So... I'm back. Pioneer Trek accomplished. Okay, well, not really.

This weekend I had to come to terms with my unfulfilled childhood pioneer fantasies. Secretly, I was hoping for a complete pioneer re-enactment. I thought there would be horses, Indians, people dying of consumption, covered wagons, amputations, and lots of black powder guns. I was expecting something similar to my favorite video game of all time, The Oregon Trail!

I was hoping to play some dramatic part in a vignette on the side of the trail or at least be able to tell someone that they were dying of dysentery. Yet, alas, it just was not meant to be. This is not to say that the trek organizers didn't do a fabulous job. It was great. I guess not everyone is into dorky re-enactments as I am. It really is a shame.

We arrived on Friday evening to the location where the trek would take place. It was incredibly cold to the point that most of us were miserable. This is when I decided that, even without going on the actual trek, the pioneers were nuts. Only a person motivated by religion or money would be crazy enough to push a handcart across the country. Friday night was one of the worst of my entire life, even superseding that awful night when I slept on a bench in a bus station in Denmark. My sleeping bag wouldn't zip up, my air mattress had a leak, and the tent had a huge flap in it. I wasn't prepared for the cold. I was convinced that all my extremities had frostbite. (It's not complaining if I'm stating fact.)

When I woke up that morning, our tent was covered in frost. Then again, at least we had a tent. The boys in our ward forgot to pack one and they had to sleep under the stars in weather in the high 20's. So glad I'm not a boy... or pioneer.

Since I wasn't a Ma (my "Pa" had to stay home with the young'uns), I was encouraged to stay at the camp while the kids went on their 4 hour trek. I was too tired to be sad. I welcomed the opportunity to take a lovely nap in my tent and work on finishing Catching Fire.

The moral of this story is as follows -

Pioneers are crazy.
I don't think I can ever go camping again.
I will do just about anything to have a vacation away from my kids.


  1. the vacation away from the kids makes me laugh...I asked the senior i was shooting today if we could just hang out...it was so quiet...that way I had an excuse not to go home!
    Did I sleep with you in the bus station in Denmark? I remember the train/bus ride in England where someone made us get off at the wrong stop and trek with a semesters worth of luggage!! :) Good moral of the story.

  2. Ugh, I'm with you. I could do the walked and walked and walked and walked part of the whole pioneer thing, but I absolutely would not have been able to handle the cold.

    I was a bratty 15 year old when my stake did the pioneer trek. I opted out to go to a much more important cheer car wash fundraiser. Somehow I don't feel my life is incomplete by not having this experience.

  3. A) Oregon Trail WAS awesome.
    B) That sounds miserable - and only proves even more how crazy I am that in the past I seriously have wished I was a pioneer so that at least I'd be skinny. Right? Pushing the handcart and yada yada but at least they were all nice and thin and fit. Kinda makes sense? No? I have body image problems!

  4. Aren't you glad I gave u that coat back?

  5. Dar & I went on a trek a couple years ago as stake leaders, and it was really cold at ours too. We did do some re-enactments though. Each family had a baby they had to carry, and about 1/2 of the families had to bury their baby along the way, then one of the stake leaders would follow along behind and un-bury the poor things :) Kind of gruesome, but I guess they did what they could. Haha. I'm glad you survived!

  6. Our ward did a pioneer trek over three days of spring break. I agree that the cold is the worst part of it. I was just in a support role and there were not tents to sleep in. The youth had to make their shelters out of tarps. The terrain was brutal, the marches long, and the food scant but I think the biggest complaint was the cold. My daughter woke up with frost on her clothes and in her hair.

  7. Ya people do crazy things to make better lives for themselves and their posterity...

    next you should re-enact swimming from Cuba to Miami

  8. I am also glad I'm not a boy... or a pioneer! Fun post!

  9. Well, I'm sure I would have died in Iowa if I'd done the Nauvoo to SLC trek but I still like the idea of wonderful, historically authentic reenactments. Too old for them now, tnough (how convenient). I don't think the pioneers were crazy--the temperatures you experienced may not have bothered them as much because they didn't live in centrally-heated houses. Normal life was a lot harder physically than we're used to. Anyway, hope your children enjoyed your tales of the olden days when you returned.

  10. Oregon trail was my favorite game too, probably the ONLY video game I played! I'm so glad you didn't die. Being cold while trying to sleep gas got to be the most miserable feeling. I really think it's worse than child birth.

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  12. I love to read about the pioneers--they were so incredibly faithful and determined. Here in Utah I have watched some pretty frigid wind/snow storms and thought about what that would have been like for them.



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