After a glorious week at the Provo MTC, we finished packing up our car and headed for our mission on Monday, July 27, 2015. We drove from Orem up to I-80 and traveled on I-80 all the way to New York.
After a day through the deserts of Wyoming, we spent three days traveling through Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. Our most common sight? Cornfields:
Our first detour of the trip was to attend a session in the Winter Quarters Temple, located in current-day Omaha, Nebraska:
We visited the old Winter Quarters Cemetery, where 314 people are buried, located behind the temple. Most of those who died in Winter Quarters were children under the age of 5.
The temple has beautiful stained-glass windows:
We posed in front of the iconic sculpture of pioneers weathering the storms of the long trek west:
Beverly took pictures of the monuments and then posted them on Instagram for our family to see, as shown here:
This painting shows the snow-covered city of Winter Quarters (we were surprised how many cabins were built there):
We went across the street from the temple and the cemetery to visit the "Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters." We posed by the statue of pioneers pulling a handcart, located on the Mormon Trail Center grounds:
The Center has many wonderful displays and videos that explain the Mormon exodus to the west. This is a photo of an oxen-pulled covered wagon like those used by many of the pioneers:
Our next side tour was the Chicago Temple, located in Glenview, Illinois:
In Ohio, we visited the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which preserves the rural landscape along the Cuyahoga River between Akron and Cleveland in Northeast Ohio. I-80 runs right through the park and crosses the Cuyahoga River here:
Beverly stands on the popular Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, along which walkers, runners, and bikers enjoy the beautiful scenery:
Our final side trip was the Penn State University and its beautiful, sprawling campus located amidst the farmlands of Pennsylvania. This is the famous statue of the Nittany Lion (which is really a Cougar, for you BYU fans):
This was our first glimpse of New York City from the New Jersey side of the Hudson River, just before we crossed into New York City:
Crossing the George Washington Bridge into New York:
On Friday, July 31, 2015, we finally made it to our apartment building in Yonkers (north of New York City), after our five-day trip:
It was an enjoyable trip, but we were thrilled to be in New York and to start our service as missionaries there.