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.
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.
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.