Tuesday, March 24, 2009


photos courtesy of Sandi Nielson

The husband and I have recently returned from our Stake Youth Handcart Trek. It was a never-to-be-forgotten experience- one that I felt was tailored just for me. My testimony of Jesus Christ grew exponentially and my desire to follow him has strengthened. I would love to share all of it with you, but I know that would make for some monster-long posts. Instead I will highlight by numbers.

200 youth participated in the trek

15 families

16 handcarts

8 kids in our family (ours was the smallest family on the trek)

1 big brother in our family

4 girls in our family

5 boys in our family

350 pounds our kids pulled for four days

25 feet of rope to secure our belongings

1 buffalo gutted and skinned

400 feet in elevation up the mountain the women pulled the handcart on our own

500 infamous beef sticks consumed the first day

11 hours of pulling the handcart on day one

18 miles traveled the first day

2.5 hours of pulling in the pitch dark

3 tents our family set up at 9:30 pm

25 degree weather while setting up camp

2 members of our family who "died" during the night

1 member of our family with a terribly sore hamstring

3 miles pulling the handcart before we reached the valley

8 enjoyable pioneer games/ skills/ dances learned

3 stitches in the finger of our pioneer daughter

400 pioneer boots kicking up dust at the hoedown

10 foil blankets employed by our family during the night

1 Pony Express rider

8 activities that taught gospel principles

2 hours of solo time, spent reading scriptures, recording feelings, reflecting on the events of the trek and the changes taking place inside each individual

1,000's of tears shed when sharing tender feelings

1 mile pulled the last day

0 complaints from the husband who had a broken rib for the entire trek

100 families waiting to welcome their youth at the finish line

0 phones/ ipods/ cameras confiscated from our family

1,600 photos taken by the official trek photographer

11 strangers that came together as a family and were forever changed by this experience

3 hour drive home to discuss and bear testimony with the husband of the magnitude of the experience we shared

3 happy children, running with hugs for their pioneer parents

4 large blisters on the feet, lanced and bandaged

25 minutes spent in the shower in an attempt to wash off all the dirt


CaJoh said...

What a great way of experiencing what the pioneers went through. Glad you had a fun time.

gramee said...

tears are in my eyes.
so happy all went well.

Mrs. Fish said...

for some reason, my computer isn't letting me see your first picture. i hope it's the one of you and your husband from the nielson's blog-- so cute. jonathan and i were ma's and pa's a few years back and it was quite an experience...to say the least. glad to hear yours was too. thanks for the comment on my blog.

Shorty said...

I would love to know more about your adventure! Feel free to post a lengthy story...I would love to read it!

Glad you had a great time and have strengthened your relationship with Christ. I need just such an adventure!

Shannon said...

Hi! Welcome Home! Are the pictures from Sandy Nelsen (Mom of Breezy) or someone else? We've known Sandy along time and she has been writing about this on her blog and the impact it has had on her family. I wondered if you were in the same stake. What a great experience. Our stake is doing one next summer and I can't wait to go.

Momza said...

ONE perfect blog to remind me that we are all stronger than we know we are.
Thank you.

wonder woman said...

*2* big watery eyes over here.

Broken ribs? 25 degrees? Wow. I remember hearing the youth last year talk about the women pulling. The girls that had to do, and the boys who could only watch....If that doesn't increase your compassion and empathy and faith, I don't know what will.

I'm so glad (and slightly jealous) you were able to go.

Marisa said...

you skinned and gutted a wild buffalo??! I'm assuming that there's more to that story and it's not as back country as it sounds...? :)

Sarah said...

Awesome. After lugging a stroller packed with 120 pounds of kids around Disneyland, I appreciate your ordeal - although infinitely more spiritual than mine. Sounds like a great experience. :)

Lauren Darlene said...

Sounds like a great experience, viewing the buffalo would have done me in. Great Idea with the numbers!

Marni said...

I have never been able to go on a Pioneer Trek, but I hope to do it someday! What an awesome experience! Thanks for sharing it with us!

Nathan said...

I'm sad I'm not in the same office as the husband. I'd have to bring him a donut to help soothe his broken rib. Donuts always work for me with that kind of thing.

That Girl in Brazil said...

And millions of blessings and memories. Awesome.

Pssst. I want to hear about this buffalo.

SHERI said...

Wow- such a great experience. I hope one day I will get to experience it!