Author Note – Handcart Trek, and why you should go

In Wyoming, with sweat down our backs and dirt under our fingernails, we contemplated in Martin’s Cove, pushed and pulled up Rocky Ridge, were pelted by hail at Rock Creek Hollow, and felt the aid of angels. Every year more groups don the time-period clothing, learn about an ancestor, and walk in their steps. If you ever have the opportunity, don’t hesitate, embrace the call and join the trek. It won’t be easy, but with determination you can come to know yourself, your ancestors, and God, better.
Dear friends, Joan and I have participated in many ‘handcart treks.’ In 1997, our stake called us to be a ‘ma’ and ‘pa’ on our first trek, and to assemble a trek band. Joan researched music, we wrote a few songs, and we enlisted family members to play and sing. On that first trek, we rolled into camp each night, performed family duties, then assembled with band members and performed music for the camp fireside and square-dance. It was delightful to watch hundreds of youth with ‘real’ smiles stir-up the dust and pound down the sage while dancing the Virginia Real.
In the years that followed, we were invited to other ward and stake treks. We’ve performed in mud, wind, rain, and snow. With gratitude, we also performed on calm nights when the painted sunset slowly yielded to the stars exposing God’s eternal creations. We met wonderful people who came because of faith in God, who stood before the company in remote meadows bearing testimony of their love of Jesus Christ, their companions, and those who had gone before.
God has a reason for inspiring our leaders to conduct such experiences. We love our ancestors and feel their closeness as promised by prophets. We fervently ask you to share our message with your friends and all who might someday go on a trek. To help, here is a story (link) and song about one of our ancestors, written by Joan Hardman called, “Before the Wind.” Come with us to Denmark and Sweden, their homeland. (Illustration by Ken Hardman)

About Kenneth Richard Hardman

AncestorClips are very short stories about very real people. Each clip nurtures awareness of a time, a place, and the character of a man or woman who cultivated a path for our life. The reader feels the good, the obstacles, the happiness, the sadness, and the overcoming. They cheer us, make us resilient when challenged, give us purpose, and connect us to our multi-generational family. Each story is followed by reflections from the author and readers sharing how the story strengthened or inspired them. Ken Hardman is a son, a brother, a grandson, a great-grandson… He is also a husband, father and grand-father. Ken is a professional engineer, engineering mentor, technical writer, and associate technical fellow at a major aerospace company. He is a writer of engineering and family history stories. Please join Ken in reading, reflecting upon, or writing #AncestorClips
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2 Responses to Author Note – Handcart Trek, and why you should go

  1. Amy Reiss says:

    Hi Ken,

    Thanks for keeping me on your mailing list. These posts are heartwarming and educational. Hope all is well with you and your family.

    I’m retiring at the end of March and I’ll be in Moab April 10-17, hiking, bicycling, and gaping at the scenery. I’ll be traveling with my friend Nancy in her RV.


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