Thursday, October 13, 2016

General Conference & Utah Tour

Another yearly trip to Utah for General Conference.  This year we planned to spend a few extra days in Utah to go to southern Utah to see some of the sights.  We've never done that so why not?  I'm not teaching seminary and we don't have to be home at any specific time.  Andrew came with us and he was able to see and visit some of the families and people form his mission.  These pics are not in chronological order so bear with me if I skip around.
On Tuesday morning we headed north and stopped at Cove Fort.  This was a place that Ira Hinckley was asked to set up and live in.  It was a way station for weary travelers as well as a look out for hostile natives.  It was most interesting and I loved the tour.  Don't drive past.  Take the time and stop.
 Kent and Karen Hugh, former temple president and matron in St. Paul, live in Cedar City.  We called them a few weeks before our trip to ask what we absolutely needed to see.  He said he would take us on a personal tour.  That's exactly what we got.  It was incredible.  This is at Kolob National Park.
General Conference is always fun.  It is great to sit in the Conference Center and feel the Spirit.  We saw these two on Sunday afternoon.
Saturday morning was the first session we had tickets for.  I took an extra ticket for Tatelyn.  I think she had a good time with us.  
The first stop on the Hugh's tour with us was in some little town where there is this statue commemorating the "quilt walk."  Look it up and find out what it was.  It is an incredible story of how the Lord helped those who help themselves.
With this handsome face at Cove Fort.  We were standing up on the wall surrounding the fort.
On our way south on Sunday night, I captured this view.  I love how the light makes different colors on the clouds.
Sunday morning was spent with this pair of wonderful people.  President Howard and Sister Marge Sharp.  They were the Mission President in the California San Bernardino mission back in 1980.  Two years ago he assisted my husband in setting Andrew apart as a missionary.  We forgot to take a picture then so we re-created it.  They always have such wonderful stories.  They both have a great sense of humor.  I love them to pieces!
Can you believe I have never seen a palm tree in real life?  Not that I can remember.  I've never spent any time in the desert so how would that have been possible?  This is in front of the St. George temple.
This is Bryce Canyon.  All the rock formations are called Hoodoos.  Absolutely breathtaking.  I only wish the day had been warmer so we could've walked along some of the paths along the canyon rim.
The St. George temple.  It is the oldest functioning temple on the earth.  We were able to go do a session on Tuesday morning.  Very beautiful!
More hoodoos.  I love this amazing man who decided we should take this vacation.
Of all the beauty we were able to experience in Utah, we came home and this was the view from my car window as we were driving down highway 29 only minutes from our home.  There is so much diversity on this beautiful earth.  God certainly made something for everyone!

Lake Superior Tour

Just after our stake conference where my sweetie was released as the Stake President, we left on a vacation around Lake Superior.  It was supposed to be on a motorcycle but we took the car instead. I'm so glad we went by car.  We camped all but one night which was great!  We saved a bunch on hotels.  We have seen a lot of the attractions and done several tours along the southern border of the lake so now it was time to go see the Canadian side.
Our first stop was in Grand Marais, MI.  We walked along the lake shore and saw all these beautiful, colorful stones.  We picked up a few handfuls to bring them back for Michael Munk who collects rocks.  By the way, he loved them.
 The water was as cold as I remember it.  But the shoreline was so beautiful.
 While in Sault Ste. Marie we did a couple tours.  We went on the Soo Locks tour.  It was fun and I was glad I wore a jacket.  Even with the sun shining, the breeze was cool.  It was nice to be on the water.  We saw a lot of sites along the St. Mary's river.
While in Thunder Bay, we toured Fort William.  It was a fort designed for trading with the natives. Here's Pat with one of the canons.  It was sort of like being in Nauvoo where the people are dressed in the attire of the day.  The difference was that these were actors and they were in character.  That was fun!  There was so much to see at the fort but we only spent a few hours.  Being off summer hours not everything was open either.
In Thunder Bay you can see the Sleeping Giant.  In fact we stayed in the Sleeping Giant Park.  If you know what to look for, you can see him sleeping just beyond our campsite.
After dinner we went to Thunder Bay Lookout.  This was a place built out over the cliff so you could see how far down the lake was and see the cliffs.  Most of it was made with wooden planks.  The last few feet was with steel lats.  For some reason, I couldn't make myself walk out onto those.  I suppose because you can see through them more clearly.  I don't know.  I just freaked myself out about it.
Just a shot of the lake in the background.  Most of the  lake was not visible as we traveled around the north.  Still there were some beautiful vistas.
Back in Sault we toured an old ship.  There was a lot to see and experience like the living conditions aboard ship as well as some other artifacts.
One of those artifacts was this life boat that was on the Edmund Fitzgerald when it went down in Lake Superior.  It was found floating in the water the day after.  Both of the life boats found were severely damaged.
 This is the bridge to Canada.  
 The doors on the Canadian lock closed and the water draining.  
We found a cat hanging out in one of the homes in Fort William.  It was very friendly.  We had to have a photo for Tom.

We had a wonderful time being together.  Most of the time we didn't have any cell signal and no WiFi so it really was like being in solitude.  If I were to recommend to anyone else, I would say go from Thunder Bay over to Sault Ste. Marie.  Skip the northern route as there isn't a lot to see other than lots and lots and lots of trees.