Monday, July 19, 2010

An experience

I'm sitting eating lunch today with Charlie and Pete. All is quiet, except for the iPod music and chewing. Then, Charlie said to me nonchalantly,

"So, mom, how was Trek?"

Last Thursday until Saturday Dave and I participated in our stake's Pioneer Trek as a Ma and Pa. We dropped Charlie and Pete off at a friend's house Wed. night. We dressed in pioneer clothing, pulled/pushed a handcart (actually as Ma and Pa we weren't aloud to touch the handcart but I did help on the "Woman's Pull"), ate pioneer food, drank lots of water seasoned with dirt, slept under the stars, prayed, cried, laughed, hurt, sang, starved, then ate, were worn out "dead tired" many times, hiked until 1 am, made many new friends whom I love very much, strengthened my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ and my husband, missed my two boys, read scriptures, barely slept, danced at a Hoe Down, was wooed by my husband by a slow dance to the live band in the rain, washed my hair in the river, stank like I've never stunk in my life, played my harmonica around the fire, peed in the woods many times, got bit by lots of bugs and spiders, sweat, ......and loved every minute of it. I can't really explain everything because most of it was a very sacred and personal experience. I do, however, share it with those in my assigned family (13) and the other 105 youth and Ma's and Pa's.

Though, it was only 3 days, it felt like a long time that I was "out-of-touch". It felt weird to get inside our car and sit back on that cushion seat and turn on the A/C. It was wonderful to take a shower and brush my teeth twice and climb into my own bed. I have a greater appreciation for all I have, food, clothes, home, everything! I have a greater appreciation for my pioneer heritage and those who made the real Trek West. Especially my grandfather, Thomas Giles, who was a blind harpist. He came from Wales and lost his sight in a coal mining accident. He also lost his wife and two children on the trek West but he endured to the end. I have a greater love for myself. I have a greater love for my husband and my family. I have many new, true friends. I have a stronger testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Would I do it again? Ask me in a couple months and I will probably say yes.

AND the greatest miracle of all: I escaped with 0 ticks!!! A true miracle.

Day 1: Clean, fresh, totally ignorant of what is about to happen.

Day 2: I look better than I feel and that is saying something.

Day 3: In a state of complete euphoria. Overwhelming.

Beautiful, strong pioneer women.

Goofiness happening on the trail home.

Putting together the cart on the first day.


Season said...

You two look awesome. What does pioneer food entail? Ya know...I was out of town the year my stake did the trek when I was in young womens. So I never went on one. Partly I'm glad. But the other part of me is sad.

Tracy Giles said...

I would do anything to be able to participate on a trek! I'm so jealous! I bet it was an incredible experience!! I love the pictures!!

Shelly said...

Pioneer food:
1st day: L-no lunch
D-orange, jerky
1 am-broth and a roll (all our stomachs could handle at the time)
2nd day: B-oatmeal with raisins
L-left over oatmeal, oranges, a roll
D-beef stew with carrots, potatoes and onions and dutch-oven break
3rd day: B-corn meal mush, left-over bread
L-scones (fry bread), fried potatoes and carrots and onion rings

The Lawrences said...

Amazing. I wish they had a YSA trek that I could go on! I never got to experience it in my youth. I hope to get the chance to be a Ma someday. maybe! lol.

Mad Hadder said...

I could almost smell you from here! Good descriptions! Did you carve spoons and forks? Could you have kept it up for 27 more days? "What cannot be described, must be experienced." So so so true. Good on Charlie and his BIG BOY conversation starters!

ned or may said...

I've heard about a trek that Mike & Michelle & Ally went on up in Wyoming near Evenston. It was so-o-o hot that over 50% of the trekers suffered severe heat stroke and dehydration. There were 4 doctors along and they couldn't keep up! Michelle spent her time nursing, not doing what she was otherwise assigned. Many had to be hellecoptered out!!

Mad Hadder said...

I heard about this trek, May!! I thought it might bring about the end of ALL treks. Sound a little like playing with fire! I'm thinking that we may be simulating conditions that were even more dangerous than the original treks!!!