Iowa Teens Take Mormon Trek in Southern Iowa

AFTON, Iowa- A group of students and leaders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is making a trek down the Mormon Trail. This historic pathway was used in the mid 1850’s as thousands of Mormons fled persecution in Nauvoo IL.

The students come from LDS Churches in the Des Moines area, and towns around south central Iowa.

150 students, along with leaders are walking around 9 miles a day over a three-day trek.

“We were reenacting a portion of the Mormon hand cart trail which occurred back in the 1850s as the Mormon pioneers crossed Iowa On Their Way, West Salt Lake City and the Western Valleys,” said Kevin Kohler, Leader of a Des Moines LDS Congregation. “So we're dressed in pioneer. clothing and we have a hand carts.”

The handcarts were borrowed from Council Bluffs, they borrowed 19 carts. Plus most kids have period costumes.

The also endured storms Tuesday night.

“They are learning that they can do hard things, just like our ancestors the pioneers before us,” said Kohler. “They can conquer difficult things and face adversity and try out whether it be steep hills or thunderstorms or stormy nights like we had last night.”

“Just blisters, pains, it's tough, but taking off the shoes and laying down yesterday was really nice,” said Tyler Ransom, a student at Waukee High.

The students also went without cell phones, and showers.

“It’s definitely been a little smelly but I think when you're all smelly and gross together no one really cares,” said Emma Garrett, who graduated this spring from Waukee HS. “You get to the kids pretty well, you're all dirty together you're not as embarrassed.”

The Trek will conclude Thursday morning near Afton.