Summer Trekking Handcart Style

The local church building I attend has a handcart on display at the entrance to the main meeting hall or chapel.  LDS youth in the Cambridge region are planning a trek in New Hampshire this summer that will involve pulling their food and supplies on handcarts for several miles over a few days.  I participated in a similar trek in Central Wyoming many years ago that took us from Casper to Martin’s Cove.  I and several other peers spent several months prior to the July expedition preparing and planning – we even manufactured the handcarts from basic materials which took a few Saturdays to complete.     Our trek included 3 days of walking for a total of about 35 miles.  Part of it was over the Oregon Trail and included ranch road.  But we also trudged off road through sandy soil.  The days were hot, but the evenings were comfortable and for the first time I didn’t have to guess where the milky-way was under the night sky.  The walking wasn’t too bad, but I grew up in a family that hiked long distances for fun.  We saw rattlesnakes and trail dust.  We cooked some surprisingly good food all in dutch ovens.  Oh . . . and there was latrine detail, but I won’t go into any detail.   Independence rock gave a surprising sense of refuge and perhaps a welcome distraction.  We stayed there on our third night and second to last on the trail.  If I remember correctly we had a Sunday meeting here and all were invited to share their thoughts and feelings about the trek, pioneer heritage and the gospel that had influenced many to cross the central plains and rockies in search of something better.    I’m sure everyone got something different out of the trek.  For sure I felt reverence for the history of those who trekked the same path some 150 years ago sacrificing much for the hope of something better, but I also remember that I enjoyed my time out in the wilderness in the company of a great group of people who came together for this memorial.  The handcart at church brought back a good memory and I’m glad the youth in Cambridge have the opportunity to participate in a trek.  The trek is a great example of the church’s concern for purposeful activities for youth.

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