The second week of April, Stephen and I became "Ma" and "Pa" Badger to a group of youth in our stake. It was quite the authentic pioneer adventure! I had no idea that we'd be treking in super dense fog one day, and tredging through snow the next. It was just so fabulous to know that we were doing this for "fun" and not "for real." Wow. I have so much more respect for those wonderful pioneer ancestors of ours!
Before the trek began, we had several preparations to make, including a family flag. I went a little overboard on the detail. I know this surprises you all. Here's our group on one of the days when it was totally foggy. Can you see that most of our pioneer outfits were totally swallowed up by our modern coats and cold-weather gear. Good thing I spent so much time on the flag that I did not end up making my own pioneer costume, but borrowing one from the stash Grandma Grace had made for Aunt Margaret's seminary class. Sadly, the skirt and apron now have a recently added band of beautiful brown "prairie lace" (stained mud and dirt) to boot.
Here are some of the horses we passed at Riley Farms, the ranch that hosted our Trek.
See this kid? He's showing how the fog is so dense that the edge of the path looked like a great abyss.
We all just kept warm as best as we could. See one of the family flags on the back of that wagon? It was really cute. It had a lamb and a lion on it.
This is Sister Arrington, our ASL interpreter for the deaf "daughter" in our group.
I tried to keep our spirits up by singing pioneer songs from the songbook they gave us all. Unfortunately, our group wasn't too into it, so I mostly felt geeky singing by myself or with one or two other people. Awesome.
Here's a temporary pet lizard that was acquired along the way.
The Arrington Family walked ahead of us in this picture. Our interpreter was the daughter-in-law of President and Sister Arrington. It was President Arrington that called Stephen to the high council.
Here's another view of other handcarts behind us.
Here's the biggest Red Rover game I've ever seen played during a lunch break one day. See the storm clouds looming?
Here's a picture of one of the handcarts fording the river on a raft that the men put together. I was happy to help out in the effort by supplying the men with a spool of thread which was attached to an arrow which was shot across the river. The other end of the thread was tied to some twine, then the other end of the twine was attached to a rope which eventually pulled the raft across the river.
Here's the beautiful scene to which we awoke to the next morning. We were not surprised at all though because while the majority of the trekkers spent the night in a crowded barn, Stephen and I decided to have a quiter night and a softer floor outside. We pitched our tent under the roof of a wooden patio area.
Here's one of our boys standing just outside of the barn where people slept warmly. Neither the barn sleepers nor the tents got much sleep at all that night!
The skies cleared somewhat, but the trail was still super slushy and filled with muddy potholes. YES! Our favorite!
Stephen enjoyed a nice little snowball fight. The boys quickly learned that this Badger does NOT back down.
See the tussled hair and red splotchy skin? All signs of a fun little play fight!