Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pioneer Trek 2013!

Pioneer trek. So many things to share. So many reasons why youth should experience this event. Wednesday morning, June 26, Grayson was on his way at 8:00 am to meet his new ma & pa and trek family he'd be spending the next 4 days with.  A little anxious and not that excited...  

Ma & Pa Dalley eagerly welcomed their 11 children...

Three companies made up of 23 families boarded 6 buses and headed up toward Evanston to Deseret Land & Livestock Ranch to begin their pioneer trek.

John & I were able to be part of the trek support staff so the next time we saw Grayson he had a smile on his face, loved his ma & pa and was having a great time with his new family.

I was in charge of the trek choir and all the music...

John was in charge of filling the water buffalos daily at the well, making sure he had porta potties and water for the stops on the trail and setting up camp for the support staff each day.

...or is this what he was really doing?!

John & I would see Grayson each day and he was always happy.

He also experienced his first  slow dance at the hoe-down!

The toughest activity each family had to experience was the women's pull.  The story was told of Jens & Elsie Neilson, members of the Willie handcart company.  After their 6-year-old son and a young girl traveling with them perished in the Wyoming blizzard and sub-zero temperatures, Jens' feet were both frozen and he was unable to walk another step and told Elsie to leave him and go ahead and save herself.  Elsie told Jens to get in the handcart and she would pull the cart as she would not leave him.  The trek families were then told to hike up the hill and leave their ma alone to pull their pa in the handcart with all their gear.  It was amazingly touching to see these men with tears running down their faces as their wives tried to pull the cart all by themselves.  One pa kept trying to reach down and help turn the wheel.  After a bit of a struggle, the daughters were told they could help.  Again, tears were shed as these girls ran as fast as they could to their carts to help their ma.  Finally, as the mothers and daughters were almost spent, the young men were allowed to go and help finish the last part of the hill with their families.  One of the most touching things I've seen and everyone there was moved.

The Pony Express riders (complete with coconut sound effects) arrived on day 3 with welcome letters from home for each of the youth.

The final activity before heading out to trek the last 5 miles back to the busses was being "called home."  The trek master gathered everyone together and called out the names of those who had "died" and were being called home.  There was one name called from each family as well as a whole family but one that were called.  You could hear the gasps as that single girl was left alone and the rest of her family walked away.  As the companies were then told to get their handcarts and start on the trail, this young girl was flooded with help from all the other families to help her with her cart and to pull.  About a half mile down the trail, those who had been "called home" were standing at various points along the side of the trail in white.  The companies were silent as they walked by them and my walking buddy Misty and I were gasping as we held back the sobs.  It was probably even harder for her because her son was one of the boys called home and she saw him on the side of us as we walked by.  This was the most impactful spiritual experience of the whole trek for me and as I listened to the testimonies and comments from others, I am sure all 250+ people in attendance were touched multiple times by the activities and experiences we shared.

I don't like to camp and I don't like getting dusty and dirty and not being able to shower daily, but the trek experience is a meaningful, everlasting opportunity for anyone willing to go.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

College Girl!!!

Hailey starts summer term today with a couple of classes at the BYU Salt Lake Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the next 8 weeks! I told her I never stop taking "first day of school" pictures no matter how old the kids get.  

(At least I'm not following her to the school and taking a photo with her teacher and sitting in her desk, right?!)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Another Ragnar Race - My Life on the "Trail"...

Crazy race. Crazy people. Crazy race legs!  Van 2 of the team Marsh Family 3.0 ended up with 7 runners--only 3 of the original I had signed up with as several had to drop out due to conflicts which arose after the fact.  

Van 2
We had a late start time so our first runner Michelle didn't run her first leg in Eden until 5:00 pm on Friday!

 Her newly-married daughter Raquel was a first-timer to Ragnar and we were glad she was willing to fill in.  She did great--must have her momma's running genes!

Karen's brother Matt is one of those 100-mile distance runners.  He's amazing!!!!  He could've run every leg our van was responsible for (and he did join some of our runners and do extra for training purposes).  He had an 11+ mile run in the middle of the night and averaged 8 min. miles or less.

Matt 1 handing off to sis Karen.

Karen always runs hard, fast and steady.  Great team member to have and we've done lots of these relays together :D

Raquel's newlywed husband Matt 2 waiting to run his LONG 7+ mile uphill to Snowbasin. (I do have to say it was nice to have guys in our van for a change.  It got me out of all the "yuckky" legs and I actually looked forward to each time I ran!

Matt 2 handing off to me.

The theme for my 3 legs this race was definitely "Trail Running."  My first leg was a little after 8 pm (thus the required headlamp) and I got to run on a trail under a Snowbasin skilift and then back down to the resort--all on a narrow dirt, rock, tree-stumped trail.

Our 2nd legs were all in the dark EXCEPT mine which started at 6:30 am in the Rockport Campground (trail) and ended in Oakley at the Rodeo Grounds.

Our 3rd legs began in Heber and Raquel had to be at work in Provo at 10 am so her cousin Jenni stepped in and ran for her.  Jenni said she's not really a runner so when we asked her how her 4-miler went she said "it was awful."  Thanks for being a trooper Jenni!

The whole team--Vans 1 and 2 (minus Raquel at work and Jenni running her leg)

Michelle getting one of her last "kills" before passing off to Matt 1.

This was probably the funniest moment on the trip.  We were stuck in the Homestead parking lot and needed to get up the Ragnar hill to get Matt 1 so Matt 2 gets out of the van and starts directing traffic.  He held everyone off until our van finally made it up to the front and then he motioned the others on. Hilarious!

We barely made it to drop Karen off for the 2nd half of the Ragnar hill and her brother Matt 1 wanted to continue with her after for more fun after already completing his 4.4 miles of the steep hill!

My last leg and the final leg of the race was a new one they added this year.  Another "trail" run up to the top of the Park City hill, then down the backside on the more narrow dirt trail I've ever run on (10 times worse than Elephant Rock) and then through a beautiful neighborhood into Park City High School.

I'm a little excited to be done.  It was 4:30 pm and I was very hungry and tired.

Thanks Van 2 for a fun and fabulous race!!!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Hailey's Graduation!

Hailey graduated from Woods Cross High School on Friday, June 8, 2013!

The audience started taking their seats an hour prior to commencement so a slide show kept people entertatined with events throughout this past school year and I quickly took a picture of a cheer shot of Hailey.

 ... waiting patiently for her name to be called.  With over 400 in the senior class and a last name that starts with "T," she waited quite a while.

Receiving diploma with Principal Haning.

The fam.

I was in charge of lots of things at the Senior Party and I "think" enjoyed myself more than my daughter :D

...then again, with the smile she had all night, maybe not!