Rachel and Robin got to participate in our Stake's first handcart trek reenactment up in the Cascades on the Santiam Wagon Road. Eldon had an official role from the beginning, and recruited me as a sidekick. I think our official job title, had we had one, would have been "Vehicle Wrangler".
I expanded my role to being more of a general "gofer", not only helping Eldon moving and staging vehicles, but transporting cook trailers, porta-poties, medical staff, and stragglers. This allowed me to see almost every aspect of the event, and I tried to keep my camera with me at all times. I ended up taking over 300 photos, and had a hard time picking just a few to show you. Perhaps the girls can give a presentation and slide show at the Reunion!
There were more than 200 participants separated in to two companies. Each youth was assigned to a "family" with their own cart. One day the Angel of Death came through and "removed" some of the members of each family, leaving them to continue on short handed. The "dead" were returned to their families that night, but the next day, army soldiers showed up and recruited all the boys for the Mormon Battalion, leaving the girls to pull the carts up a long ascent on there own.
Behind the scenes there was a massive organization keeping the kids fed and healthy. Here is the caravan departing the first camp on day two. A porta-pottie and water truck met the kids at the lunch stop while the rest set up at the next camp and got dinner ready. I put a lot of back-road miles on Smitty's generously loaned workhorse.
Dad and I oversaw the transport of 25 vehicles from the drop-off point down to camp three. A number of them had trailers. We efficiently arranged them for departure. Dad had signs so the kids would know where to load their gear, and envelopes to keeps all the keys straight.
It was an amazing event, which I'm sure created a lifetime of memories. The kids, which I expected to sleep on the way home, happily chatted the whole way! When they do this again in four years, Ann Marie will be old enough to participate!