The whole first day was a trial. I'm grateful that our family was at the front of the company so that our breaks were very long and restful. We later found out that the heat index had reached 103. It was a good thing nobody told us that along the trail. But we knew there was lots of suffering because of it. One Pa actually passed out and one Ma had to be taken to base camp for recovery. Many kids over heated, but everyone continued to push on.
Typically our stake provides a moment along the trail when the Mormon Battalion takes the men away and the women pull the handcarts on their own. It's kind of funny because historically it's incorrect, but it's a profound lesson for the youth. One of the miracles of the first day was when the stake announced that the men would not be taken for battle.
I'm not sure that I, nor any of the other Mas could handle pushing and pulling 10 handcarts over the area that they wanted us to. I'm grateful that we were able to keep our men and boys and march into base camp.
Upon arrival into camp it began to thunder and lightening. Pa and the boys worked quickly to create a shelter for us. The stake provided bread and broth for us for dinner, but by the time we got to dinner Pa was done. Jake had overexerted himself to the point of exhaustion and illness. He was pale, couldn't eat and his hands were cold. But apparently our Pa wasn't the only one suffering. Many others were in weakened states. I believe nearly every Pa received a priesthood blessing that night.
The stake had brought in a band to play so the kids could have a hoe down. Unfortunately the weather had a different plan and it finally began to rain.
Our little shelter did a good job. We were crammed in it, but the kids all stayed dry. Jake and I were a little wet because we slept at the opening of the shelter and the rain was blowing in that direction. There was little sleep to be had by any of us, but our bodies needed the rest to move on the next day.