Sunday, June 5, 2011


Way back in November Adam and I were called into president Saline's (1st counselor in the stake presidency) office. He asked us if we would be a Ma and Pa on our Stake Pioneer reenactment Trek.
 Adam and I have never done a trek like this before so we weren't sure what to expect but we accepted the call and looked forward to it with anticipation.
We spent the next several months preparing ourselves physically and spiritually for the experience.  After several hours of sewing and gathering equipment, and after hundreds of hours walking and praying we were finally ready. least we though we were.

My parents were able to come up and watch the kids and do Adam's delivery route for him. It was a huge blessing to know that things would be watched over and taken care of while we were away.
We were introduced to our trek "family" on Wednesday morning and spent a couple hours packing our cart and getting to know the names of our family members.We were Blessed with 15 "kids" and one "adult son". 
After getting the handcart all loaded, we set off on the adventure of a lifetime. Right away we had problems with cart and items falling off.  We fell a little behind on the trail but eventually we got our cart loaded just right and were moving at a steady pace.
 We had some amazingly strong kids in our family. They were cheerful, and all eager to help. We loved them almost immediately.

Getting the cart loaded and ready to go.

Zion or Bust!
After hiking for several miles, We were stopped by soldiers on horseback who called all the men in our company to arms to help fight in the war.

'Till we meet again...
This left the girls alone to pull the carts in what is known as "The women's pull".  I couldn't help but get emotional as I watched "My girls" pull the cart up the steep and rocky terrain. Not only did they get our cart to the top, but once they got to the top of the hardest hill, they ran down to help other families get their cart up the hill. I couldn't have been prouder of them if they were my own children.
By the time all the carts made it up the hill, all the girls were exhausted. It was then, that we found out that we were only half way to our destination. It was about 8:00 pm at this point, and getting dark. The boys all pulled the cart while the girls took turns pushing. Eventually, it got so dark that we couldn't see more than a few feet ahead of us. The trail got so rocky that those of us walking in the back had to link arms to keep each other from falling when we tripped. I should also mention that at this point, all the kids had eaten all day was an orange, and some buffalo jerky.
Our youth were troopers they sang as they pushed and pulled. A little after midnight,  The trail boss finally said that pa could light the trail with a flashlight. It wasn't much light, but it helped, and I thought of the words to one of my favorite hymns.

Lead Kindly light amidst encircling gloom.
Lead thou me on.
The night is dark and I am far from home.
Keep thou my feet, I do not ask to see,
the distant scene.
One step enough,  for me.

Every time the trail boss told us to stop for a break, kids would just drop right where they were and rest for a while. As a Ma I was not allowed to pull the cart, so while they rested I filled their cups with water, and made sure they were doing  O.K

We finally pulled into camp at about 1:30 am.
We were given a roll and some beef broth. We all fell asleep the moment our heads hit our non-existent pillows.
The hard ground never felt so good.

We woke early, had some oatmeal for breakfast, then pulled the cart another couple of miles to the main camp where we would spend the next two days.
Over the next couple of days we learned to butcher chickens, make candles, pull taffy,shoot black powder rifles, play games and share testimonies.

The brothers all took turns washing their sisters hair.

The girls returned the favor.

Working together to prepare dinner.

Trevor climbed the tree to save Jaba the pregnant man lizard, our family pet, from his suicide attempt.
"Stupid Jaba".

I just can't express how much Adam I loved those kids. They had us laughing one minute and crying (happy tears) the next. I was so impressed with the way our "sons" respected and served their "sisters". They always made sure the girls ate first and even served them their food. Everyone pitched in to help during mealtimes, and helped during clean up.

I enjoyed hearing their sweet testimonies during our Family home evening. I am awed by their strength and knowledge.

I was filled with mixed emotions on the hike to the trails end on Saturday morning. I missed my own kids and was anxious to return home, but I was sad to say goodbye to my young friends.  I will NEVER forget this experience and am so grateful for those kids and all that they taught me.

Vanessa,Chelsea,Alex,Kelsey,Chelan,Ma Gurr, Auralin,Anna

Kirt, Tyler, Denton, Brother David, Jordan, Trevor, Pa Gurr, Cody
 I am reminded of the words of Helaman:
"And they were all young men (and women) and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold this was not all- they were men (and women) who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.

On the drive home I told Adam that I wasn't quite sure how I did so well on the hike. I have never been in really good shape, and normally a hike like that would've killed me. Yet I never felt more than a little fatigued and aside from my feet being a little sore, I felt great.
How is that possible?

The answer came when I got home.  Eliza threw her arms around me when I walked through the door and said "I prayed for you every day Mom. I prayed that you would be strong and you wouldn't get too tired and you would make it up every hard hill!"
I thanked her and I told her her prayers were answered . I felt her prayers and was strengthened beyond measure!

Colorado June 1-8, 2001

Ten years ago...
Friday, June 1st
At about 4:00 am I heard a knock on the door from Adam's little sister telling me it was time to wake up and get ready to go.

Adam drove his dad's truck while his Mom and siblings rode in the fifth wheel travel trailer he was towing. (His dad would be joining us in couple days with some of the priests in his ward).
On the drive, we were able to talk about our individual hopes and dreams for the future.We talked about where we saw ourselves in 5,10, and 20 years, and about our parents and how we were raised and how we'd like to raise our children. It was clear that we had the same desires for our families and the same goals and desires for our future.
At some point during this very personal in depth conversation we noticed that Adam's little brother Richard had stowed away in the back seat of the truck. We thought he was sleeping. (Later, we found out he was faking....little turkey) We had a lot of time on that drive to really learn about each other and become closer.
After a brief stop in Durango, we went on to Silverton where the Cabin was. It was early evening when we got to the little trail that leads to the cabin. (You can't drive right up to the cabin because the bridge that crosses the river isn't strong enough for vehicles)
The bridge to the cabin had been damaged by the snow run-off that spring and needed to be fixed. since it was already late in the day it was decided to work on fixing the bridge the next day.
After dinner, Adam took me on a buggy ride on a King Quad up Stoney Pass. The views were breathtaking and as the sun set, the moon rose and lit up the glaciers on the mountains that surrounded us.
Adam turned off the buggy and we walked around for a bit. We talked about "us" and I told him my mind was pretty much made up about things, but that I hadn't fasted and prayed yet to know for sure. He echoed my sentiments and we decided that since that Sunday was fast Sunday we'd spend the day Fasting and praying about "us".
Just before we got back on the buggy Adam took me in his arms and looked into my eyes and said "I am so blessed". Then told me that he had made a promise to himself he wasn't going to kiss a girl until he knew that she was the one he was going to marry then he said " I really want to kiss you now." And he kissed me on the cheek..... And I prayed that the cold sores on my lips would clear up by Sunday.

Saturday June 2nd, 2001
We spent the day working on fixing the bridge to the cabin. Once again, I marveled at what a hard worker Adam was and if felt so natural to be working side by side with him.
I was able to get to know his family better and once the bridge was completed we were able to drive the buggies to the little cabin and get the boys all moved in. We played some cards and watched a movie and went on another buggy ride. I was having the time of my life.

Sunday June 3rd, 2001
I woke up early and found a quiet place to pray.   I told My Heavenly Father that Adam was everything I wanted in a husband and that I loved him.   I asked him  for confirmation to know if a marriage to Adam would be his will and would be a blessing in my life. I kept that prayer in my heart through out the day.
We went to church at the little LDS branch in Silverton. Then, went with the family on a Sunday drive.
Once we were back at the cabin, we played a few games with his family and then Adam and I went for a walk together. We found a large rock to sit down on and admired the beauty of the majestic mountains that surrounded us.
 He asked me how I was feeling and I told him that I'd never felt so peaceful in all my life. He told me that he didn't have a doubt in his mind that he should marry me. Then he told me he loved me and asked me if I'd marry him.
It wasn't rehearsed... there was no ring in his hand, and he wasn't down on one knee. It wasn't the proposal that I always imagined I'd get, but It was pure and simple and perfect and I said yes!
(Here is the part where we were supposed to kiss but unfortunately my cold sores had only gotten worse so that first kiss would just have to wait.)
We went back to the cabin and broke the news to his family. Some of his siblings were happier than others... It's kind of a Gurr thing to be somewhat sad when a brother or sister gets married. Richard gave Adam a big hug and through tear filled eyes said "I'm proud of you man!" but, I could tell he felt that he was loosing his big brother.
We drove into town and used a pay phone to call my parents (our cell phones weren't getting good signal).
Adam asked my dad if he could marry me and my dad said "It's fine with me but I'm not the one you need to be's up to Ruth" I got on the line and told my dad that he did ask me and I said yes. My parents were thrilled and congratulated us.  I could tell they were happy with our decision. Then,  I called my sister Lydia and she screamed and forgave me for calling her collect (we only had enough change for one phone call but I knew she would never forgive me if she heard the news from someone else).
It was late by the time we got back to the cabin so we said goodnight and I couldn't wait till I could see him, my "fiance" in the morning.

Monday June 4th 2001
Adam's dad would be joining us that afternoon and through out the morning, Adam kept trying to prepare me for his dad's reaction to the news that we were engaged. He told me over and over not to take it personally but that his dad probably wouldn't be to excited. (He gets separation anxiety whenever one of his children decides to get married) .
Sure enough, when Adam told his dad that he was going to marry me, his dad said "What?...Why?" My heart fell, but Adam stood his ground and said "Because I love her, and it's right." Then his dad hugged him and said "Congratulations son."  Then he hugged me and said "Welcome to the family".

The rest of the week was spent buggy ridding,snowmobiling, playing games and watching movies. We picked July 12th (just six weeks away) to get married. On our last night in Colorado Adam's dad took us all to the Bar-D-Chuck wagon. It was a great dinner and show and afterwards In the back seat of his dad's excursion Adam and I decided that my cold sores had cleared up enough to have our first kiss....and it was awesome...and worth the wait. ;)

Skiing and Packing May 30th and 31st 2001

Ten years ago.......
We went water skiing with the A.J. stake YSA. FUN!!!
The following evening was spent helping his family get ready for the big trip to Co.
I had packed all my stuff earlier that day then the plan was for me to stay the night in the upstairs room at the Gurr's home. We were going to head out early so we all tried to go to bed early. It seemed a little weird to be giving a "goodnight hug" at the top of the stairs in his parent's home. I didn't sleep well that night because I kept dreaming that they all left without me....