Sunday, October 30, 2011

15 Mile Rescue Walk

So...last month Andy and I joined our daughter, Candice, and her husband, Andy (the younger), and a small group of people and went for a little stroll.  OK, it wasn't so little.  It ended up being 15 miles which is shorter than the original plan of 17 miles!  

  This walk was in remembrance of Francis Webster.  

If you are familiar with the Martin Handcart story, you know of the hardships this group of people went through in their trek from Iowa to the Salt Lake Valley.  They pulled all their possessions in a handcart through blistering heat, deep sand and rocks and because of an early winter, they trudged through deep snow and freezing winds, with little to eat.  If you'd like to read more about Francis and the handcart company you can go here.

I wondered why this walk was supposed to be 17 miles.  This is why:  Along the trek to the Salt Lake Valley, James Bleak, a member of the handcart company, became very ill.  He couldn't walk and decided he would stay behind.  Francis persuaded James to get on his handcart and he pulled him 17 miles.  Can you imagine pulling the weight of all your possessions plus a full grown man through the conditions previously mentioned?  The pioneers truly had a lot of faith and stamina to do what they did.

During our 15 mile walk, we stopped at a few places to rest, have water and granola bars, and to listen to a spiritual thought given by David Butler, a seminary teacher.  We went to "This is the Place" Heritage Park and pulled handcarts for 2 measly miles.   In our handcart was our lunch.  That's all, just lunch.  It was still tiring.

(Andy the younger and I pulling the cart.  Andy, the Elder, in the background. Do you like his walking stick? Candice, who was 6 months pregnant, chose to take pictures instead of "driving" the cart. )

Our trek ended at the Salt Lake Tabernacle.  It was an inspiring event to start off the General Conference week.

We had a good time visiting, laughing, and enjoying the beautiful Fall weather.  We gained an appreciation of the pioneers and could feel muscles that we hadn't felt for a while. 
During the last mile, Andy (my hubs) said that his right foot felt achy.   That was the only time he complained about it. 

We took TRAX and the bus back to where we parked the car to start our walk.  It was early evening by the time we arrived home.  
Andy took off his shoe and we both gasped to see his right sock soaked in blood!   I couldn't imagine what had happened to his foot.  I wasn't sure if I even wanted to look at it.

If you get squeamish about blood, bare feet or blisters, you may want to look away now. You have a choice.  I didn't. 

Don't you think it's weird that he couldn't feel that blister forming? We cut the bunched up skin off of the blister.   We have affectionately named this his "Pioneer" foot.  It's still in the process of healing even after 5 weeks and a penicillin shot for infection.  And no, he doesn't have diabetes. 

It makes us appreciate what the pioneers went through even more.  

(OK, how's that for a gross Halloween picture?)


Valerie said...

Oh my pain!!!! I was going to say that the whole thing sounded fun until I saw the foot. Ouch!!

Yvonne said...

Oh my word. OUCH!!!!

I was hoping you'd blog about this. I wondered how it went. Your husband is a real trooper.

Thanks for the link. I want to read all about Francis Webster and the handcart company.

The Jones Fam said...

My first question was going to be if he was diabetic, but you answered that. My second question would be, is he an alcoholic? (They sometimes lose sensation too...) Haha. That poor poor foot. And my third question: does he have a good podiatrist? I happen to know one!

What a great way to remember the incredible sacrifices that were made. I think you guys would make great real-life pioneers!

Camille said...

good thing he has connections with someone who knows how to harvest skin!!

Mimi Sue said...

Ouch!! We just DROVE the Mormon Trail! I can't even imagine the sacrifice that those handcart pioneers made. True grit for sure. My husbands gr great grandfather was one of the rescuers of the Martin/Willey handcart co. Your new grandboy is adorable. Have a great halloween. Mimi

gigi said...

That made me so sick! It took my breath away and yes you had warned me but that hurts just to look at it! Glad it is healing. Poor Andy the older.

What a wonderful walk though. I would have loved doing that. Lucky you.

HaPpY HaLloWeEn!

Music Notes said...

It sounds like it went well until you got home. Ouch!

Barbaloot said...

I skipped the pictures---but I can imagine it being pretty awful!!

Fifteen miles is a lot, but that sounds like a cool experience.

Natalie said...

Oh my Gosh!.. Poor Andy. That looks just awful and I too gasped. I'm glad he's doing better.

You amaze me walking all that distance. What a great activity. Whenever I think about the pioneers I just can't even imagine all they went through. I do really admire the.m We all have a lot to live up to, don't we?

Maybe we can get together over Christmas vacation. I do want to see you. Hugs.

Jill K said...


Kerin said...

I admire your spirit of adventure! And, truth be told, that is a pretty gnarly blister. But.. it does make one appreciate the sacrifices, and faith of the pioneers.

JennyLynn said...

Oh gosh...that is really yucky. Glad that he is getting better.

M-Cat said...

That right there is a badge of HONOR! What a cool idea and experience!

Joanie said...

Oh, that looks so sore. Happy to hear that he is healing. Amazing that he could not feel the blister.

Ann Marie said...

I love that you did this!
I need to do this next year with my family.. until we can afford to go to Martin's Cove for real!!

You look to happy and fit to be pulling that cart.. just sayin!

I bet you would have been a STRONG and healthy pioneer woman. I am sure of it.

The foot wound is a badge of honor.
Hope it heals quickly...

Garden of Egan said...

I love the story of Francis Webster years later when someone was criticizing the handcart company for the mess they ended up in and he spoke out in class and told them they had no idea what they were talking about.

You look great pulling a handcart. I want you on my team!

YIKES! That foot! I'm thinking a little bit more than sore. Oh my goodness. I'm glad he's still got a foot! I can't believe he couldn't feel it worser. In fact, I think my foot is having sympathy pains.

Darla said...

It sounds like Andy (the older) is made out of the same stock as our handcart ancestors!

Kazzy said...

Yipes! That foot looks painful, but the trek sounds like a very very cool thing to have done.

We have been doing a lot of family history stuff with our kids. It really matters to know where you come from.

Joy For Your Journey said...

Oh my!! I have never seen anything on a foot that looks that awful!! My neighbor has been complaining that her foot hurts. Ha! I am going to have to show her this picture!! :-)

Other than that however, I think the walk was a great idea. And good for you for doing it!!

wendy said... were right.
that was gross...but I looked.
Your poor hubby, I have had little blisters that I thought were so painful, I can't imagine one like THAT.
It certainly is a good visual, for us to appreciate the blisters and other trials those pioneers had to endure.
What a fun walk that would have been (minus the blister)

I had some family ancestors who were a part of the Martin Handcart company.

wendy said... were right.
that was gross...but I looked.
Your poor hubby, I have had little blisters that I thought were so painful, I can't imagine one like THAT.
It certainly is a good visual, for us to appreciate the blisters and other trials those pioneers had to endure.
What a fun walk that would have been (minus the blister)

I had some family ancestors who were a part of the Martin Handcart company.

Valerie said...

What an awesome experience!
I can't believe Andy was even able to walk on that foot! Ouch!!!
Hope it heals soon.

Silver Strands said...

Holy SCHMOLY! Yowch! But good for you two! You are inspiring Connie :)

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

I LOVE that you did this. And your husband's poor foot. I accidentally looked--ouch!

I would have made the worst pioneer ever! I would have been the one always complaining.

Grandma Honey said...

Wow...his foot!!
As HORRIBLE as that looks, I suppose it's just a sampling of what the Pioneers experienced often. We owe so much to them.

Nana said...

Oooooh, that is nasty!!

I hope he is o.k.

What a fun day, until the foot thing happened.

Mikki said...

oh my word!! That is one big blister! Bless his heart. I hope it heals completely very soon.
Aside from that, it sounds like an awesome experience. Such a great way to truly come to understand the ordeals our predecessors experienced. Thank goodness for the strength, faith and testimonies of the pioneers.

Teachinfourth said...

Ugh, talk about painful!

Melinda Cornish said...

Oh my word!!! now that is a blister! fifteen miles is a heck of a walk but what a cool thing to do....Blisters aside!

Laura@livingabigstory said...

Oh my stars ... I think your hubs must be a superstar or something to not REALLY notice--high pain tolerance?? Next time you have a baby, you'll have to tell him that he has to do the labor LOL

Nancy Face said...

What a wonderful and inspiring activity that was!

His poor, poor Pioneer foot! I have never seen such a huge blister in my life!

Nancy Face said...

Five years ago Hubby Man and I had the amazing privilege of being "Ma and Pa" to a "family" of youth from our ward on a Pioneer Trek. We loved it so much! We pushed/pulled our handcart along the Mormon Battalion trail through a very dusty and dry area of Arizona (Maricopa, near Gila Bend). It would probably have been great weather in March, but we went in April when it was quite warm, and so we were caked in sweat along with the dirt! Ha!

Kimmie said...

I am AMAZED that your poor Andy only complained once and his foot looked like that!!!! I wish him the best and hope that his foot has made a speedy recovery and that he is able to walk and do all of the things he likes to do.

What a wonderful event for your family to experience together. Jade when on a youth handcart Trek last year and keeps saying we need to get all of Tracy's family together and do that.

I can't think of a better thing to do than to do than a family walk/trek, enjoying the fall colors, talking about your wonderful family heritage and then being inspired by Conference.

Your family always does such amazing things...thanks for inspiring me once again!

Doran & Jody said...

Oh for icksakes!
I better get practicing. We have a trek next summer with the youth. I get to go too!!