Sunday, August 10, 2008

Women's Pull on the Handcart Trek by Maija-Liisa Adams

Tuesday, those on the youth trek at "Six Crossings" met an unexpected visitor along the trail.  An officer from the US Government stopped by camp and told the priesthood brethren they were being called up to fight in the Mexican War.  This isn't exactly what happened in real life as in it's not the time of the Mormon Battalion, but it's used on the Trek to underscore the fact that many women were left alone to finish the trek as their fathers, husbands, and brothers died along the way. 
He told them, "You have exactly one minute to say goodbye to your loved ones!" Sister Stephanie all decked out in her sunbonnet and self made pioneer dress, kisses her husband goodbye as others also said goodbye to their loved ones. 

The men we hear, had a talk about womanhood and sang "Ye Elders of Israel (Men) - Hymns #319". 

As sisters, we also discussed sisterhood and then sang, "As Sisters in Zion (Women) - #309", which was written by Emily H. Woodmansee, a member of the handcart company who came to Zion with her sister. Sis. Hayes did such a fantastic job arranging all of these stories that were told along the way.   If you want to hear the music or read the words, go to

Now it was up to us to push and pull our 9 handcarts up the hill. It's the first major hill we'd encountered along our 16 mile trek.  The carts each held approximately 9-10 buckets at near 17 lbs. each and then 2 water coolers and 1 food cooler.  There we 4-5  of us with each handcart. 

At the top of the hill we suddenly came upon the brethren waiting for us.  And although this picture doesn't depict it, they had their hats off and were waiting on either side as we pushed on through them.  The men and boys said it was the hardest thing they'd ever done to just watch us.  They were told to ALWAYS help a woman in need.  There were many tears in both men and women's eyes.  The Women's Pull was one of the highlights of the trek.  Feel free to post comments or ask questions about the trek. 


Penny said...

this was so wonderfu to see! I want pictures.........all of them!
I am so grateful to those adults who helped make this event such a success! (((( HUHGS)))))

Rolling Hills RS said...

Maija-Liisa! This is AWESOME!! Thank you so much!
-Sarah d'