Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hearts ... and Pioneers ...

I am working on making myself love this stamp set. It is one of the ones we got at Convention this year. I think it is starting to grow on me, but may take a few more rounds of ink before I am truly convinced. I put this together for today's sketch challenge over on SCS - SC293. A whole LOTTA layers goin' on, that's fer shure!!

Stamps: Paisley Prints, Baroque Motifs, Well Scripted
Paper: Pear Pizzazz, Poppy Parade, Concord Crush, Whisper White
Ink: Pear Pizzazz, Poppy Parade, Concord Crush
Accessories: Large Heart Punch, Wide Oval Punch, Pinking Hearts Border Punch, Elegant Lines Textured Impressions Folder, 1/4" Whisper White Grosgrain Ribbon, Pearls, Pop-Up Glue Dots

Since I had so many responses and emails about my "pioneer" post the other day, I thought I'd share a couple more pictures and a little info. I was asked how one goes about going on such a "trek" ... here is a link to a website where you can arrange to go on one yourself. A truly wonderful experience!

We went for a total of four days. We spent the better part of the first day driving to our destination and setting up camp (and OHMYGOSH did we ever get POUNDED by rain, hail and WIND that first evening ... luck for us the tents were all already up and dinner had been prepared!)! Gotta love those Wyoming Plains and the wind, right?? It was actually kinda cool ...

The next day we awoke to the most beautiful misty fog. It disappeared as soon as the sun came over the ridge ... gorgeous!!We spent the day visiting several sites in the area ... Martin's Cove (named for the handcart company that lost many of its members due to illness, freezing and starvation as a direct result to their late start in the year ... a very spiritual and beautiful place), Independence Rock and Devil's Gate, as well as Veil Crossing. We alternated between walking and pushing handcarts. Some areas do not allow the handcarts to be pushed through, so those are the places where we walked.

We climbed to the top of Independence Rock to look at the names of many pioneers who had carved rememberances there. Holy COW, though! We were all attacked at the top by a swarm of flying red ants ... no kidding!! See all the little buggers flying around my head?? Needless to say, we didn't stay on top very long ...

We returned to camp that evening, ate dinner and had a rip-roarin' good time square dancin'! (I spent most of my time videotaping the event while my husband took photos ... I did manage to swing around a LITTLE bit, though!)

Then, the next day we spent the entire day pulling our carts along the trail. At one point we separated the men from the women and each group had a little devotional where they talked of the importance of love and respect for one another. One of the harsh realities of the pioneer experience is that many people died. Women and men were left widows and widowers ... children were left orphans and parents were left childless. To appreciate that whole experience, we had what is known on the trek as "Women's Pull" ... where the women pull their carts along a stretch of steep rough terrain in silence. The men walk alongside the women, but are not allowed to speak or help in any way. Just having them there for moral support was sooo powerful, but for us and for them.

We then proceeded along the trail, where we crossed the Sweetwater River at three separate crossings. The boys in our group carried the girls across one of the crossings to commemorate four young men who nearly froze to death by carrying most of the members of their company across the river when it was literally frozen over back in 1856. We crossed in silence, and it was a truly memorable experience.

We then had a PRIZE-WINNING water fight on our last river crossing!! WHAT FUN!!!

'Cept when ya get a long dress wet it weighs, like, TEN POUNDS or something!! Good times. A wonderful way to end a long, hot and inspiring day. We headed back to camp to eat and spend time together. My brother in law, who was also our "Trail Boss" is an accomplished violinist. As everyone was laying in their tents preparing to fall asleep he started playing some beautiful music for us to fall asleep by. Sigh ... nearly brought me to tears (and just recalling it now is causing my eyes to well up) ... what a lovely way to end the day.

On our last morning we had a devotional where everyone was allowed to share their feelings on the experience. Very moving and sweet. One of our youth was even baptized in the Sweetwater River ... which came as a surprise to most of those in our group. There was hardly a dry eye in the company ... and we all burst into spontaneous applause and cheering once it was complete. PERFECT way to end a PERFECT trek!! This is what we all looked like when it was all said and done ... dirty and sunburned, yet happy and content.


Margie said...

How fun! Thank you for sharing your inspiring adventure. What a perfect way to be still and hear HIS voice.

Kim P said...

Your card looks the funky color scheme!

Fun picture in the soaking wet dress! You are a brave woman! LOL

Kittie said...

What a wonderful experience, Wendy! Thanks for sharing your photos and telling about it.

Wendie said...

Thanks, Wendy.

Pam said...

I agree with the stamp many heart stamp sets do we have now!!!??? I'm over them already.

As to your trek....LOVE to hear about it. My great grandmother was in the Martin Handcart Co., her husband stayed behind in England. She was one who adopted many who became orphaned along the way & has a monument holding a little boy's hand in a cemetery by Manti. How grateful am I that she left an example of courage. How blessed are you to have had the opportunity to walk where they trod; while you were assured of your outcome, where she was not. God bless!!

Dorothy T said...

What a awesome experience. Thanks for sharing your pictures and all of the events that took place on your trek. Love your blog and all that you share with us. Fantastic card. Great color combination.

Jane Ralph said...

This sounds like it would have been a wonderful experience! How lucky for you to have gone on this trek. (and we think we have it hard now!!) Great photos.