Kessiah had the opportunity to go on a 4 day pioneer trek reenactment with the youth from our church. Ryan went as a photographer (which was nice because I had access to a lot of pictures!).
The first day they were put into families and had to carry their gear from “Nauvoo” to “Iowa City” where they were able to purchase supplies and put their handcarts together. They got some rain that first afternoon which caused them to trek in the mud…from what I hear that was tough!
There was a lot of walking and some time for fun activities…including stick pulls and archery.
There was a part of the trek when they pulled all the men and boys away to go with the “Mormon Battalion” and the women and girls were left to pull the handcarts up some steep areas.
I took the kids to go and meet them…we were so excited to greet them at the end of their journey. I got tears in my eyes when I spotted Kessiah, I was so proud of her and her ability to accomplish a hard thing. The lessons she learned will serve her well for the rest of her life.
She came back saying that she wasn’t going to be as picky about food anymore! She even ate raisins while she was out!
It was an incredible experience as they trudged through rain, mud, and sunshine. It was very unusual for us to get rain this time of year…and although the mud was tough it did help keep the temperatures down. Over the 3 1/2 day experience they went just over 40 miles.
Here is what Kessiah said about the experience on Facebook.
“Yesterday I came back from trek…..honestly, one of the most challenging things spiritually and physically I’ve done. 42 miles of trekking with people I was put to be with as a family and to push a hand cart with, and going over hills and slipping through mud and rain. I think I learned so much over those four days though. We depend on our family to help and even us out, through things like support, kindness, and yes, even the stupid jokes to get us to continue forward and distract from blisters and bruises. We have so much in this age like cars and hot running water that we don’t realize how much of a sacrifice those pioneers made to get to salt lake. We complain about not liking raisins and other little foods we don’t really like to eat….pioneers didn’t have that option (I really felt like I didn’t either). I saw how much teamwork was put into the women’s pull….lots of cooperation and endurance and finally the gratitude and relief when the angels came and helped and pushed our hand carts over that enormous hill. We all take it for granted, and honestly this trek opened my eyes to that. I’m so glad I was able to go, and I feel so blessed for the family I got put with because it wasn’t an accident. I hope that my siblings will have as good of a outcome with it as I did, because it was just awesome.”
The experience made me reflect a lot on my pioneer ancestry and all they went through to create a strong foundation for me. I cried when I thought about the women’s pull the trekkers did and am so grateful for the angels that went to help them. I am grateful for the angels that helped the pioneers cross the plains many years ago…and for the angels that help me every day.