Friday, November 21, 2008

Mormon Battalion Trail

Cleaning Up the Marker

Working Hard

Look at it shine!

In our church, one of the things I get to do is work with the Cub Scouts, in particular the Bears (9 year olds) Well, we had the unique opportunity, at a regional level, to take all of the Cub Scouts on a 5 mile hike along the Mormon Battalion Trail, which runs close to the San Pedro River. If you are not familiar with the Mormon Battalion Trail, I will try to explain. Please forgive me, if I make a mistake.
In 1846 the Mormon church was in desperate need of money. They were beginning their famous trek west toward Salt Lake City but were lacking the funds that they needed to keep going. They sent representatives to DC to speak with President James K. Polk about assistance in helping them move forward. He agreed to give the church assistance if some of the members would volunteer to form a battalion to help in the American-Mexican war. 500 men volunteered to go, along with 33 women and 51 children. They marched over 2000 miles, from Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Diego California. The salaries that they earned helped pay for the church's continued movement west. It is recorded as the longest march in history. The volunteers, cleared the pathway themselves, using shovels, axes and sometimes even their hands. Their service helped not only our church but was instrumental in helping secure new lands in the west and also opened up a new southern wagon route to California. In the end about 20 people died.

We are privileged to have part of the Mormon Trail about 15 minutes away from where we live. There is a trail marker there to commemorate and remember those who served. We were able to take the Scouts and hike 5 miles on the trail, picking up trash along the way as a service project. The Cub Scouts also cleared away overgrown brush and weeds from around the marker. And polished and shined the marker as well.

It was such as wonderful thing to be a part of. I took so many pictures, I won't be able to post them all. But I will put a few up.

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