Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Martin's Cove

From Wikipedia, we find a partial history of Martin's Cove, Wyoming:

"In November 1856, about 500 Mormon emigrants in the Martin Handcart Company were halted for five days in the Cove by snow and cold while on their way to Salt Lake City. That autumn two handcart companies, the Willie and Martin companies, began their journey dangerously late and met disaster in the cold weather of Wyoming. Although the number who died in the Cove is unknown, more than 145 members of the Martin Company died before reaching Salt Lake City. A few days prior to their arrival at Martin's Cove, the company was met by a small rescue party with food, supplies, and wagons that LDS Church President Brigham Young had sent from Salt Lake City, Utah. On November 4 the company and rescuers forded the bitterly cold Sweetwater River and sought shelter in the cove."

The LDS Church currently operates a visitor center nearby.

Rhonda's father and step-mother are serving as missionaries at the Martin's Cove site. They invited us to visit them and to participate in a personalized re-enactment of the handcart companies.

Rhonda's mother also visited Martin's Cove. Several months ago, her mother suffered a heart attack, so she could not hike the trail with us. But in the spirit of the historic handcart companies, we committed to carrying her. She was a little embarrassed, but it was an honor to pull her in the cart, and it added a sense of realism to the re-enactment. And besides, she otherwise would have never gotten to see this place from the sacred history of her religion.

In all, we hiked more than five miles, pulling a handcart the whole way. We were exhausted and sunburned by the end, but we felt happy. I love visiting places in a way that allows us to participate in history and culture.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic thing to experience as a family in such an intimate way! It will be a treasured memory that you will all have I'm sure.


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