Ransom Family

Random Ramblings and Happenings

Richland Stake Trek

on July 3, 2017

It was forecast to be up to 107 degrees the first day of trek when we looked the night before.  I posted on FB for some prayers for us that we could do it safely and that the meteorologists would be wrong.  I actually said that if they go outside and feel hot to say a prayer for us on trek. When we woke up Monday morning the weather forecast had changed.  It gave a 20 percent chance of precipitation and the temperature was forecast to go down to 98 degrees instead (I’d take that over 107!)  When we went outside, the grass was wet with dew, so we thought that could be all the precipitation we got that day already done.

Cottonwood Ward Youth 14-18 headed out to the Trek. (Elizabeth’s in the front in the bright orangeish shirt.)

Andy and I headed out to the church owned property where the trek happens (Bing Canyon).  It’s on a part of AgriNorthwest, a church farm.

We collected all of this stuff because we are Pa/Ma and needed to have a lot of things ready for our family.  They told us we could have up to ten kids, so we opted to bring kind of large tents to make sure there would be plenty of room.

The carts all lined up and ready to be loaded up for the next several days.

Ma and Pa Ransom ready to go (and still clean and not super hot yet.)

The wards started showing up with the youth from the stake.  130 youth participated in the trek this year!  Elizabeth with her cute pioneer outfit.  She and Grandma Mary made the apron the week before.  She got the bonnet and skirt from our ward and I found the shirt at a thrift store for her to match her skirt.

All of us together before we were assigned our families.

After we were assigned our ten children, we headed around to different stations to collect some supplies in Iowa City.  At the hospital we all got babies.  The three families in our group (one from each company-including ours and Elizabeth’s) all got twin babies.  Other groups had babies with broken arms, some with colic, and another set that was adopted babies that they had to take to other families to feed them. Mostly I took this picture because that lady is super awesome and I helped a friend paint the canvases behind the shade in Iowa City.  She traced everything out and we had a painting party one morning.  It was great.  (I painted the sod roof on top of the hospital).

Our Ransom Family.  Six girls, four boys, and newborn twins.  We were ready to go!

Elizabeth’s family photo (don’t have an official one yet.)

Our company was the last one to leave, but eventually we headed out on our journey.

We had a flag to design.  One of our girls took charge of that when we had a few minutes to sit and rest.

We pushed, pushed, pushed the water with our kids.  The clue on the sole of my hiking boots that I bought before the trek four years ago melted due to the hot sand!  That’s how hot it was!  Andy guesses that the sand was close to 200 degrees.  There was duct tape holding shoes together all over the trail and we even passed by a few soles at the start.  Crazy!
I had to duct tape my left shoe together because the sole was starting to come loose.
Took shoes off at a rest stop to duct tape them and let my feet rest.  Had a little leaning party with my trek daughters so we could all rest our backs.
The first afternoon of Trek on June 26th when Richland and surrounding areas were experiencing a pretty terrible storm, with a lot of rain, hail, wind, broken branches, house fires from lightning, and flash floods, we were out on the trail with our families. The company Pa and Ma Ransom were in the green company which was assigned to be the last company of the day. We were down in the bottom of a canyon (best place to be when there is lightning) waiting out the storm.
Picture taken when we were at the bottom of the canyon with the other three carts in our company at the top just before they made them come down.
Our family got out a tarp and rested and talked about things and watched the sky.   We started to see lightning flash all around where we were.  The other carts that hadn’t come down to the valley yet were left at the top to get the kids down to safety.
Andy resting on the tarp.
One of our trek sons curled up a few inches away from Andy.  It was kind of cute.  He fell right asleep.  He was tired!
We were experiencing a lot of heat earlier in the day so the cloud cover was welcomed, but the storm didn’t seem to be hitting close to us. We looked up at the clouds and couldn’t even see ANY cloud movement above us. We were watching lightning strikes all around us, but missing where we were, right in the middle. We had more family time with our ten kids resting and talking and getting to know each other and also talking about faith. Other groups in the green company opted to do a more formal Family Home Evening and had their buckets out, sang songs, which was just what their family needed right then.
Some of our girls resting and waiting out the storm.
Eventually, they gave the signal that the rest of us could go up the huge hill, which the cart had to be tied with a rope and hauled up pulling on the rope like a tug-of-war, and the rest of us climbed up.
At the top of the huge hill after everyone was up, the wind started up again fiercely. Our family had to hurry and get out tarps for cover because the rain pounded down on us along with the dirt! It was wild!
Sorry these pictures are blurry.  The wind was too fast to make the camera focus.

After dinner I was shown a picture of the weather radar map that someone from Richland had sent to another trek mom that showed a donut looking shape of storm surrounding a hole in the middle directly where we were.

I know that we were protected from the storm with all of the prayers from those in Richland and beyond praying for us to be safe and protected. We did see a hill that seemed to be a long ways away that was on fire and there were trucks up there taking care of it. The next day we actually passed that fire while we were hiking. We heard that our Stake President, Don Powell was very busy with phone calls from concerned Richland Stake members worried about our youth out on trek because of the flash flood warnings and adverse weather conditions in Richland and the area. We were protected! What a miracle!
Wonderful week full of spiritual experiences: planned and unplanned.

That evening brought a beautiful sunset!

We set up camp when the wind settled down a little bit and made dinner in the back of a huge truck along with everyone else.  Dessert was a bundt cake that was steamed in a larger pot.  Ours turned out okay, but my friend’s didn’t.  She said it was terrible.  The water kept getting into her pan and making it a gooey mess.  I took her the rest of our cake that our kids didn’t want anymore of and they loved it.

Cooking breakfast the next morning in the huge truck.  It had been very windy all night.

Due to the fire danger in the area, this was the only place we were allowed to cook.  The rest of our meals were delivered to us.

We had someone take another family picture before we headed out Tuesday morning.

We came across a ‘rancher’ who happened to have a field of watermelons he wanted to share with us.  I think the food stops are the best.  Fresh, juicy watermelon is SO refreshing!  It was really hot this day too!

I like seeing when the wagons are all spread out.

A friend in our ward stopped by our house and picked up my tennis shoes for me so I could hike the rest of trek with a little traction instead of duct tape on the bottom of my hiking boots.  She was coming back for activities, so I switched out my shoes at lunchtime.

Another stop was ‘milking’ Bessie.  They had several stops that would determine what kind of lunch was given to each family the next day.  This is Elizabeth milking Bessie actually.

When we stopped for lunch, Elizabeth’s blue company was just leaving.  We snagged a picture of Elizabeth.  She was working hard and having a good time with her family.

We walked past the fire that happened the previous day.  So crazy!  So blessed!

Elizabeth at the end of day two.  Andy went around and made sure he had pictures of all of the kids in our ward for our ward newsletter.

We had a speaker who talked about choices and all about pioneers.

I didn’t take many pictures on the third day, but I did get some of my favorite part:  the steep downhill part where we turned the cart backwards to steer it down the hill.

They actually tell the Pa/Ma that we don’t need to help with the cart, but I wanted to help with this part.  Our oldest boy was helping with a backpack water sprayer for our company and another boy went home the first night because his feet that were already hurt from something else were hurting too bad (but he didn’t complain or even mention them the entire day and worked really hard all day!)  Anyway, I wanted to jump in and help here.

We had five of us across the bar and it was so much fun!

We took the cart across the ‘Sweetwater Crossing’.

And made it to Zion on Wednesday night.  Our green company and yellow company came into Zion together.  They wanted everyone to wait and come in together, but the blue company was struggling and was way behind us so they sent us in.

We parked our carts and went to wait on the grass for the blue company to come in so we could cheer for them.  Instead, one of the company leaders said that whoever wanted to was welcome to go and rescue the blue company who were struggling so much.  Nearly ALL of the kids jumped right back up and ran out to help.  At that point over 100 kids were on the trail trying to help with five carts.  They were so quick to jump up and help each other and I loved seeing that enthusiasm and love of each other.

Blue company heading into Zion.

Elizabeth’s family cart was the first one in for blue company.  She was right there in the front with some boys and they were running as they passed the gate.  I thought it was so wonderful that she was ‘running into Zion’!  She said they were pushing so hard that the kids in front had to run to keep up, but I like it anyway. She said most of the time she was up front with the boys in her family pulling the handcart.

There were several people in the blue company who were really hurting.  One had a super swollen knee that she’d had surgery on the previous year, a Ma had blisters all over her feet, another had a hurt ankle.  A few were super close to being sent home because they weren’t feeling well.  I’m glad they were able to stay and made it to Zion with their families.

That night we set up camp in Zion and had a feast!  The activities committee set up a pie eating contest for the Pa’s.  The Ma’s had to be behind them to help them wipe their faces afterwards. (There were a few stand ins because one Pa wouldn’t do it and another has diabetes), but Andy did it and nearly won.  If you are looking for us, I’m in the brown shirt.

They had a hoedown that night and a few moments of reflection as well.

The next morning we had a morning-side devotional. They shared some stories and then divided us into groups of two families to share testimonies before coming back to have the rest of the devotional.  It was wonderful.

Picture of Elizabeth next to her trek Ma on the last morning.  As soon as they got into Zion, both of Elizabeth’s Ma and Pa came over to Andy and I and told us how awesome she is.  I’m so glad she had this experience!  

We survived!  It was kind of nice to get home before noon since mostly Thursday morning we just had to break camp and put everything away.

It was hot.  It was hard.  It was tiring and exhausting.  But it was WORTH IT!  Every bit of it.  The messages received, the answered prayers, the service rendered, the testimonies built, the friendships made.

I decided that four years ago I was in better shape physically and this time I was in better shape spiritually.  I spent quite a bit of the two months before trek reading all about pioneers in my own family line and others.   Andy and I read talks about the subjects that each day was going to be devoted to learning about on trek.  We researched our own ancestors and learned things we didn’t know before.  I rewrote a few histories so they would be easier to read and understand and with one compiled several different accounts of her life that I found because they asked each person to come with the name of someone they could walk to honor.

I learned that no matter how slow you go, if you have faith in every footstep, you will get to where you need to be.  Life isn’t a race.  Head in the right direction and you’ll be okay.

I learned that children really are sent to the right families.  We had a few daughters who told us that some other kids thought our family wasn’t a very good one to be assigned to and they were trying to convince them otherwise because they thought our family was the best and I just told them that the people who assigned the families prayed about it and sent them to the right one for them, just like their real family is the right family for them.  And it’s even better if you believe that YOUR family is the best one.  Loved all those kids!

We really did enjoy hot showers on Thursday afternoon though!  I expect that the city water people were trying to figure out why there was so much dirt going through the pipes all afternoon and extra water usage.

I got all the laundry started, including sleeping bags, started washing the kitchen stuff and boxes we took because everything was covered in dirt, and got the things we borrowed ready to return.  Andy and Olivia went to the store and picked up a little treat to deliver with thank you notes that Andy and I took around before going out to dinner.

And now Andy’s mustache-less.  Thank goodness!  I don’t like facial hair at all, but put up with it occasionally when there’s a real reason for it like trek or a Halloween costume.

Elizabeth had a great experience too and says she will remember it the rest of her life and now has lifelong friends in her trek siblings.  When we returned a bucket to a member of the Stake Presidency with a treat on Sunday night with Elizabeth, he asked her if they should continue to have trek and she said that they absolutely should because it builds their testimonies and strengthens them and that she had a great time and made lasting memories.

A HUGE thank you goes out to Grandma Mary who watched our other three kids for the days we were on trek.  It was so nice to know that they were taken care of and would be safe.  We didn’t worry about them at all knowing that she was taking care of them.

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3 responses to “Richland Stake Trek

  1. The Apron I loaned to Elizabeth was the one that I made for when we did Trek. It’s part of my Pioneer outfit. Happy to hear Elizabeth had a good experience. Prayers were answered for sure with the heat and Mondays storm.

  2. Tina Crowther says:

    This is so awesome NaDell! I love reading all your recent blogs! Great job on trek! Makes me get excited to go in a couple of years… Hope everything works out that we get to!

  3. You are a great writer! You and Andy were wonderful for the kids. Thanks for being such a great Ma/Pa couple.

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