At the west end of Parley Street, the early Saints waited with their loaded wagons to cross the river in very cold February weather in 1846. Only one wagon could cross at a time because the barge was very small. Later, the river froze so wagons could cross more quickly.
This street from the Seventies Hall to the river used to be called the "Trail of Tears" for very good reasons. President Hinckley asked that the name be changed to "Trail of Hope". Of course, there were tears when the Saints were forced to leave, but they left with faith and courage and HOPE!
There are 29 reader boards but here are just a few:
During the summer, the Young Performing Missionaries do a "Trail of Hope" performance several nights a week, where they take groups of guests along the trail after dark and tell other stories (as if they were the person in the journal) and sing songs by lantern light. It is VERY powerful. Again, here are just a few.
At the end of the trail there is a kiosk with the names of all the people who began the journey west but died along the way.
There is also a statue of Joseph and Brigham looking out across the Mississippi River toward the west.
As we load our wagon (car) and prepare to leave Nauvoo, I am once again awed by those faithful, courageous Saints who suffered and sacrificed to make the blessings of the restored gospel a reality for us. We are not required to suffer as they did, but we have our own sacrifices to make. I pray that we will all be willing to stand up for what we believe and when we meet those wonderful people again - maybe they will be proud of us too.
As we take a final look back at Nauvoo we say, "Farewell Nauvoo - you are etched into our hearts forever".