Thursday, July 26, 2012

Trekking Pioneer Style




On Tuesday, our state celebrated Pioneer Day. It's the day we commemorate the pioneers arriving in the valley.  I like it because we get a day off, we barbecue and watch parades and fireworks. (None of the things the pioneers did.)  I like it because I would've been a lousy pioneer.  
I know the other pioneer women, and especially the men, wouldn't have appreciated my whining or my sarcasm. 

"You know what I love in the morning? That gritty-dirt-in-your-teeth feeling. Makes me look forward to the whole day."

"If I could just train these mosquitoes to sting my cheeks, then I'd be all rosy and attractive."

"Man, I slept so good last night. The rocks are soo much more comfy than the mattress I left behind."

Then, when we got here, and Brigham Young announced that "This is the place",  I probably would've looked around and said, "Seriously?"  Then, I would've sat on my rump and cried. 

But, even though I would have sucked as a pioneer, today, I'm jealous. 

This morning, my daughter woke before the birds to take her last shower for three days.  She braided her hair and dressed in clothes she normally would not be caught dead in. Yes, my modern, cell-phone-carrying, I-pod-listening, laptop-playing teenager became a pioneer.


Yesterday, she packed all of her supplies in this-

Note the super-cute cushion I made so her
tushy doesn't get sore from sitting on it.

Then, today, after feeding her a hearty breakfast, I drove her to the church. There, she joined 300 other youths (age 14-18) and their leaders.  They boarded buses and drove to the lush Wyoming wilderness. (lush, haha)

They will spend the next three days as the pioneers did.  Walking.  And pushing handcarts. In the heat.

I'm jealous of what?

I'm jealous of the amazing spiritual experience this is going to be for her.  Our Mormon Pioneer heritage is fraught with pain and difficulties.  I cannot imagine how hard it would have been to leave a home and take my children into the unknown and walk 1300 miles.  Many parents buried children on the way.  Husbands lost wives, wives lost husbands. It was long and it was hard.

But, they did it because of their faith.  They did it to escape the persecutions that were heaped upon them, so that they could worship the way our forefathers intended-- according to the dictates of their own conscience.

Sadie will walk with the other youth.  They will hear stories of our pioneer ancestors.  They will get hot and tired.  At the end of the day, they will eat around a campfire, hear more stories, share testimonies, dance and sing.  Just like the original pioneers.  Then, they will spread their sleeping bags on the ground and sleep under the wide open sky. My hips groan at the thought, yet, I wish I were there.

Because, at the end of three days, she will have learned so much.  About life-- how it is hard, but it is also joyful.  About herself-- that she can do hard things, and when she does, she comes out a better and stronger person.  And, about her testimony-- that in the end, it is the most prized possession she owns.


11 comments:

  1. It actually .. sounds like fun. :)

    Good luck, Sadie! Have a wonderful trip.

    I'm sure she'll come back with plenty of stories to tell!

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    1. My sons went four years ago and loved it. They do have fun. Which is another great lesson in our technological age.

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  2. My children all loved their trek . . . and, aside from EFY, said it was the most amazing and spiritual experience they had had in their lives. Hope Sadie has a blast and gets what she needs from the experience :)

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    1. I wish they'd done things like this when I was a youth. It's such a great experience.

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  3. I just saw an article in our newspaper last night about GA teens taking this same sort of trip, so it must be a universal thing within your church? Sounds like a grueling, but fun experience, but I sure hope the temperatures chill a little bit for those kids.

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  4. I hope she has a great time! I am sure she will learn a lot about herself. I could be a little jealous too!!

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  5. Alyssa is on trek this week too - up to Martin's Cove. Other than that the bus ride is 7 hours with no air conditioning, and several of the buses broke down, I am jealous that I didn't get to go...but I have too many other things going on. Hope they both have fun, and learn that they can do hard things.

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  6. I would have so wanted to sit next to you in the wagon on the way. Talk about your great one-liners! Great post. Because I can't keep track of things, does this mean you LIVE in Wyoming? In a fit of disgust and "we're sick of urban life, crime, and godlessness," my husband and I half-heartedly talked about moving there when he retires (13 years). Does Wyoming accept lapsed-Catholics who swear? What if we try really hard to watch it? Lemme know. I'll get on google and start checking out real estate. And places to cure us of our tendency to curse.

    Your daughter is adorable!

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    1. The trail boss would've hated the two of us!

      I don't know about Wyoming, but Utah would definitely accept lapsed-Catholics who swear. They fit in well with the Mormons who swear.

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  7. My girls will go next summer. Thankfully I've never had to go on Trek. Oh crap....now I just jinxed myself! For sure they'll now call Bryan and me to be a Ma and Pa! hahaha :)

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  8. Sadie looks adorable! Did you make her garb? I murmured before trek last year, but ended up loving it! I was so disappointed with myself, I'm not usually one to murmur and the times I do I'm always humbled. Hope she had a great time!

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