Thursday, August 5, 2010
Handcarts -- Martin's Cove
We've headed out to visit Ed while he's working out-of-state. Our first stop on today's 12 1/2 hour trip: Martin's Cove near Alcova, Wyoming.
With Pioneer Day just a few weeks ago, we did a special Family Home Evening lesson on the Pioneers. I tried to describe the trek that was taken and the hardships to Olivia, but I'm sure she didn't fully understand. To bring it closer to home, we talked about her great-great-great grandmother, Rhoda Jane Bone Blamires, who was a young child when she walked across the plains. Olivia loves to talk about her and how she was a pioneer. I know that by coming to a place where the pioneers traveled through, she understands more.
Once at Martin's Cove, Olivia was extremely excited to pull a handcart! While we were waiting our turn she would tell every missionary that walked by that she was going to push a handcart.
For year's I've heard the stories about the Martin Harris Handcart companies and how they ended up stranded (in today's Martin's Cove). I knew how the food rations ran out, 1/4 of the people died and the hardships they endured. But actually seeing the site, reading their journals and viewing the monuments I couldn't help but cry a little. I couldn't imagine leaving everything I had behind in England and ending up stranded in a blizzard. How heartbreaking it would have been to hold Olivia and Lucy close to keep them warm and the only food I could offer them was the rawhide taken from the handcart wheels. It was definitely an experience I could feel.
Rhoda Jane Bone Blamires, Olivia's 3rd great grandmother, parents were supposed to be in the Martin Harris Company. Thankfully they didn't have the funds to continue on when they landed in New York. If not, they may not have survived.
As we've been driving, it has been interesting to see some of the national landmarks that people used who followed the Oregon, California and Mormon tails. Such places like Split Rock, Devil's Gate and Independence Rock.