Thankful for Nick helping with Jonah and that Jonah was only sick for one day

Thankful for snuggling to keep warm

Thankful for crazy brothers

Thankful Nick could be home for Thanksgiving

Thankful Zoey got fixed for cheap…and thankful for her new home at Nicole’s house

Thankful for the funny faces Jonah makes when eating green peas

Setting off the alarms….

While at Pompey’s Pillar, some other visitors there set off the alarm by climbing over the fence with signs on it saying there was an alarm….I guess he didn’t believe it! Good thing the visitor’s center wasn’t open!

Pompey’s Pillar and home!

Thursday morning we got up and ate at the Cracker Barrel then drove out to Pompey’s pillar, 30 miles East of Billings. William Clark wrote his name in the rock of Pompey’s pillar. It is the only physical evidence of their journey. A few years ago when they had the bicentennial of Lewis and Clark they built a huge visitor’s center for Pompey’s pillar but apparently it’s only open in the summer. So we had to walk aways to get into the pillar cuz the gate was closed. It was cold and rainy but it still felt good to walk after all this car riding.

Then we headed off on the home stretch. The roads were pretty bad around Butte, there was a lot of snow and cars off the road here and there. It was especially scary when a car would pass us and the slush would splash up on us so that we couldn’t see for awhile….scary!

Right before lookout pass and the Idaho border we stopped at the 50,000 silver dollar bar. As the name implies they have 50,000 silver dollars all over the walls of the bar. It was kinda neat. People donate a dollar and get to put their name and date under it.

We rolled into Moscow Idaho at about 10 pm. It feels so strange to be here. Thank you Dad for a wonderful road trip and for helping get across the country with a baby and a dog!

Mount Rushmore in the daytime

We got up this morning and had to choose between two places to eat, we chose the “All American Restaraunt” where we were served by a strange girl that didn’t seem to friendly but then while waiting for our food she came out and asked to hold Jonah.

Then we headed up to see Mount Rushmore. It was much better in the day time. We did the presidential trail and rented a little recording you could listen to about Mount Rushmore. They carved it mostly using explosives. The artist, Gutzon Borglum, was 60 something when they started working on it and everyone thought he was crazy and didn’t want him to do it. But then they saw how awesome it was and they started to like it. He died a few weeks before the final dedication. They carved from 1927 to 1941 with a few injuries but surprisingly no fatalities…this really surprised me considering the equipment they were using to hang down the rock cliff and they were using explosives…pretty amazing no one died.

They have this really cool entry way as you walk up to Mount Rushmore. The place is set up for LOTS of people, apparently in the summer they get 3 million visitors in 3 months!!! We were glad to be there without any crowds. Plus our hotel was half the price of what they charge in the summer!

Since I had Nick’s camera with me I decided that Mount Rushmore was a good time to bust it out. So I practiced getting the settings right and took a few good shots. It was fun…but I definitely need more practice!

After Mount Rushmore we were on the road again, this time on our way to Pompey’s pillar, the only physical evidence of Lewis and Clarks journey near Billings MT. We made it to Billings and stayed at a Motel 6 where Zoey had her first accident…pretty good considering all the travel and unfamiliar places.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NICK! Sorry I can’t be with you this year but I am thinking of you!

Still having fun!

We visited with Lee and Arlene and their kids Troy and Ashley and Troy’s daughter Catrin this morning. I hadn’t seen Ashley in at least 10 years so it was good to see her. We don’t get together with family much anymore these days so I got a picture to prove that we were all in one place!

Then we hit the road heading for Mount Rushmore! We stopped in Cheyenne where we ate at Silver Mine Subs. We made it this evening and we thought it would be really cool in the dark, but it was kind of hard to see so we stayed in Keystone SD, a tourist town for Mount Rushmore. The whole town was pretty much shut down except two hotels, two restaurants and a handful of gift shops. It was like a ghost town! Even up at Mount Rushmore, which was open until 10pm, there was no one to be seen, so we ignored the no dog signs and Zoey was a priveledged pup to see Mount Rushmore albeit in the dark.

Getting there…..

Our next destination: Denver Colorado to see my Uncle Lee and Aunt Arlene. We ate lunch at a Mexican place called “O’Kelleys”, which seems like an Irish name to me but whatever. On the way to CO. we stopped in Gothenberg NE to see an original Pony Express station. As we got out of the car we could hear church bells ringing, I love church bells. The station reminded me of the homestead cabins we stayed in in Nauvoo.

We made it to Denver and spent the night at Lee and Arlene’s house.

Jonah had been getting a little constipated but that cleared up today.Other than that Jonah has done amazingly well. Zoey has pretty much slept through the whole trip. I am so glad they have both fared well so far!

November 8th…

Nauvoo doesn’t open until 12:30 on Sunday so we slept in. We asked the guy that owns the log cabins for a breakfast recommendation and he recommended “Dotties”. Although he said the atmosphere wasn’t as good as the food. When we walked in it seemed to be a local joint, everyone knew each other. Nauvoo is about half Catholic and half Mormon. Dottie’s was apparently a Catholic hangout as the priest was there drinking his morning coffee with some pals. I’m assuming that’s what they log cabin guy meant by a “bad atmosphere”…he must be mormon.

We stopped at the rebuilt Nauvoo temple and took some pictures. (Right next to it was the Catholic church). Then we headed for Nauvoo. We saw the Mississippi and a ferry that rook the wagons across it, met the new Oxen they got for their summer wagon rides, went to Brigham Young’s home, John Taylor’s home, “cheap boots” shop and the post office. We also saw Joseph’s grave, the red brick store and Joseph’s home (all now owned by the “Community of Christ” or RLDS)

On my Dad’s side, we have a great, great grandma (Ann Cannon) who lived with John Taylor at one point (he was married to her sister) While in the John Taylor home they showed us a crossstitch done by “John Taylor’s sister in law”…so we’re thinking it was probably Ann!

After seeing a little more in Nauvoo, we hit the road again. We made it to the West side of Omaha NE where we checked into, you guessed it, a motel 6.

Road trip!

In order to make the trip more fun, my Dad and I decided to make short goals along the way to make it to different things we wanted to see. Our first destination, Nauvoo IL, and important historic site for the LDS church.

We made it to Carthage (the jail where Joseph Smith was shot and killed by a mob) by about 2 pm this afternoon. We watched the video and took the tour of the jail. In the room where Joseph Smith was shot they play this tape and you can just picture the mob coming up those stairs and Joseph falling out the window, it is very sobering. They still have the original door with the bullet holes in it. The jail was turned into a home later and the new owners replaced the piece of the door where the lock was shot. But when the church bought it back, they found the old piece of the door that was replaced in a toolbox so they put it back.

Then we headed over to Nauvoo, where they have reenactments of what it was like when Joseph Smith and crew lived there (abt 1840). We checked out the brick making, Browning guns and the blacksmith. At brickmaking we learned that they called it “hacking” when they would have to go out and turn over all the bricks again and again as they dried so they wouldn’t get soggy on one side and fall apart. They thing this is where the term “can’t hack it” comes from.

At browning gun we saw how they used to make guns and some of the original Browning guns, one of which was the first machine gun. That was pretty neat.

At the blacksmith we learned how they made wagon wheels and horseshoes. We met Brother Dayley who was from Burley ID and knew my Dad’s uncle. He and his wife invited us to dinner, they seemed nice enough so we went! We had hot wings and salad and it was great! The people who “work” at Nauvoo like the Dayley’s are senior missionaries, they were all so nice.

After dinner we went to the play that the senior missionaries put on called “rendezvous”. It was cute to see all these old people singing and acting. I smiled the whole time. They sang a song about leaving Nauvoo “willingly, because we have to!”

We were going to get on the road tonight but we decided there was more that we wanted to see and we found an awesome place to stay for the night. It’s called Nauvoo log cabins. This guy finds old homestead cabins all over the country and brings them to Nauvoo where he restores them and rents them out. They were so cute! The decor inside each of them was so creative. Much better than Motel 6!

Hit the road!

My Dad flew in to the Dulles airport last night to begin our journey across the country. We drove to Frederick and stayed at a Motel 6 (they always take pets with no fee!) In the morning we ate at Einstein bagels and stopped at a Chevy place that had a Corvette ZR1, which apparently is very cool so my Dad had to go see it. Then we were off, or so we thought. The car had a shake to it so we decided to stop in Hagerstown MD and have the tires checked. They balanced them and THEN we were on our way.

We stopped in Somerset PA to see an antique store. We also ate at Wendy’s and met a crazy old man who seemed to think it was ok to ask complete strangers personal questions from across the restaurant so that everyone could listen in. It takes all types I suppose!

After making all of our morning stops, we finally got serious and drove late into the evening and made it to Crawfordsville Indiana where we stayed at another motel 6.