I promise this is the last one! But FIRST, I'd like to report that the Utes WON last night, 41-0 against Northern Colorado. (As if there was ever any doubt.) I'd also like to report that the PAC-12 channel is dumb and Penn Quarter doesn't get it, so I was unable to watch the game, but that's another story... The point is...
After our great adventures in Nauvoo and then at the gas station in Denmark, Iowa, we drove on to Des Moines, where we stayed with some friends of my mission sister, Michelley. The most fortunate fortune of the entire state of Iowa was that I got to meet THIS little guy (Michelle's new baby, Asher!) I kept wanting to squeeze him (and maybe I did just a little?), but I didn't want to wake him. He was just so sweet! :)
We ate tacos for breakfast, and then we drove on. I will say that when people make corn jokes about Iowa and Nebraska, it's for good reason.
We made our next pitstop in Omaha, Nebraska, where we saw the Winter Quarters Temple.
And we went to the Winter Quarters Visitors Center, where we learned about the pioneers who suffered so much here.
|It's a violin. Of course I took a photo. :)|
This next scene reminded me of going on the pioneer trek for Youth Conference as a teenager. We had a string quartet (3 violins and 1 viola), and at night, when everyone was taking down the camp, we'd play hymns by the light of the moon and stars. This was one of my favorite parts of the trek. :)
We also discovered that both M and I are just barely taller than a wagon wheel. (Speaking of which... I got asked yesterday if I'm a freshman. Isn't that hilarious?!)
We learned that when plans were started for the construction of the Winter Quarters Temple, President Hinckley specifically asked for it to be built on the grounds of the Mormon Pioneer Cemetery. There's a beautiful view of the temple (on the left) and the cemetery (on the right) from inside the Visitors' Center.
|I LOVED this room. It was so beautiful and peaceful. The spirit is strong at Winter Quarters.|
After getting our VC fill (we're both former VC sisters. :) ), we made our way to the cemetery. 369 LDS pioneers died at Winter Quarters, and they are all buried here. Non-LDS pioneers were buried here, as well. One of the Twelve spoke here last year, and he said that angels guard this cemetery, because it is sacred ground. He said we can't see them, but they stand guard in this sacred place.
This statue depicts a poignant scene that happened over and over again on the trail... The figures are a mother and father burying their young child in the wilderness of the West... :(
|It took me a while to see the child's face. Can you make it out?|
And then we carried on.
|The corn of Nebraska.|
|Where the Broncos play, in case you're a fan.|
|Yep. There was even corn in Colorado.|
Wyoming was a giant blur. I'm really glad I've been to Yellowstone, Jackson, and other parts of Wyoming, because I'd hate to think that the entire state looks like this:
|Fake buffalo on top of a hill.|
|Although the plateaus were cool.|
ANNNND finally, we made it to Utah!