Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ollie the Otter Goes on a Dam Tour at Hoover Dam!

Dear readers, please accept my apologies for not keeping you up to date on Ollie and his travel experiences.  I've been battling a problem with my eye, but it seems to be somewhat under control for now.

Ollie and his group of travelers have been busy.

After visiting Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, the group decided to travel to Nevada and take a dam tour...of Hoover Dam.

On the border between the US states of Arizona and Nevada, Hoover Dam (once called Boulder Dam) , is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River.   Dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin Roosevelt, it was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression.  . Its construction was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers, and cost over one hundred lives.  The dam was controversially named in honor of President Herbert Hoover.


Sign Telling About Hoover Dam....Where's Ollie?

Ollie Looking at Hoover Dam

Ollie Thought He MIGHT Want to Go For a Swim...Until He Saw How Far Down it Was!

Ollie & Hoover Dam

"Ollie-Zilla" at Hoover Dam!

Ollie and the group had a great time at Hoover Dam, but they were tired after a long, hot day of sightseeing.  When they got back to the campground, here is how some of the group relaxed:

Kyle & Jimmy Swimming

Kyle Swimming

Jenny Relaxing While Watching Kyle & Jimmy Swim


As you can see, the group had a nice day today.  I wonder what they have planned next, don't you?  Check back here to find out, dear reader!!!

And That's What Sarah Says!!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ollie the Otter at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah!!

Ollie and his fellow travelers really enjoyed seeing the beautiful artwork at St. Ignatius Mission in Montana, but they had more some more things that they wanted to see before starting to head back to Illinois.

Today, we find Ollie and the group at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Mormon pioneers, along with Brigham Young (who was the Church president) arrived in Utah in 1847, Young selected a plot of land and proclaimed, "Here we will build a temple to our God."  The city was then surveyed and the plot of desert ground and block enclosing that location was designated for the temple, and became known as Temple Square.  Temple Square is surrounded by a high wall that was built shortly after the block was designated for the building of the temple.

The square also became the headquarters for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church, popularly known as the "Mormon Church").  The plot of land also includes a tabernacle (prior to the one occupying Temple Square today) and Endowment House, both of which were later torn down. The Salt Lake Tabernacle, home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, was built in 1867 to accommodate the General Conferences of the Church, with a seating capacity of 8,000. Another church building called the Assembly Hall was later built with a seating capacity of 2,000.

Because the church has grown over the years, its headquarters has had to expand as well.   In 1917, an administration building was built on the block east of the temple, to be followed in 1972 by the twenty-eight story LDS Church Office Building, which was, for many years, the tallest building in the state of Utah. The Hotel Utah, another building on this block, was remodeled in 1995 as additional office space and a large film theater and renamed the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. In 2000, the Church purchased the section of Main Street between this block and Temple Square and connected the two blocks with a plaza called the Main Street Plaza. In 2000, the Church completed a new, 21,000 seat Conference Center on the block north of Temple Square.

Temple Square is the most popular tourist attraction in Utah, attracting anywhere from 3 million to 5 million visitors a year. This is more visitors than The Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Park!


Ollie Found a "Welcome to Utah" Sign!! I Think He Had Some Help From Kyle (He's Hiding Behind the Sign!)

Ollie Climbed Up On This Structure to Tell the Group NOT to Climb on Structures!  SILLY OLLIE!!

Today, Temple Square features two visitors' centers, called the North Visitors' Center and the South Visitors' Center.
Ollie In Front of the Temple Square North Visitor Center Sign

The North Visitors' Center was built first and features a replica of The Christus, a statue of Jesus Christ by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen.  The Christus is located in a domed room with large windows, painted with clouds, stars, planets, and other heavenly bodies.  

The visitors' centers and grounds are staffed by sister missionaries and senior missionary couples exclusively; no single male missionaries are called to serve on Temple Square. The sister missionaries serving on Temple Square are called from North America as well as around the world, speaking enough languages to cater to the majority of visitors from around the world.

Jimmy, Gene, Helen, Jenny, Ollie, Jim, & Kyle in Front of The Christus

Sister missionaries come from many different countries, and provide tours and information in their home languages as well as English. Beginning with the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, sisters have been wearing tags with their national flags along with their missionary name tags.

The Group's Sister Missionaries

A Pipe Organ at Temple Square

There are over 135 LDS temples, and Salt Lake Temple is the largest and best-known LDS temple.  It is the sixth temple built by the church overall, and the fourth operating temple built since the Mormon exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois.

The Outside of Salt Lake Temple
 People of the Church mural on the LDS Conference Center roof with inscription:  And this gospel shall be preached unto every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. The Salt Lake Temple appears in reflection.

Helen & Jimmy at Temple Square

Jenny, Ollie, Jim, Jimmy, & Kyle at Temple Square


It sure looks like Ollie and the travelers got to see a lot of religious history at Temple Square.  The architecture of the buildings looked amazing too!  Check back here, dear readers, to see where Ollie and his group are headed to next!!!

And That's What Sarah Says!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ollie the Otter at St. Ignatius Mission in Montana!

After seeing quite a bit of scenery at Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park, the group decided to head on to see more sites.  They stopped at St. Ignatius, Montana to look at the St. Ignatius Mission.

Founded in 1854, the St. Ignatius Mission was founded by Father Pierre-Jean De Smet and Father Adrian Hoecken.  These men were Jesuits.

Local clay was used in forming the bricks for the building and the lumber was cut from nearby foothills.

At one time (from 1875-1900), the building housed a printing press, lumber mill, an agricultural and industrial school for boys; and a boarding school for girls. The cornerstone of the present mission church was laid in 1891.

The printing press, lumber mill, and schools no longer exist, but the church and two smaller historical building are still there.  Today, the church is renowned not for it's  history, or beautiful back-setting of scenery behind the St. Ignatius Mission Church, but by the beautiful murals on the walls and ceiling and by who painted them.

Brother Joseph Carignano, an Italian Jesuit who served the mission as cook and handyman undertook to painting the church with murals of scenes from the Old and New Testaments, as well as paintings of some of the saints. Carignano had no formal training in art and painted in what little spare time he had between his custodial and cooking duties.
Looks Like Someone Caught Gene Resting!

Kyle, Jimmy, Helen & Gene in Front of St. Ignatius Mission

Jenny, Ollie, Kyle, Jimmy, & Jim in Front of St. Ignatius Mission

Interior of St. Ignatius Mission

Interior of St. Ignatius Mission

The Altar at St. Ignatius Mission

Gene, Jimmy, Ollie, & Kyle.  Are They Waiting Until It's Their Turn for Confession?

Ollie & "The Last Supper"

Shh! Ollie is in Confession!

This Picture Tells About Boyd Jensen.  Jensen Painted the Frescoes on the Ceilings of the Church from 1985 to 1991.  He Died 6 years After Completing This Amazing Artwork.

Sign Telling About St. Ignatius Mission

Ollie and the travelers had a nice day touring St. Ignatius Mission.  I'd even venture to say that Ollie feels better after confessing some things in the confessional.  Want to know where Ollie is headed to next?  Find out here, dear readers!!

And That's What Sarah Says!!!