Dear Family and Friends,
Well, as you have probably guessed by now we have been having e-mail troubles. It has been very difficult at best to receive, but impossible at this time to send. The biggest challenge for us to overcome has been that our computer aquired a virus and had to be competely restored. This meant we lost all our documents. (If any of you have copies of our previous emails, would you please save them for us as we lost them with all the computer problems.) We are going to have our son Kelley get on our computer on Saturday and see if he can get our e-mail going again.
On the brighter side ,everything at Martin's Cove is going well. The sprinklers are about ready to fire up, the on-slaught of trekkers is beginning to arrive and hopefully we be able to learn all the pioneer stories before we are assigned to the different posts, which are;
THE VISITORS CENTER, where we tell about the Sun family, and their history. It was from the Sun family that the Church aquired 112,000 acres, which was only a 10% portion of their ranch. It’s a working cattle ranch on which the Visitor's Center and all the support buildings sit. This ranch, which was the largest in Wyoming at one time, was started in 1872 by Tom Sun. Without this purchase, members of the Church and the many other visitors would not have access to Martin's Cove. This Cove is to members of the Church and relatives of the pioneers, a very hallowed spot. Naturally we are grateful to the Sun family for realizing this, and agreeing to sell to the Church the desired property +. Members of the Sun family come to the Visitors Center quite often and bring their friends to view the history of their family which has been preserved by the Church. One of my favorite Sun family heirlooms is a rifle presented to Tom Sun by his good friend, Buffalo Bill Cody. The Visitor's Center also provides a detailed history of the Willie and Martin handcart companies.
VEIL BRIDGE, provide visitors with a look from the present to the past. It was built by the people of Riverton, Wyoming to assure that no one would ever have to cross through the freezing waters of the Sweet Water River again.
HANDCART PARKING, a place for trekkers to park their handcart while they take the two mile hike up into the Cove.
DAN JONES COVE, named after one of the rescuers, is a place to stop, rest and hear the history of the Cove before entering that sacred location.
MARTINS COVE, one of the most sacred of all pioneer history sites, where many pioneers lost their lives from exposure to the below zero temperatures.
THE STATUES, of the four young rescuers, who along with others, spent most of the day in the freezing waters of the SweetWater to carry the sick and starving members of the Martin handcart company across the river so they might reach the relative shelter of the Cove.
HANDCART BRIDGE, where trekkers can safely cross back across the river and continue on their trek to their assigned campgrounds. Other posts can be, the Blacksmith shop, the Office, the Trek Center, and other sites that deal with maintence, and upkeep.
Today 6-4-09 the Cove had about 500 visitors, mostly teenagers wanting to have the handcart experience. Sister Leavitt and I missed the rush because it was our day off, but we don't feel cheated because, in the days ahead there are as many as 2000 visitors per day schdeduled.
Spring has arrived in Wyoming. The hills and valleys are a beautiful emerald green and the animals are everywhere. Today we saw a mother antelope with triplet babies. Sister Leavitt will be mailing out a close-up picture of a new born baby antelope as soon as our e-mail gets fixed. Being here is truly a millenial experience.
A shout out to Steve Leavitt (Benny) thanks for the e-mail, and congratulations to his son Cameron on his mission call to the Phillipines.
Last week we had a great visit with (Granger) cousins Pete, Judy and her husband Glade. Its so great to spend time with family and friends.
We also celebrated Sister Leavitts birthday this week. (May 31) She just gets more beautiful with age and will probably look even better after I cut her hair for the first time this week. She'll probably let you know how it turns out.
We also had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to climb to the top of Rocky Ridge. This is one of the highest points on the pioneer trail, 7300 ft. and was the most difficult climb the handcart companies had to endure. (Its exactly as the name implies) We hiked up to the top from about half way up and even without the agony of pulling handcarts we still had a difficult time. We couldn't imagine how these poor starving pioneers made it. Many didn't!
We love and miss all of you, especially our beautiful grandchildren.
HI everyone -- it's been so long since we were able to send an email, I can't remember what we've told you and what we haven't. We are in Casper, so are going to send this out here so hopefully you will receive it. Thank you, Kelley, for helping us get connected to the outside world again.
For all the women out there, my haircut turned out great ! I received many compliments on it. In fact, Charlie did such a good job I thought I might have him give a demonstration to all the people who are interested in learning how to use a Flo-bee :)
I continue to be the "grunt" in the Office -- I usually work there 3 or 4 days a week. Actually, it's been a good experience and I feel like I'm in the hub of the activity and decision-making at Martin's Cove. It has afforded me many opportunities I wouldn't have had otherwise.
Besides the antelope, I have now seen 3 snakes -- none of them rattlers. Even so, they are pretty scarey looking.
I think I'll sign off for now, and I will hope and pray that next week we will be able to email you again.
Much love to you all,