Thursday, June 08, 2017


WHEREVER I CAMP---VERY QUICKLY--BECOMES THE CENTER OF MY WORLD.  Here is a particularly lovely, remote and somewhat mysterious campsite in the national forest of the highlands of Arizona.  When the temps reached 90's in Cottonwood, we hitched up and climbed up, up, up till we reached 6,500 ft elevation and a wonderfully cool environment.  So easy for us mobile people!  (we are keenly aware that "for every thousand feet you climb--4 degrees are left behind.  Keep on climbing and it for sure you'll reach the perfect temperture')
At first it's just CB and I

We invited more and more of our friends to join us,

and soon we  were a dozen strong temporary tribe.

Then one day these guys showed up nearby---assembling about fifty of these strange carts.  Can you guess what this was all about?

I knew instantly because I had pulled one  of them some years ago in Wyoming.

Soon, about 400 people showed up, most of them teenagers, camping in a nearby meadow. They are here to reenact a famous event in Mormon History:  the trek of the Mormon Handcart Pioneers.

It looked something like this as a caravan of approximately 100 carts traveled together.

About 3000 people in separate caravans of about a hundred carts made their way from Iowa or Nebraska (where the railroad ended) to Salt Lake City--a distance of about 1300 miles.  Hardships and bitter weather killed a few hundred.  Read about it here.

Each cart was pushed and pulled by a team of people.  Each individual ws allowed 17 pounds of personal stuff. The carts carried about 250 pounds each but were capable of 500 lbs when necessary.
I ran alongside several wagons asking questions like WHERE YA GOING?  They would answer: "Home" or "Salt Lake".  One group let me help push the cart.  I think these reenactors traveled about 25 miles.  (It cost $30,000 to pull it off---and they do it every 4 yrs)  

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  The Mormons  added interest to our stay here---2 weeks. 
Additionally we twice loaded up a group and went to town and did a bold thing--which I'll detail in a separate post.
Most people know nothing about Mormonism but I have made a point of studying this strange religion.  The strangest thing about it is that it is a scientifically provable fraud dreamed up by Josep Smith in the 1830's BUT DESPITE THIS, A STRONG VIABLE CULTURE HAS BUILT UP AROUND IT.  It claims 15 million members but experts suspect that only about 5 million take it seriously.  Twice I have addressed ex-Mormon groups in Utah.  Ex Mormons get together and discuss the harm of being indoctrinated in it--how it damages their lives and how happy they are to have escaped. The groups call themselves simply LDX. 
To see the scientific evidence that Mormonism is a giant fraud click here .
To educate yourself on the subject click here
To be honest with you, I believe the religion I was brought up in -Southern Baptist- is also a giant fraud.


kingmanite ken said...

Nice pictures and story. Thx for the information.

Unknown said...

Love your posts Randy. Keep em coming!

Debbie said...

Interesting. I have to say, Randy's take on it seems the most logical one I've seen in a while, lol. I too find it a very strange religion.

Windkissed said...

I almost got 7n the Mormon Church at one point in my life. I had befriended a couple of mentor-type women I admired that were involved. I began going to church, studies, classes....getting involved. Up to the point of baptism...where I found i could not personally accept their beliefs.

I, after deep soul-searching, have come to find am not a Christian. It was a perfect experience for that time of my life, however, a wonderful group of people!!!!! I love the community they have!

As far as religion, if it works for people, enriches their lives, gives them a way to find spirituality, I'm a supporter!! No harm done. (I know, those two sentences could very well negate each other).

Thanks for a fun read!!!

Wes said...

Thank you for posting Randy. I enjoy each of your posts so much, as you portray your travels and your life in a very interesting manner. Keep up the good work.

David Ainley said...

It's always a treat to read your thought provoking posts.

VtChris said...
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VtChris said...

Always great to read of your latest adventures! I personally believe that all religions are fraudulent

Annie Peterson said...

Another book with great insight into Mormonism -- especially the fundamentalist splinter groups who still practice polygamy is 'Under the Banner of Heaven' (A Story of Violent Faith) -- I've read it twice and look forward to reading it again. Looks like there is a movie about it in development:
The mainstream church was so threatened by this book they issued their rebuttal two weeks before the book was even published :)
sail4free (whoops -- on my wife's google account again)

Stuart said...

The Mormons still recruit the same way Joseph Smith did when he was convicted as a fraudster in New York State. "If I told you where you could find some treasure, wouldn't you be at least interested?" No, thanks, I said. This approach of appealing to greed seems to be very effective in the USA and in poorer countries throughout the world. Of course, if you are born into the sect, such crass recruiting methods aren't necessary.

Mike said...

Looks like you had a nice place to stay and a good time. How much did it cost to stay there two weeks? Where are you headed next?

Randy said...

Mike: Dispersed cmping like this in the National forest is free.
Isn't that woonderful? And there are millions of spots like this.
Retire early, live cheap, get mobile, self contained and join us.

Mobilespecification said...
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Donna Huffer said...

We saw them about 4 years ago near Lander WY.