Preparations for our Ward Family Trek started in September last year. It is amazing what the saints can accomplish when put to the task and working together. Tyler and I were so blessed to be a part of the planning and carrying out of this trek as Directors. We worked with the Hunters (Brandon and Susan) and it was truly miraculous to watch. I was so excited to go, and it proved to be much more challenging than our previous two treks. This one included *ahem* old people, and babies, and toddlers, and teenagers and everyone in between.
We were blessed to be able to take our dear friend Danny with us. He's like one of mine and we love him so much! He was a blessing on the trek and really did help out a lot. It was so interesting to watch how each of the children reacted to each experience. The feelings, the thoughts, the inspiration and the struggle were all quite priceless and very personal.
My favorite thing was to watch the kids. They were so happy most of the time. Little Darla made friends with everyone and even helped push the cart. At one point she fell asleep while she was pushing - just hanging from the back of the cart. Her legs were still moving but her eyes were closed and she was completely asleep. It was so much harder this time, but also so much more rewarding as I watched Mothers carrying babies and brothers strengthening older couples. It was especially tender watching my babies and my good strong husband.
The wind was ferocious at times, the dust cutting our faces. Then there was the beautiful frolic in the river back at camp in the evening when we all threw caution to the wind and jumped into the water fully clothed (in dresses no less).
When it was all over, after we were completely exhausted, Kabe asked if we could hike another mile to Devil's Gate. He really didn't want to leave and I couldn't say no. He and I hiked up to Devils Gate and had a lovely visit the whole way. He is such a tender boy and was so excited to see it. I was glad to have a peaceful and private end to our trek to gather my thoughts and try to remember my feelings before we drove home.
My testimony of the importance of faith was really solidified on this trek and I gained a personal gratitude for the pioneers like I've never had before. In the night this sweet baby (Caleb Noble Robison) was crying. All I could hear was the crickets and the breeze and the baby crying. What an incredible feeling. To make it more personal I was pregant during the trek but we hadn't told anyone yet. I've never felt so physically miserable in my life - swollen lips, swollen ankles, dehydration and headache. The drive home was quite possibly a near-death experience. But SO WORTH IT! I'm so thankful that so many of our ward decided to join us on the trek and know that our Bishop was inspired in his decision to lead us there. What a great reminder of what is important and what just simply doesn't matter. "And should we die, before our journey's through, HAPPY DAY! All is well."