Tennessee-Nauvoo Trek travel blog

We had quite a day in Nauvoo today. We went into the Visitor’s Center early and got tickets for the Wagon Ride for 11:00 a.m. We got tickets for a production in one of the Visitor’s Center theaters called, “High Hopes and River Boats” We also reserved our tickets for “Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo”for Thursday but couldn’t pick them up until Thursday morning. We then went over and put our reservation tags on a couple of chairs for the pageant. It is an interesting process for reservations. You just put a coat or sweatshirt or piece of tape or a tape a reserved tag on an empty chair with the name and date and everyone honors them.

We found what looked like a couple of pretty good chairs and taped our reservations on. Then we went around and looked at several of the buildings. Then it was time to go over to the wagon ride. Unfortunately, when we got there the ride was closed because of the extreme heat. They take really good care of the animals here and when the heat index (combination of heat and humidity) reaches a certain level, they cancel all rides until the next day and let the animals rest in their cooler stables.

When it is really hot, the animals can’t get enough oxygen. Apparently, some of the Amish don’t have the same concerns. We saw them driving their carriages with their horses foaming at the mouth because of the heat.

We did accidently arrive at the right place and time for a concert by the Nauvoo Band from their mobile stage, horse-drawn wagon. We also accidently ended up at the right place and time for a concert by the bagpipers…I thing that there were about 12-15 of them.

We made a note to get to the center tomorrow really early (before 7:00 a.m.) to get early tickets for tomorrow’s ride(s).

We drove down to the end of Parley Road along what is called. “Trail of Hope”. (It used to be called, “Trail of Tears”, but President Hinckley, a while back, asked that it be changed to “Trail of Hope” because of the attitude and hopes of the Saints as they left Nauvoo and crossed the Mississippi River toward the frontier and the Rocky Mountains.

We then went to see “High Hopes and River Boats”. It was a musical comedy from the perspective of the youth of the time. It was super. They really have some talented performance missionaries here. (They audition and then are called for a 3-1/2 mission here at Nauvoo.).

We went “home” and grabbed a bite to eat and then headed back to the visitor’s center for the production of “Sunset on the Mississippi”. It is usually held on an open air stage but because of the extreme heat (both for the performers and the spectators), it was moved to one of the inside theaters. That meant you had to get there early and wait in line because they don’t give out tickets.

We got there a little before 6:00, I think, and waited in line. They open the theater around 6:30. They then entertained us with the Nauvoo Brass Band. This is a group of performing missionary instrumentalists, and they are really good. It made for a really entertaining half-hour with everything from Latter-day Saint specific music to 76 Trombones and a super brass number that I have played in band but can’t remember the name. It featured the trumpets and trombones and they were great.

Then they put on the “Sunset on the Mississippi”. It combines the talents of the performing missionaries, and the senior missionaries. For the most part, It is pretty much an old time vaudeville, productions with a lot of super talent.

We went directly from the “Sunset on the Mississippi” to the location of the pageant. Sure enough, our seats were sitting there waiting for us.

The pageant tells the story of the settling of Nauvoo from the time that the Saints arrived to clear and drain the swamp land, through the development of the town, which became the second largest city in Illinois, to the building of the temple and the martyrdom of the Prophet Smith and his brother Hyrum, and then to the exodus across the river.

The whole thing was really well done and had a nice balance of teaching, humor and emotion. We thoroughly enjoyed it and then wandered back in the dark to the Visitor’s Center parking lot to retrieve our car and head “home”

When we got home, I tried up-dating this journal but the WIFI is from non-existent for the promised campground WIFI to really weak and sketchy from my smart phone because of the poor cell coverage. I finally gave up and decided to write it out and copy and paste. Everyone time I would get some of it done using the internet, it would drop everything and I would have to start all over again. Hopefully, this will work better.

Tomorrow, we will try to get the carriage and wagon rides and some more of the existing and reconstructed houses, and other buildings.

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