Ransom Family

Random Ramblings and Happenings

Pioneer Trek

on June 23, 2013

Andy and I went on a four day 22 mile trek with seven teenagers this past week.  Andy’s sister, her husband, and their three kids came to our house to take care of our kids for the time we were gone.  It was so great to know that our kids would be well taken care of and we didn’t have to worry about them or arranging several people to watch them.  We left our cell phones in the car and didn’t even have watches.

Andy came home and made an approximate map of where we went using Google Earth.  Luckily, he used to work out on the church-owned farm that this trek is located at, so he kind of knows his way around the fields at least.  This map doesn’t show how many steep hills there were, but it does do distance.  He labeled the map.  Click on it for it to be larger.


Here’s Andy and I before we were tired, and dirty and before we met our pioneer “kids”.  We had to be there at 7am.


We waited to be organized into families and then had some time to pick up our pretend baby, bags with journals, and watch some weaving and blacksmith work.  Then we loaded up our hand-cart and I asked someone to take our family picture.  I took my oldest digital camera on the trip because I didn’t want to wreck (or carry) my newer (heavier) camera.


The first day we started at 11am or so and our company (there were three of them) were first to leave the base. It was slow-going to get to know our new kids (we never had even met five of the seven), and for them to all open up a little, but they all got along pretty well, and became pals by the time it was all over.

We rotated positions so no one was stuck in the front the whole time and someone was always holding our baby.  We noticed the kids in the back weren’t pushing as hard as the kids in the front, so we moved the guys from the front to the back to give them a bit of a break and one said to the other, “even though we’re back here, it seems like we’re pushing just as hard,” so from then on we didn’t rotate them around much. Eventually they each gravitated to a favorite position, so we didn’t have them rotate anymore.


Most of the first day was spent discussing the baby’s name.  I wanted to name her Rebecca.  Other names tossed around were Penelope, Sheniqua, Leather (that one came up late in the day), Ariel, and several others.  We finally voted (not like actual babies…) and her name was Penelope Ariel Ransom.  The kids called us Pa and Ma Ransom.

Andy’s fancy mustache.  (It was shaved off as soon as we got home because although it looks cool, not everyone enjoys it.)  Andy says: Bishop Johnson told me I should keep the mustache because it looks nice.  I said, “everyone tells me that, except the person I make out with.”  NaDell says, “I never said it doesn’t look nice, I just don’t like it.”


Second day of our trek.  It was very windy!  It rained throughout the day and the entire night.  It rained so much that most of us had wet sleeping bags.


Gold Company.  Can you believe this is just a third of the people who went on the Trek?


We found a few interesting things growing out in the desert.  I ran out of batteries and had to hang back a little to change them and take a picture of this blooming cactus, but it was worth the running to catch up.


The second day was brutal.  We walked nearly 9 miles, crossed a few small streams, and climbed a hill so steep they had to use a big, strong rope to get the carts up.  (I’m happy to say that I held the baby and she was the first one up the steep hill from our family.  My training paid off!)

This was one of the streams.  We had to use a big rope to get across this too.  The man in the middle was the Trail-master and he was awesome!


We used to be cub-scout leaders, and many boys who were once our cub-scouts went on the Trek.  A few of them were in our company, and would come up to visit the boy in our family who was with us.


The third day was hard because we didn’t have much breakfast.  They gave everyone a bag with four ounces of flour to show them what it was like when the pioneers had to ration their food and give everyone four ounces of flour per day.  The kids struggled with that but eventually there was a stop further on and they served us some breakfast.  It was a good learning experience that put them into the pioneer shoes a little bit, but we knew what was going to happen and it was really hard to not tell them! We traveled about 8 miles on the third day.  It was slow because of the hand-carts.  It just takes a long time to push/pull them.

That evening, the sun came out, and it warmed up enough that we set up our tents and got our sleeping bags dried off before bed.

Andy and I did the dishes while the kids went to the hoedown.

The final day was only a mile and then we arrived in Zion where we were handed watermelon and had a feast.

Although this was a hard thing to do, I only had one tiny sore on the back of my ankle and a few mosquito bites.  I wasn’t terribly sore or tired.  Andy says: I was pretty wiped by the end of the second day.

More than anything, I have a better testimony of what the pioneers went through with our tiny piece of trekking and I have faith in our future missionaries and youth!  They are amazing!

The night before trek we went to a family birthday party.


When we got home and cleaned up we had a jujitsu barbecue to go to and a wedding reception for Andy’s cousin.

Abby and Vincent playing in some dirt at the barbecue.

20130622_1773 Andy’s cousin and her husband at their reception.  Yea!



Her little brother came and was in charge of the music.  He was born the day before Elizabeth so we always have to see how they compare to each other.


Then we came home, I gave the kids baths, put them to bed, and went grocery shopping.  Laundry is waiting until Monday.

4 responses to “Pioneer Trek

  1. I thought of you as I drove in the rain. I am glad you could have the experience. Pioneer Day will mean more to you now. Your outfit looked great. I can agree it’s not fun to kiss whiskers. I am happy your children were well cared for.

  2. juwmama@gmail.com says:

    Cute Ma & Pa!
    It was good to visit with you today. I miss our hang outs, so we’ll need to do more. :-)

  3. […] and I survived the TREK!  Someone else posted his Google Maps of it and he said it was 26 miles instead of the 22 […]

  4. […] and I did the Pioneer Trek that was more than 22 miles in […]

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