Monday, July 20, 2009

A Family Trek

Cecil and Sharon, Claudia, Brian, Doug, spouses and two grandchildren came up to Martin's Cove last week. We also had Tina and Steve and Paul and Robin, Amy and her friend Eric. We had a great time and these are the photos.

Getting ready to trek. This is out in front of the Trek Center

On the first turn going towards Veil Bridge and the Sweetwater River.

At Veil Bridge the missionaries have stories. Elder and Sister Braiden from Manassa, Colorado, greeted us.

We trekked on to Martin's Cove. This is a 5 mile round trip, the Cove is halfway, and you climb for most of it.

Leaving the Cove, finally downhill a little, on our way to the Sweetwater for a river crossing to commemorate the rescue at the Sweetwater on Nov. 4, 1856.

Here we are reenacting the rescue and the crossing of the Sweetwater. Eric showed us all up and carried Amy across, then showed of by pulling the handcart the last mile or so.

We had a great time with family. John and Jean had a chance to do Ephraim Hanks and Thisbe Read, but no photos, since Eph didn't have a camera. Maybe someone else has a photo we can use.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Things We've Never Done Before

Our mission has let us do things we have never done before. Here are a few photos of "FIRST TIME FOR US."

One of the things some of us do as missionaries is the story of Ephraim Hanks and Thisbe Read, told around the campfires of the trekkers. You can Google Ephraim Hanks to find out more about this amazing handcart rescuer and frontiersman.

Here we are at the top of Prospect Hill, north of Devil's Gate, where the Martin Handcart pioneers had to climb in 18 inches of snow, just after the first rescuers met them on Oct. 28, 1856.

We have two orphan calves here at the Martin's Cove. This is also a working ranch, where the Church has 1200 head of cattle. Jean is helping to feed Walter and Norman. The man next to her is Elder Bolton. He and his wife are serving a mission here as ranch managers. They spend about 12 hours a day in the saddle, working the herd.

Believe it or not, we also call square dances for the trekkers. Both of us have the chance to do it regularly, out at the campgrounds set up for trek groups. You'll have to click on one of them to see John in action.

We also have days assigned to the work cres or yard crews. Jean has never ridden a riding mower, but here she is.

Here is Jean with Oscar, a dog from one of the ranches around here who comes in during the summer and adopts trek groups. If you want to see a great story of Oscar, go to "The Friend" magazine for July, 2009, or go to this web address: It's a pdf file, so open it and go to page 22.

Catching Up

We've been neglecting our blog and have a lot to share. I'll try doing a few small ones to catch up.
We had Brian and Moonsung and David and Natalie here for Memorial weekend (my last blog post). Here are some photos of our trek and Sunday after church.

Trekking to Martin's Cove

More trekking

From the top of the Cove

Sunday after church, Devil's Gate in the background.

More to come tonight or tomorrow, I promise!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A few animals and flora around our home on the high plains of Wyoming.

This calf, Walter II, is here at the ranch, which is part of the mission ranch property. He was orphaned and is being raised by the Cove missionaries and the ranch missionaries.

This mother owl is nesting in the trees here at Missionary Village, or Ranch 66. The baby is trying out his wings and we hope to get a photo before he flies away.

Saw a couple of snakes yesterday. This is a blow snake, like a king snake in that they will kill rattlesnakes. Haven't seen rattlers yet, but many have and they are out now that the weather is warm.

Here in the Village we have antelope roaming. Fences don't keep them out.

The wildflowers are coming out.

And, just so you don't think old missionaries can't act like kids, here we are climbing up Independence Rock, about 5 miles north of the Visitors Center. You can see that we made it!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

May Has Come to the High Plains of Wyoming

This the entrance to Martin's Cove at Devil's Gate. It's in the middle of nowhere, but we hope some of you will try to visit here this summer. It will prove to be a spiritual feast for anyone who visits.

This is our home for the next five months. We hope the weather improves.

It snowed around the first of May, and we hear it can snow well into June, so we won't put away the winter gear. The furnace has been running most of the time in the 5th wheel; thank goodness we run off of the propane at Missionary Village. The pansies had been planted the day before it snowed and this one peeked out in the morning when we were at the Visitors Center.

This is Oscar the Trekking Dog. He belongs to a local rancher about 5 miles from here. We learned today that when Oscar shows up, it is a sign trek season will soon be here. Oscar follows the trekkers around and protects them from rattlesnakes. If he sees one he will warn the trekkers and if there is one in their tent, he won't let them in. I hear there will be a story about him in the Friend sometime this summer.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

First Days at the Visitor's Center

We drive about ten miles each day to the Cove. This is on our way out of Missionary Village, about 1.5 miles of dirt road to Highway 220. Pronghorn antelope are all over the place here. I took this from the road.

This was our first day giving tours at the Visitor's Center at Martin's Cove. We have been learning our "scripts" so that we can give visitors the best, accurate information. We only had a few people through, but it was a great experience. Tomorrow and Friday we have a new group of Trek Leaders coming for training. It will be a great two days. Then, next week, the new missionaries come in for their missions and will be trained, along with us. This is us in front of the Visitor's Center. One of the photos shows Devil's Gate behind us.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Trekking to Martin's Cove

Yesterday we trained a group of Trek Leaders from stakes all over the west who are bringing groups later this summer. We took them on a trek from the Visitor's Center trough Martin;s Cove, along the Sweetwater where the rescue across the river took place and then back to the Center. A great day and we met a lot of fine people. We finish the training today (Saturday)

We walked up into the Cove , snow and all, and had a chance to see where the company spent 4-5 horrific days. During that time they lost 56 members of the company, buried them in snow and left them to the wolves. No choice!! The photos are of views up into the cove, of us with the cove behind and below us and of one of the statues near the Sweetwater that depict the rescuers carrying members of the company across the river. Those of us in the Fenn family owe our lives to those brave, young rescuers. It was quite an emotional walk.