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.


Kari said...

Wow, Marilee--that is awesome! Thanks for posting all the photos; they really brought the event to life. Neal's face looks so grown-up. Isn't he still just 10 or 11? :)

Laurel said...

!!!!!!!! thank you for posting!!!!!!!!

i have been checking this blog every day since that gross gopher post. i don't know if you can tell, but i kinda miss my family! That trip sounds better than you and said it was on the phone- i guess i'll need to talk to neal to see what he thought of everything.

i will get to work on that painting right now! oh, and i doubt you did, but did you happen to take a look at the signature on those sculptures out there? my friend Hillary's dad made them, cool, huh?

Marilou said...

Great post Lee lee!!

becca olsen said...

Wow, what an amazing experience for everyone! Thanks for sharing!

Ashley Dawn said...

What an AWESOME opportunity. I really want to do Trek sometime. We did a day trek in Barnwell once, but that was it. This had me all choked up. How pathetic am I?

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Audrey said...

Thank you for this post. I have never been on one of these trips, but remember your post from the last one too. I have such reverence for the pioneers, and it is certainly something those darling youth will never forget. I agree with Kari. How did Neal get so grown up?

Michelle Joyce said...

Nice post mommmmm!

Becky K said...

I found your blog in a google search for Levi Openshaw. I was trying to come up with a history on his wife Elizabeth when your blog came up. What a small world this is!

Amy Sorensen said...

Sorry for a post from yet another sister Becky just left you a comment, too, and now here I am following in her internet footprints...not on purpose!

At any rate, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your post about your trek. We are leaving on ours this week. My son is taking the name of Levi Openshaw (samuel's brother) because we are direct descendants, but since I've only been able to find Samuel's journal, we're using those details. I'm taking Ann's name (Samuel and Levi's mother).

Thank you also for posting your photos. They made me feel both less anxious and more excited.

And with that...I'll end this very long comment from a complete stranger! ;)