Sunday, June 21, 2009

Trek Day 2

We woke up at about 6 a.m. and collected our breakfast supplies from the food truck fifteen minutes later. Following a meal of breakfast burritos, we headed to Martin's Cove. After a presentation on some pioneer history relating to that location, we quietly walked through the cove itself. It is a ravine behind a small hill and backed by large hills, so it provides partial shelter from the Wyoming wind. However, it was still breezy there, and it was very saddening to imagine how cold the Martin company pioneers must have been as they waited for rescuers in below-zero temperatures. The pioneers called the side of the cove where they camped "the living side"; this was in opposition to the other side, "the dying side", where they buried their dead in shallow graves, knowing that the wolves would drag off their loved ones' corpses during the night.

We ate lunch, and then walked back to a shallow part of the Sweetwater River, where half of our group walked across the river, which was running about 3 feet high. That helped us better understand the challenge it was for the pioneers to ford rivers repeatedly. The Martin company didn't have nice shoes or clothes, and they had to cross a river filled with ice chunks. We modern folk got cold enough on a windy June day, and we had dry clothes and shoes to change into afterward. We did see a big snake swim down the river, though, just at the place where our group made its crossing.

Once everyone was in dry clothes, we walked a couple of miles more with our handcarts back to our campground. Rain interrupted our evening program, so my husband and I went with our "children" to one of our tents. The teenagers read letters their real parents had prepared for them ahead of time, and then we shared some of our feelings about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the example of the pioneers. We sang hymns until the rain stopped and soon thereafter retired to our individual tents to sleep.

On a side note, the outhouses along the path and at the campground were quite nice, at least as far as outhouses go. However, the wind never stopped blowing, including in the outhouses, so W.C. time was always chilly. I love my flush toilet here at home!

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