Sunday, July 27, 2008


Jacob and Katie turned 14 just in time to participate in our Stake TREK on July 24-26. The activity involved hiking 22 miles in 2 and 1/2 days, with handcarts. They split up into families with Stake couples called to be the Ma and Pa and assigned 8-10 youth as their family members. They each had to wear somewhat authentic pioneer dress. Katie even made bloomers to go under her ankle-length skirt.

There were Trek cooks who prepared all the meals, so they were not given a live chicken to cook for dinner, as we have heard done in other stakes. However, in Katie's family, shown in the picture, the dad and one of the older brothers "died," meaning they each got injuries that prevented them from helping the family anymore. That meant the hard work of pushing the handcart had to be done by the girls more than in other companies. Katie tells us she spent most of the time up front at the yoke.
In Jacob's family, in the next picture, there were two big 17-year old boys who carried the heaviest burden, so the younger boys and the girls got to take turns and rest. Jacob was ready to do Trek again, but Katie said she was glad she went but would never want to do it again!

Here are some "after"pictures. Our Bishop and his wife, Denise, went as a Ma and Pa. Denise said the dirt was unimagineable. Even Katie's bloomers came home dirt-colored. Denise made her real family members that attended change in the garage before coming inside to shower. She said she couldn't stand all that dirt in her house. We already have plenty of dirt in our house all the time, so we let Jacob and Katie come inside, but we drew the line at laying on our bed!!

You can tell that Anna, in Katie's arms, isn't sure what to think. By the way, Denise's suggestion for future Trek participants is to bring your own package of baby wipes to wash hands and clean the dirt off legs at the end of the day.

In the last few pictures, you get a feel for what the trek was like. In the first one, Katie is pulling the handcart at the yoke in the front on the right hand side. In the second, you see the group of companies traveling along, one after another. Katie "trekked" for Lewis' great-grandmother, Emma Zundel who crossed the plains as a girl with her family. Jacob "trekked" for Elihu Pettingill, who crossed the plains sometime after he was baptized at age 16. Elihu and Emma later married and had 9 children together, including Jefferson Bartlett Pettingill, who was Lewis' grandfather. Looking back, Jacob and Katie both now say it was the hardest thing they have done but that they were glad they went.

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