Every few years, almost as a rite of passage, LDS youth groups in the Mountain West go on Handcart Treks. This year we have two teenage boys so we’re going with them as a Ma and Pa on “Trek”.


My husband and I did this once before, 16 years ago, again, as adult leaders and it’s “fun” in a sense. The kids enjoy it anyway. In 2002, we visited Martin’s Cove, crossed the Sweetwater River, hiked Rocky Ridge, got caught at the top of Rocky Ridge in a lightning storm, and had such inclement weather we felt like we were getting a real taste of pioneer misery. It’s funny to laugh at now – not so fun to endure.



Wyoming Handcart Map


All these Treks focus on the worst Pioneer experience: the last handcart companies who got a late start and needed to be rescued. My husband has three female ancestors from one of these tragic handcart companies.

Image from Mormon Handcart Historic Sites

I think I’m going to recommend reenacting some happier ancestral memories next year. Guess I’ll add that to my research to-do list.


So this is just a note that I’ll be away and unavailable to respond to requests for a few days. Hopefully we’ll be helping our boys gain an appreciation for their ancestors. Here’s hoping all your family history vacations involve great lodging and better food.


Best in your research!

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