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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended August 06, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
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Sent on Mormon-News: 07Aug00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Mormon Youths Re-enact Mormon Trek In Sierra Nevada

TRAGEDY SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA -- About 100 youths from the LDS Church's Carmichael Stake took part in a re-enactment of the Mormon trek this past week, dragging rickety handcarts along rough trails from Tragedy Springs in eastern Amador county, California to near the Bear River Reservoir. The trek took place near the original trail used by the Mormon Battalion as they made their way from California, where they were discharged, to Salt Lake City.

The Tragedy Springs site is an important starting point, because the men of the Battalion discovered that their three-man advance party had been murdered there. As the youths progressed along the trail, they were met at key points by guides, 'non-mormons,' and others who either explained the significance of the sites or acted out scenes to portray how the Mormon travelers would have felt. At one point, the young men in the group were taken out of the trek to 'join' the Mormon Battalion, leaving the young women to pull the handcarts by themselves.

"I thought it was unfair at first, but when we had to pull those handcarts after the boys left and it was so hard, I realized I could do it. And so what if it's hard? I can use the muscles," said Kendra Saxton, 15, a Del Campo sophomore. Leaders admit that they didn't always follow history, including using the handcarts on the California trail when they were only used to cross the plains. "We just decided to use them on this trip for the educational value, even though they were never used on this trail," said one adult volunteer, Gerry Smith.

And one participant, Garret Satfield, 14, said after the first day that he enjoyed the experience more than he expected, "They say it's going to get worse, but what's happened so far is really something. I don't know if it's harder pushing or pulling, uphill or down, but those old pioneers were cool."

Toil &trek: Teens push, pull way over Mormons' trail
Sacramento CA Bee 6Aug00 D1
By Walt Wiley: Bee Staff Writer


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