Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Application Available

Good news!

The applications for the Mormon Trail Handcart Trek 2010 are now available!

Students* should login and apply through the Kennedy Center's Insternational Study Program. *Non-BYU Students must first create a NetID through BYU's Route Y.

You will find “Mormon Trail Handcart Trek SA” listed under Spring 2010 and Summer 2010.** **If you are signing up for the entire trek, do not sign up for Spring and Summer individually, please sign up for the “Mormon Trail Handcart Trek SA Sp-Su” option listed under the Spring 2010 list.

Families should not apply through the International Study Program. For more information on family participation and for an application, see the Family Info page.

If you have any questions about the trek, please visit the FAQ page first, and if you still have questions, send them along to me and I will answer them as best I can.

Remember, that in order for the Trek to be a success, we will need as many participants as possible. Encourage your friends and families to participate in the Trek. This will be a once in a lifetime experience, and everyone will want to be a part of it.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Sadly, we did not have enough participants to pay the costs of the trek this year.

The Mormon Trail Handcart Trek will be postponed til 2010. 2010 marks the 150th anniversary of the last handcart companies to cross the Great Plains. The 9th and 10th companies came to the Salt Lake Valley in 1860.

We are excited to have the extra time to raise sponsorship funds; plan for logistics, special events, and curriculum; and experience a recovery in the economy. Though this change in plans is sure to be a disappointment to the many people who where eager to get on the trail, we hope that this will allow more people to join us next year, and that we will have an even better experience next year.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Long Walk Weekend

The first Long Walk Weekend was a success. We had a good turn out, especially for so early in the year, and especially despite the cold rain. It was only drizzling, but still the air was crisp and cool, but it was perfect weather for a nice walk around campus.

Those who came were all especially excited to meet the other people who will be going on the Trek. It was great to be able to talk with people (and walk with people) so that we could get to know those who will be our good friends for the four months of the trek.

Everyone who came was asking when the next one will be. I will make sure to let everyone know, and advertise it here, as soon as I have the next one set up. Hope to see you there.

And until the next one, keep going on your own Long Walks.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Trailblazer No. 1


If you are as excited as I am for the Mormon Trail Handcart Trek 2009 to start, then you probably wish that you were already in Iowa City, a trail of handcart pioneers stretching before you, the plains rolling on endlessly, and the smell of adventure filling your nostrils. But before that happens we have a lot to do. To prove my point, here’s an account from William Atkin, a member of the 8th handcart company, which left Florence, NE in 1859.

We were finally provided with our carts and on a lovely afternoon in June we started out with our little all in our carts and traveled out four miles … we had a little steep hill to pull up and this gave us a little insight to what we might expect when we came to the mountains. We arrived in camp and even four miles had its effect on some of our company, as quite a number were from the English Factories and knew nothing of the hardships they were now starting out to undergo.”

Let’s not be like those English factory works, let’s be prepared for everything that is coming our way.

Enter The Trailblazer. These bi-weekly newsletters will be your guide to important events, upcoming deadlines, and practical advice on how to be prepared for your experience on the trek.

See you on the trail,

Scott Morris
Committee Member

Upcoming Events:

January 24- Long Walk Weekend 10am, RB
January 31- Application Deadline
February 26- Prep Class Begins 4:00-6:00pm Thursdays
March 1- Family Application Deadline


As far as feet go, you’ll want to be prepared well before the trek starts. The most important thing you can do right now is get shoes and break them in. Here are some helpful suggestions to get you started.

*Choose sturdy hiking shoes or very supportive gym shoes that breath and are comfortable for long walks.
*These shoes should be broken in through 50-100 miles of walking. Do not buy new hiking shoes a week or two before the trip. Reliable shoes, in good shape, that you already own and have proven comfortable, are probably the best choice. Don’t plan on sandals, loafers, or cowboy boots.
*Shoes with internal padding are more comfortable for walking. Consider adding padded insoles to help cushion your feet.

We’ll talk more about socks and preventing blisters in a different issue. For now, let’s turn our attention to breaking in the shoes. If your shoes aren’t broken in before you leave, your feet will be very unhappy for the first week or so, maybe longer.


In order to break in our shoes, build our stamina, and meet new friends before we even get on the trail, we will be holding periodic “Long Walk Weekends.” These will start out with shorter walks, 2 or 3 miles, and then we’ll work up to a longer 12 or 13 mile walk. Feel free to bring friends with you, and we’ll have a blast.

The first long walk will be Saturday, January 24. Meet at 10am by the south door of the RB. We’ll leave around 10:10 to explore the red brick trail that wraps around BYU’s south hill. We’ll go by the Botany pond, as well as the terraced gardens to see if anything grows in winter. Expect an hour-long walk.

Please RSVP to handcarttrekbyu@gmail.com so I know how many to expect.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

BYU Homecoming Parade

On Saturday, October 11, the Mormon Trail Handcart Trek committee and crew got in the Homecoming Spirit of "Go the Distance" and pulled a handcart through the streets of Provo, helping others know about the upcoming trek, but also supporting the long standing tradition of BYU Homecoming.

Come join the crew on Wednesday, October 22, as we trek on campus! We will be meeting at the northwest corner of the Richards Building at about 12:00 to then trek up to main campus, around the library, and towards our arbor booth.

You can find us at the arbor booth all week from 12-2 where we will answer any question you have about the upcoming trek.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Once the trek gets going, this will be the place for up-to-date information. We will update pictures of the trek, its community activities, as well as journal entries from the Trekers.

until then, visit the Mormon Trail Handcart Trek website for more information or email handcarttrekbyu@gmail.com with any questions.