Sunday, October 21, 2012

LDS History Tour (part 5)

This is the fifth and final post about our 2-week LDS Church History Tour trip in July of this year. We really had a blast, and if you would like to learn more about our trip and see lots of pictures, you can find the other posts here:
  1. Days 0-2: Manchester, NH to Palmyra, NY
  2. Days 3-4: Palmyra, NY to Nauvoo, IL
  3. Days 5-7: Nauvoo, IL and surrounding area
  4. Days 8-11: Nauvoo, IL to Doniphan, MO to Kansas City, MO and surrounding area
 The last three days of our trip, (12-14) we covered a lot of miles as we drove back to Utah from Missouri.

First, we headed north into Iowa again to see the Kanesville Tabernacle, a replica of the original tabernacle where Brigham Young was sustained as the second President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1847 in Council Bluffs.

I think the missionaries said that about 1000 people were present when President Brigham Young was sustained. It must have been a tight fit!
A neat little trio of portraits of Brigham Young and his counselors, Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards.
Statues depicting the new First Presidency outside the tabernacle.
I was really excited to watch the video presented in the Visitors' Center next door: it detailed the travels of the Mormon Battalion, including discussion about the Mormon Emigrant Trail and the establishment of Pleasant Valley, named by Henry Bigler. I grew up in the Pleasant Valley ward! In fact, I participated in a commemorative pioneer trek that began at Tragedy Spring, also mentioned in the video.

After this stop, we headed west into:

We stopped for a quick look around the Winter Quarters Temple:

Behind the temple is a pioneer cemetery. We walked around there a little bit, and Thomas snapped some pictures of this statue he likes a lot:

We went into the Mormon Trail Center briefly. I don't remember the story behind this artwork, and this is the only picture we got of it:

After this stop, we headed to Lincoln, where we met up with some friends of the Bradshaw family. We continued on our journey the next day after staying in North Platte for the night.

Here are some of the things we saw the next day:

Court House Rock
The Platte River
Chimney Rock. Couldn't get very close to it; this picture was taken with a very good lens.
We had to go back to snap a picture of the Wyoming sign:

We walked around the wagon ruts at Guernsey State Park:

Then we checked out the nearby Register Cliff:

After what seemed like forever in the car, we made it to Independence Rock (which, honestly, is like a glorified rest area... and not even as fancy as some we saw further east. There's lots of parking, some bathrooms, some informational signs, and the rock...):

The sign here in front talked about how at different periods in time, there have been different standards of preservation. While it used to be that anybody could put up a little plaque on the rock, they don't allow that now.

We briefly saw Martin's Cove and Devil's Gate:

Coming up on Devil's Gate
Entrance to Martin's Cove
Devil's Gate from its better side (photographically)
We were so hungry, though, by this time, that we just got out of the car, took a few pictures, and continued on our way.

It's very faint, but there is a rainbow beyond that profile :o)

We had to laugh when in Rawlins, WY, where we stopped for the night, our grocery store checker was "Jesus C"...

We drove to Rock Springs, WY for church the next morning. The people in the ward we visited were so nice. We felt so welcome, and almost everyone we talked to asked, hopefully, if we were new in the area. While it's nice to live somewhere where the church is strong, it would also be nice to live somewhere with fewer members just to feel "needed" :o)

Maiden name!
We thought the church was a high school or something at first, until we saw the steeple...
Afterward, we headed to the cabin in Utah.

Random cool rock formations
"Judgment Day, May 21, 2011" -- um... nope! And anyway, "Of that day and hour knoweth no man..." But here is some information about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and what we can do to be ready for it!

The red rocks of Utah...
We fed the hummingbirds at the cabin
This little guy chased all of the other ones away, though :o(
We spent the last day of our trip at the cabin before we had to get back to the real world of work and responsibility. Although it at times felt like a whirlwind trip, it was nice to get away from our routines and see so many cool things together. If you ever want to try a similar journey and need help planning it out, we can share some information with you! One of the best parts about seeing so many Church-owned sites is that it's free to do so. You don't have to pay any fees to see the replicas of buildings or walk through the visitors' centers -- the tithing contributions of church members pay for them, among other things, and the "staff" is made up of mostly missionaries who are not paid to be there.