Sunday, June 21, 2009

Trek Day 3

Day #3 was the most challenging of our trek experience. We set out after breakfast to take the handcarts three miles back to the Mormon Handcart Visitor's Center. Then we drove west an hour and a half to reach a campground near where the Willey handcart company was rescued. Because of the recent rain, this campground was swarming with very hungry mosquitoes. They started climbing all over our van before our vehicle was even parked--it was like the movie Birds, except the flying monsters waiting to attack us were smaller.

After lunch, we hauled our gear in handcarts a total of about six miles, part of which was through swampy and/or stagnant areas with stinking mud. We even had to take off our shoes and go barefoot through one stretch. The men and boys were called away at one point (ostensibly to join the Mormon battalion, although that happened ten years before the Willey handcart company headed west), and the females were left alone to push the handcarts up a hill. It was quite difficult, especially since some of the carts were carrying passengers. Because of my pregnant condition, I refrained from pushing most of the trek, but I did help the teenage girls in my group during the "women's pull".

We had a final evening program that night, and then we split into "companies" of eight "families" each for testimony meetings around campfires. The mosquitoes finally went away when the air turned chilly. The stars were so lovely, and I saw the Milky Way for the first time in a couple of years.

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