Our third day on the road included lots and lots of driving. We were anxious to get home!! In our hurry we did take a moment, over lunch, to ponder the vastness of the great Mississippi River.
Wednesday, July 31
Tuesday, July 30
The Sod House Museum was a gem we discovered while making a pit stop at a gas station somewhere in Nebraska. How often do you get to go in house made completely out of grass and dirt? It was a first for me.
We resumed our Pioneer Experience by stopping at Winter Quarters in Omaha Nebraska.
The visitors center was lots of fun for the girls.
If I were a pioneer I would ask Zana to pack my wagon.
Although Biddy did fit it all in. . .
Even The Bellie got in on the action.
The cute Sister Missionaries there gave us a great tour and got us all dressed up like Pioneers.
My favorite place at the museum was the Pioneer Cemetery. It was a very sacred and special place. As we wandered around you knew you were waling on hallowed ground. The monument was beautiful. I spent a few moments reading the names of the saints who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Entire families wiped out from disease,cold, and starvation. The weight of their sacrifice lay heavy on my heart and I was overwhelmed with love and gratitude for these saints. Their Legacy of faith blesses my life and lives of my children to this day. It was a wonderful opportunity to take a moment to thank them for their sacrifice and thank my Heavenly Father for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The drive out of Omaha was spectacular. Burke and I both agree if was some of the most beautiful farm country we have ever seen. My pictures don’t even begin to do it justice.
We got to the hotel early enough to do some swimming. It was a fun day.
Monday, July 29
Since we were practically driving home on the pioneer trail we decided to take our time and have a Pioneer Adventure. Our hope was that the girls would have a chance to experience a little it of what it would have been like to be a pioneer. We wanted them to feel the spirit of the sacred places we visited. They are descended from these brave saints and it was important for them to feel that there could carry on their Legacy of faith. The girls got into the pioneer sprit by dressing up. They were truly excited and I think they did have a great Pioneer experience.
Our first stop was the Willie Handcart Company Crossing Site. Here the company was stranded on the banks of frozen Sugar Creek. They were starving, freezing and many had lost their lives to reach this point. The thought of crossing the frozen river another time was more than many of the Saints could take. It was there that the rescue team from Salt Lake arrived as Angels of Mercy and helped them cross the freezing river and make their way safely to Salt Lake.
There was lots for the girls to see and do including riding in a handcart across the river and touring an old school house.
Next we stopped at Martins Cove. It was a beautiful area right by Devils Gate and Split Rock. The girls were to young to take on the long hike back to the cove but we did get to see it from a distance and learn about the trials ns struggle the Martin company faced. The Martin company was days behind the Willie company and got stranded as well. It was divine guidance that led them to the cove where they were sheltered from a fierce winter blizzard. Many saints still lost their lives but it would have been worse if they had been exposed to the elements. The rescue teams were able to find the company soon after their stay at Martins Cove and help them complete their journey.
At the visitors center they had a small handcarts for the girls to pull on their own trail.
I finally got a turn pulling a handcart as well.
Some other highlights of the day included: seeing this awesome
rainbow streaked across the dessert sky,
Having a fun picnic lunch,
and being glad to see a porta-potty!
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