Missionary Village, which is where we are camping, is about 8 miles from Martins Cove. They have dry camping, and RV hookups. The dry camping has shade and picnic tables. RV hookup camping is pretty desolate, but we have full hookups, and it’s the same sites that the missionaries themselves stay in. And it is hot enough, we were very grateful for air conditioning.
Today we kept the day low key. We went to church and then came back and let the kids relax. We had talked about hiking some of the trek routes, but it was 100 degrees outside after church, so we opted for relaxing in the shade and camper.
I think today was my younger kids favorite day. They really do a great job with the primary kids at Martins Cove. I’m glad we stayed over for a Sunday. The girls made prairie dolls, and the boys made a little pioneer game. They all received tumbled rocks that came from Martins Cove. They made little handcarts out of Rice Crispy treats, which is just as my sister told us would happen, so it must be the standard primary lesson. It’s a great one, and the little kids loved it!
Not as exciting for the teenagers. They watched a movie, that they had already seen when we went through the visitors center and went over some things that were review for the older boys from the visitor’s center. I wish they had spent some time telling them more stories. So far the kids haven’t heard as many stories as I would have hoped, but I hear they do when we go on the trek, so we will be doing Martin’s Cove 5 mile trek tomorrow.
Our boys did get to bless and pass the sacrament, as there are no teenagers in the branch. I’m glad they had that experience, and the senior missionaries made a very big deal about how great that was, that the boys were prepared with white shirts and ties to take care of the sacrament for them. As a mom, I appreciate all the uplifting my kids get, so I was grateful for the attention they gave them.
It was fun to be in sacrament in a branch made up of senior missionaries from all over. The spirit was strong. You don’t hear complaining, but you do hear them talk about how tired they are. I really admire what they do. It is a very hot place, and they work very hard here to help everyone (families and trekkers) learn about the history. They are truly amazing missionaries.
One thing that I guess I misunderstood is there is a Willie Site also with a new Visitor’s Center and from that site you can get to other places to trek, but they are separate from Martin’s Cove. I had thought they were all together. If you came here not knowing what to look for, you could leave not knowing the Willie Center existed. I did notice later the front of the Martin’s Cove brochure has the address of the Willie Center. But there are no maps or other information. I had assumed they would be part of the same site with printed information about all of it, but I didn’t see any. So we pulled out a map and a sister missionary mapped it out. It turns out it is 1 hour back the direction we came from to get to the Willie Visitors Center, and about another hour to get to Rock Creek Hollow and Rocky Ridge. We spent the day trying to figure out what to do.
Rock Creek Hollow is the large grave site, and I have heard is a very sacred place. I have heard that from numerous people. So I really wanted the kids to experience it. But knowing it was a four hour drive the opposite way we are going is a little discouraging. So after a long discussion and map analysis we decided for this phase of the trip, we won’t go backwards. We will do the trek at Martins Cove tomorrow and do the drive by of Independence Rock, and move forward. I had heard it was 45 minutes away, and I hadn’t bothered to check what direction…my fault…if I had had all the information in front of me before this point, we would have rerouted our trip to hit the Willie Site first, then traveled to Martins Cove the next day. So that’s my advice for people coming by way of the West.
Overall though, we do have so much on our calendar that a day of rest of very nice. Church was great. I would highly recommend it if you have younger kids. And met some great neighbors at the camp while we were at it. I asked the kids what was their favorite part of the day, I expected the younger kids to say church, which they did, but even the older boys said it was church. So we recommend Sundays at Martin’s Cove. A great way to spend a Sabbath day.
Summary of Day 3
Drove: 16 miles
Places we visited: Church at Martins Cove
Favorite Place we went today: Church