Sunday, May 30, 2010

Martins Cove, Wyoming

Our youth had the opportunity to go to Martins Cove last weekend to participate in "trek". (this is Carolyn, she and her husband Larry drove down with us)

In our first fireside for parents and youth, I told Mark not to volunteer us (I figured they would due to the fact that he is the High Councilor assigned to Leavitt Ward) because I was not going to do it. Not very nice am I? But I had a reason for being a boob. The group would be riding all night in a bus and the thought of sleeping on a bus and then being ready to trek the next day was not so appealing to me. It was a 14 hour drive!

I had actually forgotten all about it until the Bishop called us up a couple of weeks later to ask if we would go and of course I said yes, but not after he said we could drive our own vehicle. Now we're talking! In actuality there were only 48 seats in the bus and 44 of them were youth. The other 4 seats were for the YW/YM leaders and then 3 other vehicles drove as well with the rest of the adults and a trailer with supplies. It all worked out in the end.

This is Devils Gate where the Sweetwater River flows through and where the visitor center is. When the Martin Handcart Company reached this point they were in really bad shape. The weather was below zero and the snow was over a foot. Their food was running out and they felt they could go no further. This was where they met up with the Hunt and Hodgetts Company who were traveling in covered wagons. All decided at this point that they would leave behind everything they did not absolutely need and to leave it at Fort Seminoe for the winter. The wagons would be used to carry those who could not walk. After taking care of all this they had to find better shelter so they walked 3 miles further to Martins Cove where they stayed for a few days. They buried 13 people that first night.

This is Martins Cove. It was a cove, but you can see the hill in front of the ridge. There is a walking path that we took and there is not much room for hundreds of people to camp for days. I really don't know how they did it. There was not much level ground at all.

Neal made a good looking pioneer if you ask me.

This was our cart and some of our "kids". A great bunch might I add.

Our girls. Not that I am trying to marry Neal off or anything, but these three younger girls are from great families! Jordan is a little old for Neal, but I would grab her in a minute too. We have great youth in Leavitt!

What could Jordan be thinking, or any pioneer for that matter.

This is Sam and she has MS. She is a direct descendant of the McBride family and she was not going to let anything stop her, in fact,she was released from the hospital just days before this. She was never left alone, as the boys were always ready and willing to help, even asking if they could push and pull her.

This is a monument at the Sweetwater Crossing. I love this photo.

I'm not sure if you can tell, but this old man is just clinging on to one of the rescuers clothes. It looks like he was barely clinging onto life as well.

Notice the feet on this girl? They are wrapped in cloth.

Everyone should read the account of these pioneers.

This is the Women's Pull. While the girls were down below listening to our YW President and singing, "As Sisters In Zion", I turned around to see the men at the top of the hill and felt alone. It was a "moment". Can you see the boys with their hands over their hearts? I saw Neal and that was that! :(

Laurel, you have an assignment when you are home next time. We have wood from the barn on the Cahoon Homestead and I would like you to paint a scene like this. Thanks!

This was a trek to Willie's 6th Crossing. The carts were not able to head to dry ground because we were on BLM land (Bureau of land Management), but after some time, kids were getting right in there and getting muddy and wet. To explain the buckets in the handcarts. Each person had their own bucket to fill with all of the items needed for the 3 days, all except their bedding. It is amazing what all can fit into those.

This is our camp site. The big tent in the middle was used for meals and meetings which was much needed. The first night we were setting up tents in the rain. The weather was not very good but there were no complaints. These kids have fun doing anything, anywhere.

On Sunday we headed to Rocky Ridge where the Willie Handcart Company ran into trouble. They have a monument there at the burial site which is where we had our Sacrament Meeting. We were not able to stay long as it started to snow. We heard it snowed 8 inches that night.

We all had a person we were trekking for, some relatives, some not. Neal had the name of Levi Openshaw. He and his family left England on the ship, Horizon and went with the Martin Company. His brother Samuel kept a diary and is quoted quite a bit in various books and websites. All of the family made it (parents and 4 children) except for a daughter in law. The family settled in Santaquin, Utah which is where my father was born. The Openshaw family was a very prominant family in Santaquin and so I have lots and lots of history there. In fact, the Hatch Family plot is there as well. Yep, if I never married I would be there right along next to my kinfolk.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Gopher Hunt

Yep, you read that title right-Gopher Hunt. I know I know, you are wondering where this California girl has gone, but I'm telling you, there are fun things to do here that I can't pass up.

My parents have lived in different places and one thing I have come to realize over the years is that you need to bloom where you are planted. When they lived in Samoa for a few years my mother took up snorkeling like it was nobody's business. And when they lived in Lincoln, Montana they were very involved with the locals with various things and were named Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln. When we lived in Tracy, CA while in high school, we had cattle right outside our windows. Oh, and when we lived in Hawaii, when it was Aloha Friday, my father wore "aloha shirts" to work. It's that kind of thing. You enjoy the area you live in and you really do feel more a part of things. So see, gopher hunting? It's just what people do here.

But to enter a contest is another thing all together.

I took this shot when I was riding the other day with Dixie out at her place. We have had so much snow lately that the hills are greening up very nicely and look what the sunshine brings. Gophers! If you click on the picture you can see them even better. They are just perched, enjoying the sunshine and deciding which blade of grass to nibble on first. These guys were lucky because I was on a horse, without a gun.

So back to the hunt. Lou Lou really wants a pink .22 for her 50th birthday so when we were at the local implement store here in town looking at guns, we noticed a sign for a gopher hunt. Lou Lou was all over it, I'm not kidding. We got the low down and decided that we could do it. We could win this thing. Maybe. There was one catch though. You had to come back with the tails. Gopher tails. We don't claim to be gopher shooting experts but.............the other day, Lou Lou, Dixie and I went out to her place to shoot and we shot, no lie, 400 gophers in 2 1/2 hours. It was craziness! Lou Lou shot 120 and Dixie and I each shot 140. See , you can see our optimism.

This is Lou Lou, not me. Just so you know. We signed up at 9:30 am yesterday and we were on our way with our guns, ammo, lunch, a pair of scissors, and a homemade hook to get those gophers from their holes. We shot a lot of gophers, but to bring back their tails is a whole "nother" ball game. A lot of times they fall back in their holes and plus, we pretty much cleared the fields the other day. Just sayin.

This is pretty gross, I know. Sorry?

The rules are that you were to work in teams of two and can go anywhere you have permission, oh, and a $20 donation from each participant. You could also have a "runner" to go and get the tails but we decided that we didn't really need one. I don't think it would have made a difference for us. We didn't have scopes and we could run just as fast as a runner and clip those tails ourselves. It was kind of gross, but when you are snipping for a cause you just do it. Be strong, be strong! You can sit in your truck and shoot, but that might cost you a fine from Fish and Wildlife which is close to $300. Why would you risk it? and you can bet the Fish and Wildlife guys were out yesterday looking for us gopher hunters. We walked around the fields. It feels a bit more "real" like that. You then returned at 3pm for the count while enjoying a barbecue.

This is where we were shooting. Dixie has a ton of land and it was so nice of her to share it with us yesterday.

Oh the results of the gopher hunt. Well..............we were the only and first all girl team so that was fun. There were 12 teams and we came in 8th with 67 tails! I think we did pretty darn good. We each won a t-shirt. The winning team had well over 200 and the 2nd place was just over 100, so really? I think we did alright.

Just a tidbit form our local paper. Back in 1920 there was a gopher hunt in Leavitt (where I live). The community split up into two teams and went hunting. The winners were treated to a free dance and the losers had to serve cake and ice cream to the winners. Guess how many tails they brought in? Close to 10,000! Now that is gross!

We do normal activites too. Friday night Mark and I went out for Chinese food and bowling. Here in Canada, you bowl with a ball that you can hold in the palm of your hand and there are only 5 pins. I think the US version is a little more exciting. We had a really great time!