This weekend Alan was away at Youth Conference with the young men and women of our stake. They went to participate in a pioneer trek by pulling handcarts and experiencing a taste of what it may have been like for the pioneers to cross the plains. They left on Friday afternoon and drove about 2 hours away to Riley's Farm in the San Bernardino Mountains near Yucaipa. It is a place where they do these types of reenactments (ie: colonial times, Civil War, pioneer, etc). They pulled their handcarts about 3 miles to their campsite and then on Saturday they hiked again pulling their handcarts, this time taking a trail about 2 miles, most of which was up a very steep set of switchbacks which was grueling on all involved. As they began the days journey the boys were taken to participate in the Mormon Batallion and the girls were left to go the first mile on their own. They reached a particularly steep hill and began their ascent. It was extremely difficult and they struggled to move their handcarts. Alan was assigned with 11 other leaders to act as "Angels." They dressed in white and when the girls had struggled up the hill about half way and were feeling overwhelmed they would descend from the top where they had been hiding unseen and assist them to pull the handcarts up to the top of the hill. This was to symbolize the angelic help that many pioneers testified of receiving in their struggles and also of those "Angels" in our lives who help to lift our burdens when they seem insurmountable. Below are just a couple pictures of Alan in this portion of the trek. They returned home a little after 11:00pm on Saturday night exhausted, but grateful for the experience and with a greater appreciation for the sacrifices of the pioneers.
Alan is the "angel" on the left side, pushing uphill.