"Choose you this day whom ye will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

Friday, October 23, 2009

Our Trip to Nauvoo

We left on our trip early Saturday morning-about 2:30 a.m. AFter going to bed about midnight, the little ones kept getting us up, so we decided if we were going to be awake anyway, might as well be driving. As you can see, we painted the bus blue. Thanks for everyone's good advice! We towed the suburban our friend gave us along behind for use in smaller areas. We travelled to Salt Lake City, Utah, where we met Jared and parked his truck at relative's house. From Salt Lake we went to Cheyenne, Wyoming, around 9 or 10 p.m., where we were planning to spend the night. The weather was terrible; it had been snowing and blowing. We fueled up and had trouble getting out of the gas station area because of the packed ice. It was very cold, and we were thinking, oh great, this is going to be a fun trip! We felt lucky to get out of there, so we just kept driving, instead of spending the night.

Travel while you sleep method-we drove all through the night-Nathan, Jared and Jesse took turns driving. Even though the guys all did a great job driving, it was a rather harrowing experience for Nathan and I because of the fear of the driver falling asleep. Each driver had a helper to watch for things and help keep them awake. Nathan and I tried to rest but any sleep was accompanied by nightmares and fits of fright, any time the bus swerved or went on the side bumps. We could see our lives and family passing before us. Not a recommended way to travel!

We arrived in Adam-Ondi-Ahman about 8 a.m. Sunday morning-some more rested than others:) It was a beautiful morning-a bit on the cold side, but not bad compared to Cheyenne. It was really neat to be in this beautiful place where quite possibly Adam and Eve and their children were.

Next we went to Haun's Mill. We had a pretty hard time finding it, and just when we said forget it, we drove by the road we were looking for (after missing it the first time). We unhooked the suburban and used it because of the rain-we weren't sure if the bus would make it. Next we went to Liberty Jail. On the way the suburban came partially unhooked because of bolts that came loose and fell out. We also had a little trouble getting into the parking lot with our big bus and ended up on a narrow road with obstructions. That was not fun at all, and we were grateful for Nathan's skilled driving to get us out of that mess. Liberty Jail was a neat place to visit-it was amazing to see the conditions that the Prophet Joseph and others went through and the trials they suffered there. It helped me realize how we need to be patient in our trials, and perservere in doing what's right, keeping our attitude as positive as we can.

Then is was on to St. Louis to see our dear friend, Karen. Things didn't go so well there, so we didn't get to see her very long. We ran out of gas going up a hill on a busy street with cars whizzing past. Thankfully, a cop came a few minutes later and turned his lights on to block the traffic for one lane so we could work on it. We probably make 4 or 5 trips to the gas station to get enough fuel in and then something was blocked, so Nathan had to suck on a hose to get the diesel flowing again. Yuck! He swallowed some and was not having too much fun. Thanks to prayers being answered and his hard work and advice from brothers, we got it going again after about an hour. We sure were glad to get that beast off that road. But, at least it's been running good so far when we keep it in fuel. We got to Karen's house about midnight and had supper and slept there in the bus. We were very grateful to use their showers. Morning came and she was off to work, and we had breakfast in the bus and then headed for the St. Louis Arch. That was neat to see. We also ate out for the first time on the trip at a Steak and Shake because of Karen's recommendation. We really enjoyed it-awesome orange freezes!

Next we were off to Nauvoo, arriving Monday night! The temple was absolutely beautiful! Tuesday morning Nathan and I got to do a session and the older 5 children got to do baptisms with Nathan.
We stayed at the Nauvoo State Park. It was really a beautiful place to have our home base. Because of the season, we couldn't even see any other campers from where we were at. We were right by the showers and bathrooms, so that was really nice. We really appreciate showers since there isn't one in the bus yet.

We left the bus at the park and used the suburban to tour around Nauvoo and to go to Carthage. We were here long enough to get some laundry done and pull out the griddle two-unit burner for some real cooking. We also had a barbeque one night. We really enjoyed the "Rendevouz" play put on by the senior missionaries our first night there. It was fun, because then we all were familiar with some of the people and as we went around, we met couple that had been in the play and it was like seeing a new friend. We were very impressed with all the senior missionaries-they were very kind. There were about 100 there and they said there are about 400 in the summer season. We enjoyed all the demonstrations and learned lots of new things.

We left Nauvoo Wednesday afternoon and headed from Moline to see the John Deere factory. We found a public park to stay in the bus that night. Early Thursday morning, Nathan and the 6 older children went to the "seeding factory" for a tour. After wards we went to the John Deere pavilion.
Nathan and little Jed.

Johnie would love to have a sweet ride like this!

Guess who?

Filling up alongside the "Big Rigs". Then we were off
to Omaho, Nebraska to Winter Quarters. There we were surprised to see an Aunt and Uncle from Nevada on their way out of the visitor's center as we were coming in. What are the chances of that? The temple there is absolutely beautiful. We also saw my cousin, who showed us around and pointed out a grave of our ancestor's.

As we were up on the hill looking at the temple, we saw a tour bus we'd seen in Nauvoo pull in to the parking lot. With our suburban on back of the bus, it didn't leave him much room, and we held our breath as he squeezed by, fortunately without a problem.

Nathan-the mastermind and navigator of the trip. Thanks for all your hard work
and for an awesome trip, honey!!!
The kids piled into the suburban-this time on our way to Mount Rushmore.
Wow! What a neat sight to actually see with our own eyes!
Spent the night in Casper, Wyoming. Got our first motel room. Half of us slept in the bus-just needed some showers.

Baby Jed was here, too!

On to Independence Rock, Wyoming. The pioneers arrived here on Independence Day,
hence the name. The kids and Nathan had fun climbing the rock, even though it was quite smooth and steep.
Then on to Martin's Cove-here we are looking at a statue of a man with his toddler and tucked inside his coat is a tiny, newborn baby. I nearly broke my heart to think of having such a wee baby out in the weather like that.
After Martin's Cove, we headed to Rocks Springs, where Jared took the suburban back to Salt Lake to get his truck and head back to college-arriving Sat. night. He was getting a little ancy about his school.
Sat. we went to Vernal to my sister and brother-in-law's home to visit and pick up stucco for our house. I will put the pictures on the next post. We stayed there till Monday.
Monday afternoon we went to Alpine to pick up food storage for family and a van for J & M.
Tuesday we went to Salt Lake and picked up the suburban and headed for Nevada with a stop in Winnemucca to see family there. We spent the night in the bus there and then back home, to home, sweet home. All the showers and beds you could want! What a great trip we had and feel so blessed to have been able to do it and so grateful to the Lord for our safe travel. There were many close calls and our guardian angels must have been working overtime this week! (Nathan says they are all the time).
Sweet lamb, Em!


Chocolate on my Cranium said...

The trip of a lifetime! I have fond memories of the trip I took with my family to Nauvoo when I was 13. We hope to take the same trip in a year or two!

Glad you made it back safe and sound...and thanks for bringing our van!

Amy said...

WHAT FUN!!! I am so happy you guys had fun, were safe and saw some AMAZING sites! Liberty Jail was one of the sacred moments for me! One of my top 3 favorite church history sites! FUN!!!!

terra said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip. Your lesson today was great, Thanks.