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Senior Correspondent

Not Much Running, but Five Miles of Walking


I didn't run much yesterday, because my wife and I (and her sister and brother-in-law) went to Wyoming to visit Martin's Cove (we drove to Wyoming on Wednesday and came back last night). My great grandfather, Francis Webster, immigrated to Utah from England as a member of the Martin Handcart Company. The pioneers left Iowa City late in the summer, pulling handcarts, and were caught in an early blizzard. They were out of food, cold, sick, and went into a cove to get some protection from the blizzard. Relief wagons sent by Brigham Young were on the way, and they hoped the cove would provide provide protection from the storm until the wagons arrived with blankets and food.

Our first stop on Wednesday afternoon was the Sun Ranch, the central point for visitors to Martin's Cove. We rode in a small Kawasaki truck to Martin's Cove (about two and a half miles) and saw the actual place where my great grandfather, his wife, and my grandmother (a newborn baby) spent several days waiting out the blizzard. The cove is a small valley surrounded by hills. I've read a lot about the journey of the handcart pioneers and Martin's Cove, and it was nice to actually be there and to see it myself. After we returned to the Ranch, we were invited by the missionaries at the Ranch to a potluck dinner and an evening of entertainment. We had a great time and laughed and laughed at the jokes and skits given by the missionaries.

On Thursday morning I got a mile of jogging in the morning while waiting for the rest of our group to get ready for the day. We drove from our Motel at Muddy Gap back to the Sun Ranch. We walked to Devils' Gate (a narrow canyon that was caused by ancient volcanic action and cuts through a big granite hill) and back, about a mile of walking, and then we walked around the Ranch looking at the museum and other things of interest.

After leaving Martin's Cove, we drove about 30 miles to Willey's Landing and learned about the Willey Handcart Company that also suffered in the blizzard. That Company was about three weeks ahead of the Martin Company. After our visit at Willey's Landing, we drove back to Utah.

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