Sunday, November 13, 2016

Road Trippin' Day 20

After spending the night in Ogden Utah, we awoke on Friday July 22nd excited to tour temple square in Salt lake.  Our first stop of the day was the conference center. We couldn't wait to let our kids take a tour and see were general conference was held. We were SO bummed when we learned that the conference center was closed in preparation for "an event".  We walked around the Temple for a bit admiring it's beauty then, decided we'd go to the Tabernacle and see if we could find out if  the choir was having any open preformences or rehearsals we could watch. Again, we were disappointed when we learned that the choir was preparing for "an event" and visitors were not allowed to observe.  Then, it dawned on us. We're in Salt Lake on  the weekend of Pioneer day!  We also found out that tickets for "the event" are snatched up weeks in advance and that it was unlikely that we'd get tickets. We were told that if we got in the standby line at 6:00 pm, we might be able to get in to the conference center for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Pioneer Day concert featuring the King's singers. We spent the rest of the day touring the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, the Temple Square Visitors Center, the Tabernacle, the Lion house and we rode the elevator to the top of the Church office Building.

 We went back to our Hotel to rest for a bit, then made the decision to take our chances in the standby line for "the Event"! By the time we got back to Temple Square, found a parking spot, and got into the standby line it was well past 6:00. We had no sooner gotten in line, when we were handed five tickets for the concert! The tickets were for great seats on the lower level and were so close to the front. The concert was wonderful and the kids and the kids were amazed by the conference center and it was their first time hearing the Tabernacle Choir in a live performance. I am so grateful that our family recieved that tender mercy that night. We all felt so incredibly blessed.

Road Trippin' Day 19

Our Destination for the day was historic Martin's Cove.  The visitors center had exhibits and records that told of the tragic events that the handcart pioneers endured on their way to the Salt Lake Valley over 150 years ago.
We were able to hike with a handcart to Devils gate. Again, we were experiencing record heat, quite a difference from the weather the handcart companies experienced while they were there. The discomfort we felt from heat reminded us that like the pioneers, we can do hard things. As we hiked along the trail next to the sweet water Creek, I thought it would be horrible to cross paths with a rattle snake. Then, when we were just about at the waters edge near Devil's Gate, a snake slithered thru the grass right in front of me! It wasn't a rattle snake, but It scared me enough to keep me from going any further.  Adam, Eliza and Caleb went on closer to the Devils gate while Sarah and I hung . back for a bit. It was a beautiful area. 

We hiked back to the visitors center and enjoyed the rest of our stay in wonderful air conditioned rooms. Following our visit to Martin's cove, we had originally planned to go to Yellowstone park for a couple of days. Unfortunately, a wildfire had the road closed to the park from the south entrance and the West entrance was taking people hours to get through. So, we decided to skip Yellowstone this trip and we headed south to Salt lake.

Road Trippin' Day 18

On Wednesday July 20th we woke early and headed north west towards Rapid City South Dakota. Our destination for the day was Mount Rushmore. We drove for about three and a half hours before we reached our destination. Before arriving at the monument, we stopped at Rushmore Tramway Adventures and let the kids ride a tram up a large Hill and ride the slide down. They had a great time doing that. 

Then, we drove on to Mount Rushmore.  Unfortunately when we arrived, it was over 100 degrees outside. (That part of the country was experiencing record breaking heat.) All we wanted to do was get inside as soon as possible. We did stay outside long enough to get a picture of the kids, and then went in to look at the majestic monument thru the windows of the air-conditioned visitors center. We admired the monument, then watched a movie in the visitors center theater. The movie showed how the monument was built and included original footage from its construction and dedication ceremony.  If I'm being honest, we all felt that Mount Rushmore didn't live up to all the hype, but to be fair, it could be we felt that way because it was SO hot while we were there. We are glad we went though. We are grateful our children had the opportunity to see it in person.

The rest of the day was spent driving towards Casper Wyoming where we spent the night.