My mom came out to be with the kids while Willie was at work, which makes going so much easier. I did have to spend a lot of time cleaning to get ready for her to come, but because of my busy life, my house was in need of a total deep clean.  The kids were so excited for her to get here.

I had a great time.  I just love backpacking.  It is a 3 or 4 mile hike into camp.  Then we took a 12 mile hike the next day. It was hotter than I would have liked, but beautiful. On the hike in the majority of the group got lost (about 17 people).  One of our priesthood leaders* was with them, Brother Straw, and he instructed them to stay put in the shade while he hiked back to his four wheeler and came back to find them.  (non mormon side note, the term priesthood leader is a way to identify a male leader from a woman leader like Betsy and I) So when my group (6 of us) reached camp and saw that they were not there, I started to worry.  Now, I sometimes scoff at the boy scout ways, you know having a whistle and compass, liners in your socks and steel wool.  No more scoffing, I'm so into whistles.  So after an hour or so of worrying, I started to take action.  The other priesthood leader (brother straw's son Brandon) and I took turns following trails and blowing the whistle to see if we could find them.

Those whistles are so loud and when they didn't answer I knew they has really gone far from the trail.  So I prayed intensely, that they were not walking around in the sun and that I could find them.   True to my recent Moab prayer answers, I saw in my mind what trail to take and I followed it for a long time.  Finally I heard them reply to my whistle.  So I was relieved knowing I had found them but for some reason they would not come to me and I couldn't leave the trail or I would have a hard time finding my way back.  It was really just aspens everywhere.

So I ran back to find Brandon and then we ran back up (gym training was really coming in handy at this point).  Brandon followed their whistle and found the group and lead them back into camp.  All this before brother straw walked 4 miles back to his four wheeler and was on his way to the rescue.  I was so thankful when everyone was at camp, safe and sound and hydrated.

The next day we got up early to beat the heat and headed to the falls.  We had to cross a river and I must admit, I was scared.  I went last to seem like I was taking up the back but I was nervous that I would get swept away and that my camera would get wet.  Well I got across, but I felt like the current could have swept me away to easily.  last year I crossed barefoot and with no problems.  The sudden heat had sent down so much snow melt it was raging.

Later that afternoon we had to cross over the same river but by that time it was not crossable.  This was one of the many times I was so thankful for priesthood leaders with four wheelers. Each of us was carried across on the four wheeler, still getting soaked by the current but having a little more power and speed.  Last year I was so thankful when it was raining while I was in my tent in the middle of the night and I heard some rustling by our fire pit and one of the priesthood leaders was covering our wood and lighting a fire in our pit to keep it from getting soaked.

So we did a lot of hiking, talking, and sitting in the shade.  The girls were great.  Most of them didn't like this kind of thing but they didn't complain much and were cheery.  They found meaning and teaching moments in things like getting lost or straying from the trail.  They were respectful and smart and spiritual.  I must say, this is a great calling.

Next year I'd like to see more talk of conservation.  Most of the girls are taught to be so politically conservative, that a little talk of environmentalism could be helpful.  More wildflower identification and more alone time.  We just don't get enough time to be alone, in the wilderness.  That quiet time is important and can get lost in all the socializing and devotional and all.  I was again, very disappointed, to see the rising generation is almost completely team Jacob.  It must be that he seems more there age.

Here are a few pictures. If you want to see more you can check out my facebook album.

1 Comment:

  1. sara said...
    Sal, so sorry to disappoint you. But I am now Team Jacob. Just saw Eclipse last night and he won me over, once and for all. I just couldn't get past Rob's awful eyebrows.

    Don't hate me.

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