Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Spirit of Trekking!

Short Version: Too tired to dictate or type this week.
Elder Sigmon

For the Longer version read on.
I haven’t always had space to put in a lot of the nature pictures because there are just so many and you wouldn’t believe how many of them are not cows. I think they raise more antelope around here than cows. This first picture I need to give a little background on to appreciate the humor of the picture.

I know I have mentioned Sister Gillespie and what a cheerleader and excited person she is. Well she asked if we were going to do things to our yard to make it look nice. The Gillespies live in neighborhood back home where they would go around and give yard of the month and it could be in your yard when you came home. She thought it would be fun to do something like that here. Well the Wards are an adventurous couple and had bought those spinning things at Dollar Tree which he figured out how to reinforce so they don’t fall apart and blow all the way to Nebraska. Hence they decorated their yard some and ended up with the yard of the month sign. Then magically there were flowers put with a rubber duck on the front of their yard. With no confession of who put it on their lawn. Well one day Karl and I were sitting in our truck and I look over onto the Ward’s lawn and see their new lawn décor. I couldn’t resist texting them to ask when they got the new lawn décor. By the time they came out to check it out Bucky had left.
He totally was relaxing, enjoying the scenery.

I also wanted to mention a great thought which was shared on one of our previous treks. It was a smaller group and they had a little talk before going up into the Cove about hard things. It is all a matter of perspective. Sometimes our problems seem so big and we just want them to go away and be gone. But the Lord may have another thought and He knows it is something that really isn’t as big as it seems and may be necessary for us to go through in order to become better. He has the bigger picture. They had handed all the kids a rock to carry with them. The speaker had the kids get out their rocks and wrap a towel around them and hit them with a hammer. Just like we are hit by our problems or trials. But when it broke open there was something more beautiful inside. We too can become better and more beautiful to the Lord as we go through our problems and trials. I loved the analogy and being such a visual person it really made an impact on me. They were geodes they had given them and it looked like an ordinary ugly rock. They gave them a baggie to put their broken rock pieces into to remind them they can do hard things and be better for it. So can we all!
Tuesday, June 20th we were at the Visitor’s Center. I always enjoy that and visiting with the various people who come through. But one thing funny I saw was someone laying on a rock with their feet up. I couldn’t figure out exactly what they were doing. So I went and investigated and took some pictures.
I actually only saw the legs with feet from where I was sitting. I took the picture when I got a little closer. It was just Sister Hill weeding. Our landscape is very green and full of flowers and fun plants. We don’t want any obnoxious weeds.

Toward the end of our shift at the Visitor’s Center Elder Turpin came up very concerned and said “We have a problem. The pump at handcart parking where everyone can fill their water containers and water bottles before going up into the Cove is broken.” So Elder Sigmon and Elder Roundy went with Elder Turpin to go check it out while Sister Turpin stayed to cover for the missing people. It turned out the bushing wore out and so it won’t pump. The decision was made to check some of the other well pumps at the campground and see if they had the same type of bushing and steal one off of it and put it on the one at handcart parking so we could function with all the treks tomorrow. So on the way home we stopped at the 2 pumps and one did have the same bushing but it was about ½ way worn out but would do for now. The other one was totally different. So Karl took it off and hammered his hand in the process (but he’s okay). We left it for Elder Roundy to put it on in the morning since we had a trek before everyone is out on the trail again. Phew! Another crisis solved. It is ongoing but keeps things different and definitely never boring.

Wednesday, June 21st we had a trek with Orem Canyon View. It was a big group of 466 people. They split it into two groups and the Turpins had the first half and we had the other half. They were such a great organized, group. They had everything covered by their youth. All the stories, music, etc. There was a special feeling with this group and I loved working with them. This picture is in the Dan W. Jones Amphitheatre before going into the Cove. They sang a song called “Hallowed Ground.” I love the song and they did a beautiful job with it.

I complimented the Trek Leader on how organized both groups were and how wonderful the spirit was with their group and their youth doing everything. Their trek leader told me “you told us what to do and we did it.”  Yes they did and they did it well! We have had a couple groups who have been similar and others who have not. You really see the difference! 
We were training Elder Swingholm so he could go out as a Trek Host. He did a good job and will be fine.
Thursday we had RRA RRA duty (Restroom Assistant.)We had to be up early because we needed to get the bathrooms cleaned on the trail before people are out on the trail. The nice thing is you get done earlier.  BUT then Elder Sigmon worked on brother Roundy’s rover and I went in and worked in the office so we ended up having a longer day instead of a short day. 

Friday was handcart parking duty. This was a new duty for us since we haven't done it yet. The day actually was quite pleasant weather wise! Actually perfect! It wasn’t too hot, there was a nice cool breeze and it was the perfect day for trekking! What is handcart parking? Let me tell you. This is the spot where all the trekkers come and line up their carts according to flag color which they are assigned at the beginning of their trek. The lead cart has the flag and we all talk to each other identifying ourselves by the flag color, i.e. Blue Flag 1 to Blue Flag 2 (us the missionaries, Trek Hosts) or Blue Flag 1 to Base, etc. They come to handcart parking twice during their trek. The first time is after going to the river crossing, statues and before going into the Cove. The second time is after coming out of the Cove. They eat lunch there one of the times they are there. Both times it is used as a restroom stop too.

While you are working at Handcart parking you make sure those people who just want to walk into the cove who are just a basic visitor/tourist are prepared to do so. You ask them if they have water, bug spray and if needed sunscreen. You also answer questions they may have. For the trekkers you direct them in to line up behind their flag color. You have already put out the color flags coming in for the day. You listen to the radio and figure out which treks are coming and in what order. It can change from the schedule depending on if they were late or if one group is tending to be faster, etc.

There was this one boy with the group who went off by himself (at the pump which Karl fixed). He was playing the Harmonica and it was nice. He was self-taught.  Those other things by him are rickshaws. They are for those who end up with medical needs and can’t walk. Other people will pull them on the trail.
The other picture is of a group which is there and are having a bathroom and lunch break. The boy above is with this group and there are more groups to come but so far they are the first ones here.

There was a lull and Karl had gotten a new hat about 2 weeks ago and I was looking at it and decided to put it on. I kind of liked the hat. It was a smidgen too big but not bad.

The Honeys came in with a trek and Sister Honey doesn’t do too well with walking into the Cove so Elder Sigmon offered to go with Elder Honey and Sister Honey to stay with me. She thought about it but he convinced her he was fine and he went with Elder Honey but there went my hat and my man! He did return though lol. I’m glad he offered because she would have been suffering later if he hadn’t. It was a long day for her as it was.

Monday, June 26th should have been our preparation day but Sister Scussel is going to have surgery on Wednesday for carpal tunnel and pinched nerve in her elbows on both arms. She wanted me to be in the office to help her get Week 7 schedule ready so she doesn’t get behind. We are starting Week 5 this week. But you need to get emails out to the Trek leaders to find out vehicles they are bringing, final numbers, what activities they are planning on doing, if they need missionary assistance, if they need rickshaws for their group, etc. Sister Scussel had talked to scheduler to have me in the office to help to get it done. I was scheduled for Tuesday but Sister Scussel is going to be on a trek and they also had me scheduled to do 5 pie stories. I am not sure how that was even going to work? There are so many facets to making this all work. So we talked about it and Sister Scussel asked if we would be willing to change our preparation day to Tuesday and me working with her in the office on Monday. So that is what we did. 

Karl was able to catch up on the pile of equipment building up in the shop which he couldn’t work on last week because we were scheduled everywhere but work crew. He fixed a riding lawn mower, a push mower, a pressure washer, and a 4-wheeler. By the end of the day the 4-wheeler is back in for repair. Not Elder Sigmon’s fault. Here he is in his home away from home.
The month of June seems to be the month of the birth of antelopes. We have discovered they are like sheep and have quite a few twins. It was funny because one of the missionaries said “Oh this one mom had 8 babies.” We both looked at each other and smiled. Antelopes are a herd type of animal and as such they tend to stay together. What we have seen is one antelope is usually with the babies and the others all kind graze not too far away. So we have determined they must take turns of who is in charge of the babies. Now that would have been great when my kids were little. Although I can’t complain because when my brother lived nearby and the kids were little they were often together at one house or the other. So I did have some breaks and Kathy is a fun mom!

Here are one set of the twins that live by us. So we always say “Oh there’s the twins, hello twins!”
That’s about all of what is going on here in Wyoming. Hope all is well with you and love hearing from everyone! It is a highlight. Love you and miss you!
Elder and Sister Sigmon


  1. We love following your adventures! The only wild animals we've seen here are a couple of cats...which may or may not have actually been wild.

    1. Haha! Cats would actually be an exotic animal here. I have not seen one!