so badly to make it to the Salt Lake Valley but just could go no more. Little Bodel was a little girl whos family sent her to come to the Salt Lake Valley alone because they didn't have enough money to all go together. Going to Salt Lake was a privledge to them even if you had to go alone. They sent her first, with plans to come later on. She never made it to Salt Lake. She is burried there in Rock Creek Hollow. She was the little girl who was frozen, sitting by a wagon wheel with an armful of sagebrush ready to make a fire. If you have ever seen the movie 17 Miracles, she is in it. The testimony meeting was indescribable. I have never felt the spirit like that in any other testimony in my life. It was powerful. I have reflected on that so many times since the trek happened, and have decided upon a few things. When we go on trek(in our modern day) we often go with sort of an attitude of "this is going to be so hard, I wish I could shower, I can't wait to get home, why am I here, I'm so tired". Its because we have it so good, we've never had to face hard times like these. When the pioneers came across the plains, all they cared about was getting to the Salt Lake Valley so they could go to the temple to receive their covenants. That's all they thought about. They knew it would be hard, but that was not their focus, they just had to reach the valley so they could enjoy those blessings of the temple. I also feel when we go on trek today, and make our modern day sacrifices to be there, sacrifices of driving 7 hrs, not being able to shower or have our nice conviences, turning off all of our technology, I feel like the pioneers recognize our efforts and appreciate that we have come and taken time to learn more about them and what they did for us. THAT IS WHY THE TESIMONY MEETING WAS SO STRONG. The pioneers visited us in spirit because we gave of our time to honor them. I will never forget that experience, I will treasure it forever.