Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We've Lost Our Census

Saturday, June 5th was our last night in Salt Lake City after a very busy and stressful two weeks of researching and a bit of fun. As we packed for the trip home, a beautiful fireworks display erupted over the city and was visible from our 9th floor room. We just knew it was in our honor; Utah was glad we had come or were thrilled that we were leaving- either way the show was surely in our honor! Little did the presenters know that we were totally exhausted, having spent a hard 130 hours plus at the Family History Library. Nerves were frazzled, stomachs upset, eyes almost gone blind, tempers flared, and the "girls" had vowed not to make the trip again. Next year girl #1 would fly to Salt Lake and girl #2 would bring hubby along and make the trip by motorcycle.(Where would I put all the junk and copies that I travel with?) Well, maybe the fireworks weren't for us after all but a beautiful thought and display just the same.

Sunday morning came and it was time to gather ourselves, all our stuff and trappings for the trip home. We had accumulated a three and a half foot tall stack of library copies, several hundred scanned to flash drive documents plus some new books and gifts for the family which we had purchased at the new Deseret Book Store. All in all we had added a couple hundred more pounds of freight to the mix. Girl one fretted and watched as I, girl two, got Lit'l Red stuffed full. We even had room left over according to my calculations and could have made another quick round at the copy machines in the library to fill in the voids! Two hours of hauling and packing the car and we were off and heading out of the parking garage. We would quickly head for State Street and then directly onto the interstate going east. Hitting the first stop light, we remarked there sure were a lot of unsavory looking people hanging around and laying around on the sidewalks- all on a Sunday morning. Turn right, more people. Once again we determined that we were surely being honored with a grand send off and goodbye. Our hopes were dashed as we realized we were not guests of honor but intruders in a staging area for the Utah Pride parade! We tried to hail a motorcycle cop for directions out of the barred area but were ignored as he sped on by, sadly we didn't even glean a second look. Girl #1 made the decision to turn left at that time, right into the area where all the horses and riders were staging their set ups for the parade. Lit'l Red was not on the welcome list there. Getting through the horses and riders and going around several more blocks finally brought us to the I-80 interchange and we were finally able to "get out of Dodge!" (Note to us: pack balloons, masking tape and an electric sign for next year, we don't want to miss the next opportunity to star in a parade and get some free advertising for the You Go Girls.)

The first exciting stop on the way home was a rest stop only a few miles down the road. All the excitement had precluded us from making very many miles. It was shaping up to be a long day indeed. The rest stop was not the usual fairly well kept up type, but one with an infestation of prairie dogs right under foot. They made us think of the occasional "winter" mouse that might move into the garage, but these were "mice" on steroids so we made it a short stop, not wanting to be wisked away, down into their burrows and lost to history! Back on the road again and finally and surely heading East. We talked and laughed for six hours across Wyoming. We even began to talk about next years trip back to the Family History Library. The moans, groans, aches, pains and flared tempers had already begun to disappear in anticipation of "next time". What could we do without and what we needed to add to our list besides those balloons for the next parade?

Breezing across Wyoming, girl #1, the driver, finally noticed that we were nearly running on empty. Rawlins, Wyoming was just ahead for another stop and much need gasoline fill up and should be just a few short miles ahead. We were to be in Cheyenne, Wyoming around 5 pm and it was now 3:15 pm. Rawlins was a lot further away from Cheyenne than that so we were running late. No Rawlins, no gas station on the horizon. We were now running on fumes and a strange sign appeared that said "Laramie, 26 miles." Okay, so we had missed Rawlins,Wyoming many miles back and it must have been during the 10 miles we were playing "Lit'l Red gets boxed in" with those three nasty semi trucks or during the strategy meeting for next years trip. Just ahead was a small sign that said we could get gas and sustenance if we would exit next- to the only gas station that would be available for miles. We were just hoping it would be open on that Sunday. It was, and we just made it in on our remaining gas fumes! As we pulled up to the pump, a good looking male walked by. Even with our poor eye sight from days of scanning micro film in the library for those ancestors, these Grannies still knew a good looking guy when we saw one. Inside the station while girl #1 was in the powder room that guy came over and introduced himself to me. As he turned to leave, I told him that he was very handsome, patted his behind and he shivered with delight! As we went out the door, he winked his big beautiful eyes, turned up his wrinkled face in a big grin, and "FROG", the Bulldog, was heard to say: "You Go Girls--- you made my day!"

We stayed overnight in Cheyenne, Wyoming and completed the trip on home to western Nebraska on Monday morning. After a meet and greet with hugs and kisses around from my own two dogs, we had anticipated a quiet day of relaxation after the nearly 1600 mile trip. Girl #1 was going to complete the trip on home to North Platte, Nebraska the next day after a short visit once again to the final resting place of her husband and my brother. Those plans of relaxation and early to bed did not work very well when storm clouds starting rolling into the western Nebraska area in the afternoon. We had remarked that morning as we drove from Cheyenne to Alliance that the sky was strange and the low fog bank that stretched for many miles ahead of us was unusual for our area. About 6:30 pm, the storm came up following watches all afternoon. Watches changed to Tornado warnings and city sirens began to blow. The Grannies roped up the dogs and headed to the basement in night clothes. Girl #1 hobbled back up the steps to retrieve her flash drive with info from Salt Lake, just in case, and she knew all her other important files were safe back home in North Platte. The storm hide-out under the steps was full of junk which I had to clean out hurriedly , the dogs wouldn't mind, and we just wanted to get to bed! City streets flooded up over the walk way and into my lawn, roads washed out and girl #1 worried that Lit'l Red would float down the street, when the water reached the underside of her car.We got 2 and 1/2 inches of rain in an hour that night plus more over the late evening. Finally, two and 1/2 hours later after three separate storms passed by, all prompting city tornado sirens, we were able to get settled in for the night. It must have been the anger from all our ancestors that we left behind this time in the Salt Lake Family History Library, still hidden away in the dark recesses of time. We brought many back home with us but sadly many were left behind until the next visit!

Today we are both glad to be home and anxious to sort out all our goodies and get started now with the hard work of sorting our treasures, papers, documents and maybe even a census or two. The real work of all the family mysteries has now begun. After taking the shuttle to the British Isles, the slow boat to Sweden, multiple side trips to the book floor, and hours living in the micro film room we are blessed with information. Girl #1 will be busy for all summer analyzing, sorting and entering her finds, I will not even get to start on mine until later as my husband has vacation coming up and we will be gone camping but at least I can read and study some of my finds. Neither of us got completely through our research notebooks so we have a good start for the next visit. Even if we lived in Salt Lake, the research and stories would never come to an end!

Now it is time for us to once again gather our senses, and think of packing again. Soon we will be off again to Loveland, Colorado for the Family History Expo on June 25and 26th. More genealogy and summer fun. The Grannies will be once again on the go. We hope to meet you there but if you can't attend, we'd love to have you join us as we report on the great classes and fun from Loveland!

You Go Genealogy Girl #2, Cheri

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great trip, despite a few glitches! And giving a cute little bulldog a pat on the behind is a big bonus!



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