Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Drive

So in driving across the country to move, we decided to make a few stops along the way for fun (and to keep our sanity). Plus we figured this would be our best opportunity to see some of these places. The boys didn't do too badly with so much driving, and we managed to find our way most of the time. Of course like any trip there were ups and downs to all of it, and by the end I just wanted to keep driving and get "home." I am glad that we did keep to making all of our stops though (almost skipped the last one).

In making this trip I learned a few things: 1st, there are a ton of back road "highways." When I picture the back roads of America I don't tend to think of them as highway or freeways, but we drove a bunch of them. And they still looked like what you would picture a back road to be. While Nebraska was a nice change from Wyoming, it was still pretty boring. Getting into Iowa was very pretty, and we saw a lot of this...
And I started to wonder if we grow anything but corn in this country. I also found that when things aren't so dry there's always a morning  mist that acts like haze and pollution. (annoying for taking pictures).
The second thing I learned was that I have no desire at all to ever be in Illinois again. I am glad that we got to see Nauvoo and Carthage (the first stops of our trip) but there was a strong, uncomfortable feel to Illinois. It actually got stronger the closer to Carthage we got, and began to fade again the farther we got from it. It was at its peak in Carthage, though when we finally found the jail and pulled into the parking lot for it the awful feeling ceased at the gates. (The land and parking lot for the jail is owned and operated by the LDS Church) It seems weird that on the spot that the violence and mob combined was the one spot I felt best in the whole state.
The Dungeon Cell in Carthage Jail
Window that Joseph Smith fell through
I was surprised at how well we were able to adjust to each timezone as we drove. I think between changing zones in the middle of the day and changing the clock while driving combined with being tired from so much driving helped us be tired enough to sleep easily each night. We made an unscheduled stop on our trip at Kirtland (we got a bit ahead on driving and saw that it was already on our way). After Illinois I wasn't sure what kind of feeling to expect. There was also much violence and hatred in this area back then, but there was nothing of what we felt in Illinois. And it was fun to learn more about our Church's history. Our tour through the LDS owned/operated area lasted longer than we thought it would and so we weren't able to tour through the temple (owned and operated by the Community of Christ).
Our last stop was Niagara Falls (same day as Kirtland). It was a lot of fun to see, but very crowded. My advice to others would be to park farther away for cheaper and to take your passport with you. The falls are largely on the American side, which means seeing it from the American side you stand beside or behind them. Not so great for looking at them. But you could see how well you would be able to see them from the Canadian side (being pretty much right across from the falls). It was fun though to realize that the land and buildings across from us and in the background of the pictures was a whole other country. So close yet so far away....
You could see the spray mist from forever away!