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Nauvoo to Moline

June 25, 2013

Illinois – Tuesday, June 18

After we left the campground and Nauvoo State Park, we headed for the historic town of Nauvoo itself. This town was one of the early headquarters for the Mormon people and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They created a very organized town and many of the old brick buildings are the same as they were from back in those days. The streets are wide for walking or driving through, and there are also horse-drawn carts for people who prefer not to walk. The old town covers a surprisingly large area. There were lots of people dressed as they were back in the day, and it was fun to just wander up and down the streets and past all the old shops. I don’t know much about the Mormon people, other than some of their practices, such as polygamy, made them seem somewhat peculiar to outsiders, and that led to a lot of legal and political tensions among other people in the areas they tried to settle in. The Smith brothers (or one of them at least) was considered the prophet, but one day they set off back east with their horses to face some legal charges and ended up being killed by angry mobs, which led to some confusion as far as leadership succession, and that’s where Brigham Young stepped in. Although they continued to live in Nauvoo for a while, Brigham Young eventually led the faithful out to Utah.

There is a huge Mormon temple in the other part of town that dominates the skyline. It didn’t really look as though it fit in with the rest of town, which has clearly been around a very long time, and I read a little history about it. The temple had originally been built in 1846, but was then burned down by arsonists a few years later. From my understanding it wasn’t rebuilt until around 2002, in the exact same place, and I don’t know why there was such a gap of time. Altogether I walked about 3 miles in Nauvoo, and then found a fun old-style cafe where I had a late breakfast for lunch. I did some walking in the other part of town too.

Then I headed north out of Nauvoo through the Illinois countryside. I saw quite a few trains as I drove along, and there were about 3 long trains that I saw within about 1/2 hour that were all hauling what appeared to be containers that semi-trucks would later haul. It looked like they could simply be unloaded and hooked up to a truck and continue on to its destination. But these containers were stacked 2 high, and there had to be at least 150 per train, which is way more efficient than having another 150 trucks and drivers out on the road! Of course they could have been containers destined for ships too, but they were about the size that semis would haul. And then I got stopped at another train crossing, and I could see through the little slats in the train cars that it was hauling cars and pick-up trucks – either 3 pick-ups or 5 cars were in each train car. Again, a nice efficient way to transport large quantities of vehicles!

It was another hot day out, and I stopped in the town of Monmouth for some more walking. Tula only did a mile with me, and then I did another 3+ miles while she waited in the comfort of the van. It was another good town for walking – a nice Main Street area, old tidy neighborhoods and Monmouth College, which was also pretty to walk through. I saw several old signs saying Monmouth was the birthplace of Wyatt Earp, and there was supposedly a small museum, but all I ever saw was old wood fencing with some rundown things inside.

Since I had made 2 donations today, I didn’t make one today, so overall it was kind of a quiet day. I drove on to Moline, where I stayed in a really nice Motel 6 – yes, they do exist! It used to be a Quality Inn, so I had a nice spacious Quality Inn-like room at Motel 6 prices, and no charge for Tula.

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