I don’t remember the last time I went to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant. I have been many times to Palmyra and its surrounding area, but to actually see the Pageant has been a very very long time. On a whim, I wanted to go, asked Jeff what he thought. He thought we could do it, so with very little planning, we packed the girls and headed to Palmyra on Friday after Jeff finished his work day.
I hoped we could make it as far as Kirtland, OH which is a nice halfway point to break up the drive. As we drove that evening, we went through some serious thunderstorms. We made it to Kirtland at about 1:00 in the morning. Unfortunately all of the hotels there were sold out. That’s when it occurred to me that possibly all of the other people who were going to the Pageant had the same thought as I did, and spent the night in Kirtland. So we drove on. We checked out a few other hotels on the way, all of which were sold out. We did find one that had one spot left, and it was a suite for $150. We drove on. Finally at 3:00 in the morning I found a Super 8 just before we got to the New York State line that had room for us. We got everyone in bed as quickly as possible, and we slept.
We woke up the next morning and drove on, and arrived in Palmyra at about 12:00 noon. First we went to the E.B. Grandin Building which is historically significant because it is the print shop where the Book of Mormon was first published.
Then we went to the Joseph Smith farm where we toured the log cabin, the frame house, then walked through the barns and finally through the Sacred Grove.
Lastly we went to the Hill Cumorah. We started out in the visitor’s center. We sat down in the foyer, and Rachel fell asleep in my lap. After a while Jeff held Rachel. He was tired too, and needed a break, so Gabi and I climbed to the top of the Hill Cumorah. After we came back down, Rachel woke up, and we all climbed one more time to the top of the Hill Cumorah together.
We waited for darkness to fall, meanwhile the cast members of the Pageant mingled with the audience to welcome us, to take pictures and to proselyte.
At about 9:15 the Pageant began. With the opening trumpet call, I immediately felt tears in my eyes, and I remembered the many times I have heard that music in my youth and childhood. The Pageant has changed significantly since I last saw it, but we all really enjoyed it.
After it was over we drove to Ithaca College. On our way we passed through Trumansburg, which was where my family lived when I was born. I was 3 when we moved away. My sister Luella and her husband Tony are teaching at a string summer camp at Ithaca college, and their sons are participating at the camp. They had an extra dorm room, and they let us crash there. We woke up the next morning and went to church at the Ithaca Ward, which was the ward my family belonged to until I was 11 years old. I saw and spoke with several people I knew when I was a young kid. It was very nostalgic.
Later that afternoon we headed back home. We were pretty tired, so we found a Red Roof Inn shortly after we got past Cleveland. We got up the next morning, and continued on our journey. Again we drove through heavy rain for a while, but we finally made it home a little before 3:00 p.m.