Thursday, June 21, 2007

Day Three of our Eastward Trek--June 17th

Sunday morning, we needed to check out of our Kamping Kabin by 11 a.m. After enjoying a bit of a lazy morning--I blogged while Jeff slept--we finally got really moving around 9:30. We checked out with 10 whole minutes to spare!! :-)

Our next destination was Casper, WY. A good friend of mine from Cottey lives there. I had made plans with Molly for Jeff and I to arrive around 3:30 or 4, and it was only 2 hours from our campsite, so we had some time to spare.

We visited the old WY state penitentiary. We took a self-guided tour, which we were not supposed to do. Their website said, "Free admission, tours $6.00." We interpreted that to mean that you were free to walk around on your own, but if you wanted a docent, you needed to pay the price.

So, we walked around on our own. It was creepy!!

Once we got to the kitchen, we met up with the tour, and were told that we weren't supposed to be back there without a tour guide. Oops! We had gone through the whole place anyway, so we were ready to be done.

Click on the link below to view our pics from the Old Pen.
Old Pen

We were also surprised to find that Martin's Cove was directly in our path to Casper, WY. In case you don't know what Martin's Cove is, it is an LDS historical site. During the migration West, there were two handcart companies that were hit by an early snowstorm--the Willie and Martin handcart companies. Martin's handcart company took shelter in a cove near Devil's Gate, and now you can visit this site. On days other than Sunday, you can even push a handcart on a 5-mile trek. Our visit was on a Sunday, so we were unable to push a handcart, which is probably a good thing, because I'm not sure that we would've made it.

We barely made the 1-mile walk to Devil's Gate and back.

Martin's Cove/Devil's Gate

This historical site is also commemorating the Sun Ranch. At one time, it was over 1 million acres in size. That's huge!! This area also marks where the Mormon, Oregon, California, and Pony Express trails all crossed. I didn't realize that they all took basically the same route.

Walking/driving around this area really made me realize how difficult there journey was. I know that I probably couldn't do it today. Of course, we've been spoiled with modern technology. It also made me realize how beautiful their journey was. Even being stuck in a snowstorm with loved ones dying around you, I'll bet many of the pioneers still revelled in God's marvels and the beauty that they were beholding. There is only so much you can take in when driving 80 mph done the road. Imagine the beauty you experience when walking alongside the mountains.

We also got very philosophical in our little trek to Devil's Gate. We got to thinking about all the beauty that God created in the Earth. Artists throughout time have tried and tried to duplicate, but no work of art can compare to what our Heavenly Father created for us to enjoy.

It was a nice place to spend our Sunday.

We even ran into a couple missionary (Elder & Sister Mellor) that had served a previous mission in Minnesota. I believe they served in Willmar, and I grew up in Alexandria, so we knew some of the same places. It was fun to chat with them for a bit, and we left the Visitor's Center grateful to be members of the church where the world suddenly seems much smaller.

By this time, we were actually running late. We were still about an hour or so from Molly's house. She had specifically given me her phone number, so I could call if we were running late, early, etc. Unfortunately, we had no cell phone signal in all of WY. :-( I think we finally arrived around 4:30.

Molly & Edis have the most beautifully, decorated home! We fell in love with it as soon as we entered. I wish we would've taken some photos, unfortunately, our camera didn't come out once during our short visit. I didn't even get any pics with her and I, but that doesn't mean we didn't fully enjoy our visit with them. I had forgotten what a great storyteller Molly was--and so funny! I think that the four of us pretty much laughed non-stop from the time we got there until bedtime.

We wish we could have stayed longer, but by this time, we were really starting to be ready for our road trip to end, and we knew we still had quite a bit of driving ahead of us.

Here is one last album of Day 3. These are just some pics of the beautiful WY countryside. Some of these were taken before Martin's Cove and some were taken after. The ones before were all taken from the window of the car as we drove along. We actually pulled over for the ones after Martin's Cove. Before this road trip, I never really realized just how beautiful WY was!!

WY Countryside

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