April 16, 2014
Well, we had a couple of days of nice spring weather this past week, and then it turned VERY cold, indeed. It was back to the coats and gloves! During the couple of days when the weather was good, Jan and I took a little stroll down the "Trail of Hope," which is the road from the center of Nauvoo, down Parley Street, and to the Mississippi.
Can you imagine having to take ONLY what you could fit into a wagon like this (approximately 3 feet wide and 11 feet long). That certainly was one of their challenges.
As the Saints made their way down this road for the last time, they looked over their shoulder to see the temple that they had sacrificed so much to complete so that they could receive their temple blessings before heading into the unknown west. The picture below might capture some of what they saw.
When the river was not frozen, the Saints would load their wagons and carts on barges similar to this one to cross to the Iowa side of the river.
First thing in the morning, I meet in prayer meeting with the other teamsters on duty that day, and then we good to the corrals to let the horses into the barn for their morning feeding of grain and cleaning. Then we harness those that will be used during the day and turn the others back out into the corral or pasture. (Sorry 'bout the finger in the first picture. Nobody's perfect.)
After the horses are harnessed, we drive them down to the loading depot to pick the visitors who are waiting for a tour of town or of the area north of Nauvoo in the countryside.
Four nights a week, Jan and I have to perform in one of two programs(Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo or Sunset by the Mississippi) put on for our visitors. Below is the "old-Nauvoo-style apparel we wear for the Rendezvous program.
Today was our Prep Day, so we decided to go down to Quincy to see the town that is so revered by our church. Back when the saints were driven out of Missouri, they crossed the Mississippi River into Quincy, tired, hungry, and destitute. The good people of Quincy opened their hearts and their homes to the saints, giving them food, shelter, and even jobs in some cases. Some of you might have heard the account of President Hinckley, back in 2002, presenting the Mayor of Quincy with a sizable check as a token of appreciation to the good people of Quincy.
In one of the parks in Quincy, you will see this placard which tells of this charitable offering.
There is also a small stone monument indicating where the saints came into Quincy back in 1838-39.
I'm guessing the saints could have used this beautiful bridge back when they needed to get across the river!
While in Quincy, we took the opportunity to drive around and look at some of the beautiful, older homes like these.
We were also interested to learn that the original keys to the first Nauvoo temple are kept in this Mayor's Mansion. This mansion house was also used at one time for the headquarters of President Lincoln's election campaign.