Saturday, September 15, 2007

Days of Miracle and Wonder

I've slipped into an early taste of autumn in an amazing way. Last night, I camped right on the edge of the Mississippi and the temperature was 40 deg. F. when I got up. Didn't climb much past 65 F. all day--simply amazing. The hammer of summer is not done with me yet, however, as in a couple of days we should be up into the mid-80's again. I'll be back on my 4am wake-up schedule for those days.

Many times today the road was hard on the river, meandering, sweeping, gently climbing and descending under a cool blue sky. I stopped in Nauvoo for a while and paid my respects to the home of Joseph Smith. It's a vast Mormon shrine--the whole town, that is. A few conventional Christian denominations struggle for attention with little signs and buildings here and there, but then you come upon the Mormon Temple, a soaring monster of stone towers and glass surrounded by finely pedicured lawns. The old town site where Smith and his clan settled is one giant historical district with all the buildings finely preserved. Here and there, groups of well-groomed families followed tour guides dressed in suits--black with white shirts. As I stood in front of the original cabin, a pair of Canadian geese honked by overhead, bound for the river only a few hundred yards away. The whole place was quiet as a museum, which is what it was, of course, just on a small town-size scale.

Mostly I traveled empty roads and made good time. Tomorrow it's Hannibal and the Mark Twain house! Gotta rock with the master for a bit. He'd probably puke at all the commercialism and certainly write a few scathing stories, but I've got to go anyway, kind of like a Mormon making the hegira to Salt Lake City--or Nauvoo and Palmyra, for that matter.
The mighty river:

A low-key homestead on the water's edge:

My pal, barney:

One cool 'bent in Nauvoo:

Main St. Nauvoo:

The new TEMPLE! in Nauvoo:

An old out-building at Smith's original home:

Be well, one and all, and enjoy the change of seasons.

Recumbent Cyclo-Master signing off from the Great American Outback.


Helen said...

I stood at my window today and watched you heading down Mulholland Street toward the Mormon Nauvoo temple.
I have a suggestion for you. Why don't you take your adventure to Mountain Meadows in Utah? You will find Real History there, as your eyes look upon America's first 9/ can look across the killing field known as Mountain Meadows:
The "Mountain Meadows Massacre" was committed by Mormon Priesthood Leaders on September 11, 1857, when they murderd 120 unarmed men, women and children over the age of 7 on the Fancher/Baker wagon train traveling to California from Arkansas. You might want to pay your respect, where it belongs to those that were murdered, by Mormons that still blindly follow the teachings of Joseph Smith today!
Ask yourself this question where are the well dressed tour guides at that Mormon historical site??

Scott Wayland said...

Hi, Helen: I've read all about that unsavory business. It's too bad that so many groups and movements have bad business in their histories. One has to hardly crack a book to get into the shadows of the Catholic church. Tracing all the Mormon history would indeed be interesting. Unfortunately, I've got to head south, which is what brought me through Nauvoo in the first place. Lots of blind people everywhere, eh? I'm doing my best to keep my eyes open.

Be well.


Helen said...

Hello Scott:
I find it odd that you didn't bother to mention the name of even one book in which you've read all the unsavory business about "Mountain Meadows Massacre".

Also two of your photos posted today were taken by you having to stand in front of the "Nauvoo Christian Visitors Center" that is odd too, since this Center is a real Historic building in Nauvoo, built in 1893.

The Nauvoo temple is not a historic anything! It is a new building built in 2002.

I would agree with your statement "Lots of blind people everywhere, eh?" There are 13 million of them in the Mormon Church today.

Be safe on your journey from one Californian to another...

Grace and Peace,
Helen Hulse

Rebecca said...

Hey Scott...your cousins here in Arizona are enjoying your cycling adventure! As Mormons ourselves, we enjoyed reading about your travels through Nauvoo and seeing the photo of the temple.

The Mountain Meadows Massacre was a terrible crime and it is a shame that the acts of the perpetrators has been generalized onto the entire group, or religion, as a whole.

Matt and Rebecca

Scott Wayland said...

Hey, Matt and Rebecca: Great to hear from you. I hear what you're saying. Hey, you weren't on that raiding party, were you?

I'll be passing through AZ but quite a bit north of Phoenix. I'll be staying in Prescott with my best buddy, Pete.



Rebecca said...

We checked out your travel plans earlier in the blog and figured you weren't going to be very close to Maricopa, AZ as you passed through. We are at least a good 100 miles south of Prescott. Darn, you could have stayed with us. Maybe next time!

KAREN said...

Hey Scottie. So awesome to see your picture and read your blog. Safe travels.