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The Tabernacle Choir

Temple Square - September 7, 2017

Years ago my parents stopped in Salt Lake City on their travels and went to a Mormon Tabernacle Choir practise. Mom said "if you never do anything else on your travels, take the time to attend a rehearsal."

Well, for 20 years I've been travelling up and down I-15 and each time I pass through Salt Lake City, I remember my mom's comment - and each time I pass right through. It is evident that unless I plan a trip specifically to visit Temple Square and take in a choir practise, it simply will never happen.

So with my quilting friend Marilynn leading the way off we went - destination "Salt Lake City".

We mapped out a route that would give us some sight seeing and, of course, take us to several quilt shops along the way. For the first part of our trip Row by Row was still underway.

2017 - The Tabernacle Choir Photo Album

September 2 - Calgary to Kalispell, Montana

Whitefish Quilts and Gifts, Whitefish, Montana

Our hotel wasn't ready so we headed to Whitefish Quilts. Marilynn wanted the Jammer Bus because it reminded her of working at Waterton. I bought their license plate. Whitefish Quilts

"Jammers" 100 Years of Service

Many in the current fleet of Red Buses have been in service since the mid-1930s. The Red Buses were the first authorized motor transportation utility in any National Park. In 1936, 18 new buses joined the fleet. The purchase was made from the White Motor Company for a price of $90,000.00. Glacier National Park - Red Bus History

Here are some fast facts about the iconic Red Buses:

The color of the Red Buses comes from the Ripe Mountain Ash Berry in Glacier N.P.
The drivers are called "Jammers" because they could be heard "Jamming" the gears.
The first official "Jammer Manual" was put together by George Ruhle, a Naturalist at Glacier N.P.
The Red Buses received their first automatic transmissions in 1989.
From 1914 through the 1970's all Red Bus drivers were college-aged men, mostly in Pre-Law or Pre-Med.
The first female Red Bus driver in Glacier was in the early 1980's.
On the bottom of the grill of the Red Buses, you can still see the area were the crank start used to be.
Of the 33 buses on the road today, 17 are from 1936, 11 are from 1937, 4 are from 1938 and 1 is from 1939.
The Red Buses, on average, transport 60,000 tourist each summer through Glacier N.P.

Glacier Quilts, Kalispell, Montana

We managed to get to Glacier Quilts before they closed. They didn't have the "voile" that Sally needed. We bought the Row by Row and the license plates. Glacier Quilts

September 3 - Kalispell to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Garnet Ghost Town

Garnet is located in Granite County, Garnet is one of the state's best preserved ghost towns. The town sits at an elevation of about 6,000 feet in the Front Range, but sheltered in a forest. It is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Garnet Preservation Association.

Garnet was named for the semi-precious ruby-colored stone, the first item to be mined there, although gold quickly followed. It wasn't until an abundance of gold was discovered at the Nancy Hanks Mine in 1898 that Garnet became a boomtown with a population of nearly 1,000 people.

Garnet supported numerous saloons, but its family emphasis tempered usual mining camp vices. Hotels typically ranged from 1-3 dollars, and the poor miners who could not afford that price could sleep on the floor in the attic without any windows for a quarter. It is suspected that Garnet even had a brothel, but prices and the exact whereabouts are uncertain. In 1912 nearly half the town burned down and was never rebuilt. Garnet Ghost Town

Quilt Gallery, Kalispell, Montana

We stopped at the Quilt Gallery before heading out of town. They are the only one open on a Sunday. We already had the Row by Row from our visit in July. We had a hard time figuring out what the Row by Row was until we turned it vertical. Surprise! Going to the Sun Road. Marilynn finally found her Purple Thang. Quilt Gallery

Deer Country Quilts, Seeley Lake, Montana

We didn't know if this shop would be open as it was right in the heart of a wildfire. We phoned ahead and found out that they were open for business - at least until such time as they received mandatory evacuation. The ladies in the shop have already been evacuated from their homes and living with friends and relatives. The fire was within two miles of Seeley Lake. I bought the Row by Row and license plates. Marilynn bought some fat quarters to match her hearts quilt. Deer Country Quilts

September 4 - Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Regal Fabrics and Gifts, Spokane, Washington

Unlike other traditional quilt stores, this store was totally into embellishments and hand embroidery. Almost every quilt had some beads, ribbons, bows, plastic and overlays. The store was incredibly artistic. Regal Fabrics

Jingle all the Way Christmas Quilt

I was totally taken by a Christmas quilt by Kimberbell. I bought the book "Jingle all the Way" that has the pattern in it. It also has patterns for table runner, pillow and wall hanging. Full Quilt

Coeur d'Alene Sunset Dinner Cruise

We had a reservation on the Dinner Cruise. We headed to the dock which just mere blocks from our hotel. The cruise was full but the dining room was very spacious. The buffet was excellent.

Once we finished our dinner we went out on the deck for the rest of the cruise. With the heavy smoke in the air, we really were not able to see much. Just a few lights flickering along the shoreline. It was very relaxing - the warm breeze, the slow cruise, the calm waters almost put us to sleep. Really worth the cost.

September 5 - Coeur d'Alene to McCall, Idaho

Bear Paw Quilting & Bernina, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

The rustic setting of this shop with wood trim and antiques matches the Coeur d'Alene mountains and lakes They have a lot batiks and of course Kansas Troubles. We bought the Row by Row and license plates.

Stitches & Pedals, Moscow, Idaho

As the name implies, this shop has fused fabric and flowers. It was a small shop - not a lot fabric but what she did have was really nice. They had two Row by Row for 2016 and 2017. The 2016 Row by Row featured the rolling hills in the area and the 2017 Row by Row was harvesting the wheat. Where we are used to flat crop fields this area farms in the foothills. There were "hills" that I would not have been able to drive on for fear of tipping over. Stitches & Pedals

Not Quite the End of the Road

As of today, officially the 2017 Row by Row is over but we still want to visit the shops and see their Row by Row patterns even though we were unable to get them. I would still be able to buy the license plates and of course, we could always buy fabric.

We were still very much "On the Go".

September 6 - McCall to Layton, Utah

Granny's Attic, McCall, Idaho

We arrived at Granny's too late last evening so unfortunately Row by Row was finished. Nevertheless we went back this morning and visited the store. We were greeted by a purple door and a 10 foot sunflower. This is not a big shop but it certainly has a big story. They host quilting tours all over the world. In two years they will be visiting Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island including Anne of Green Gables. The owner, Lori Wagner, designs and publishes her own quilt patterns. She has lost track of how many but her husband says it's over 90 patterns.

The decor included dozens of traditional Star Blocks - some with the most unique variations we've ever seen. Besides too much fabric, etc., I bought two of her patterns. Marilynn bought Sally some scrap flannel - just as a joke! We only planned on a half hour in McCall this morning, but this store took more than an hour so at 11:00 we headed to the second shop in town - might as well blow the whole morning. Granny's Attic

Huckleberry Patches, McCall, Idaho

This shop has a rustic lodge style - totally different from Granny's. There was outdoor, animal and nature fabric, felt, wool, flannel, and embroidery. I bought a Christmas Panel and matching fabric along with the Row by Row license plate. Marilynn started to buy a "River Journey" panel but realized she already has it at home - well, she thinks. So instead of the panel she bought all the matching fabric. (So, what happens if she doesn't have the panel at home?) 

Stitch n' Snip, Garden Valley, Idaho

We missed our turn completely. Once we reached Horseshoe Bend, we realized we were 15 miles past the highway to Garden Valley. We were so glad we backtracked to get this store. Unfortunately, it was at this store that my "resolve dissolved". I succumbed to temptation and blew the wad. I even registered for a block of the month delivery of flannel appliqué (what??) Vintage Trucks Thru the Year by Buttermilk Basin. Marilynn must have been in shock watching me arrange for an appliqué block of the month. She only bought three fat quarters.

They say on their website "If you need creative inspiration, we have quilting projects displayed in the store". Beware. It's not "creative inspiration". It's a trap! We also bought Sally a kit from SusyBee - Water-Logged. It has a panel surrounded by a whole bunch of half-square triangles. It is a free pattern from the SusyBee Website and would work wonderfully with other panels too. We are sure she'll love it! Stitch n' Snip

Quilt Expressions, Garden City, Idaho

This shop is simply beyond belief. The ladies from Stitch n' Snip directed us here. When you enter your can feel the "energy". We were sure there was every bolt of fabric ever manufactured in this store and room to house every single one. In addition to the most fabulous display of fabric, the store also had six full size longarm machines and all the thread and supplies needed for them including racks of 108" fabric. The Row by Row this year was four toilet stalls and four pairs of fancy shoes! We were really disappointed that we were too late although it wouldn't have mattered if we had been on time because she already sold out. I stood for a long time caressing the fabric in the Kansas Troubles corner. Quilt Expressions

It took some doing, but we finally got ourselves out of Boise and on the highway. After a while we noticed something quite wrong - the sun was setting in the east. There aren't many turnoffs on I-84 so it was several miles before we could get turned around. We waved again at Boise as we passed - heading east this time. Now the sun was at our backs where it should be.

September 7 - Layton, Utah

Wimmer's Sewing & Vacuum, Layton, Utah

This shop did not have much fabric. It was more for longarm supplies and repairs. We were not there long and I even forgot to ask if they had a license plate. This was their first year on Row by Row and their sample was already taken down and they weren't interested in showing it to us. Wimmer's Sewing & Vacuum

Nuttall's Sewing Centers, Layton, Utah

It wasn't hard to get inspired by this shop. I bought a Christmas Panel, matching fabric and some gauze. I keep seeing it at the shops and want to see how it does on the longarm. I also bought their license plates. Marilynn bought some zippers and buttons to cover with fabric. She also found some 108" backing material. They had a 40% discount so we left feeling lucky. Nuttall's Sewing Centers

September 7 - Temple Square - Salt Lake City, Utah

Temple Square is a 10-acre complex, owned by LDS Church. It also includes several other church facilities that are immediately adjacent to Temple Square. Contained within Temple Square are the Salt Lake Temple, Salt Lake Tabernacle, Salt Lake Assembly Hall, the Seagull Monument, the Deuel Cabin and two visitors' centers.

The square was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1964, recognizing the Mormon achievement in the settlement of Utah. National Register of Historic Places

The Salt Lake Temple is the largest and best-known of the LDS Church's operating temples. It is the sixth temple built by the church overall, and the fourth operating temple built following the Mormon exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois.

Temple Square Gardens

The gardens at Temple Square include 250 flower beds, over 165,000 bedding plants, and over 700 varieties of plants from all over the world. The gardens are redesigned every six months and replanted mostly by volunteers and seven full-time supervising gardeners. There is free general public access to all gardens on Temple Square.

Currently, the Church operates four greenhouses away from Temple Square that grow all of the flowers and plants that are needed at the gardens.

The gardening staff and volunteers string more than three hundred thousand Christmas lights along branches of trees and shrubs and around flower beds.

Assembly Hall

Construction of the Assembly Hall began on August 11, 1877. The hall was designed in Victorian Gothic style, which was popular at the time. However, the deceptively Gothic exterior conceals a more modern interior. It has been modified several times since completion. The most comprehensive renovations occurred from 1979 to 1983 to correct structural weaknesses in the building's tower and roof trusses.

Handcart Pioneer Monument

The Mormon handcart pioneers were participants in the migration of members of The LDS Church to Salt Lake City, who used handcarts to transport their belongings. The Mormon handcart movement began in 1856 and continued until 1860.

Motivated to join their fellow church members in Utah, but lacking funds for full teams of oxen or horses, nearly 3,000 Mormon pioneers made the journey to Utah in ten handcart companies. The trek was disastrous for two of the companies, which started their journey dangerously late and were caught by heavy snow and severe temperatures in central Wyoming. Despite a dramatic rescue effort, more than 210 of the 980 pioneers in these two companies died along the way.

The Seagull Monument

In 1848 the Mormon pioneers planted crops for their first spring season in Utah. As the crops ripened, crickets descended upon the farms from the foothills east of the valley. The insects consumed entire fields. According to traditional account, the harvest was saved when prayers were answered by flocks of native seagulls that devoured the crickets.

The Deuel Log Home

The Deuel Log Home is representative of many other cabins built in the early years in the Salt Lake Valley and other settlements throughout the Great Basin. It was constructed in 1847 in the north extension of a pioneer fort, part of a massive building project to provide shelter for the approximately 1,600 people who spent the winter of 1847-48 in the Salt Lake Valley.

Today it has been fully restored and furnished with authentic pioneer artifacts, including a cast-iron stove. It offers excellent insight into the lifestyle of the Mormon pioneers and others who settled parts of the American West.

Christus Statue in North Visitors' Center

The Visitors' Center features a replica of the Christus, a statue of Jesus Christ by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. The Christus, adopted by the leaders of The LDS Church to emphasize the centrality of Jesus Christ in church teachings, is in a domed room with large windows, painted with clouds, stars, planets, and other heavenly bodies.

Family History Library

While waiting for time to head to the choir practice, we went to the Family History Library. I've been a member for Ancestry for years. Marilynn has been researching her family and is already a member of FamilySearch. An assistant helped me register my tree and gave me a lesson on navigating the site. Once my tree was established it populated automatically with data already on record. At this point, it is mostly from my tree in Ancestry. She said that over time, more information will be found and I will get emails.

The Family History Library is open to the public free of charge and is operated by FamilySearch, the genealogical arm of The LDS Church. It is the largest genealogical library in the world. The library holds genealogical records for over 110 countries, territories, and possessions. Its collections include over 2.4 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records; 742,000 microfiche; 310,000 books, serials, and other formats; 4,500 periodicals; and 700 electronic resources.

Showtime! The Tabernacle Choir

By the time we got to the lineup to get into the Assembly Hall where the choir practises, we were totally exhausted. We were standing in line panicking that we would not be able to get in. Once it was announced not to worry, that there was room for everyone, we relaxed and found a place to sit until the doors opened.

The Orchestra

The practice started first with the orchestra and then finished with only the choir. The Orchestra at Temple Square was established in 1999. Each week up to 85 musicians provide instrumental support to the Choir in the weekly broadcast of Music & the Spoken Word. The Orchestra also performs with the Choir in the annual Christmas concert, Pioneer Day celebration and other special events.

It was fascinating to see and hear the conductor. He moved constantly. He must have been exhausted after the rehearsal. Who would think that one had to be physically fit to be a choir leader. Some of his comments (which seemed to be meaningful to someone who can sing) completely escaped me. Although the practise was serious, his comments sometimes brought a chuckle to the audience. It was a perfect balance of seriousness for the choir and entertainment for the audience.

There were 160 choir members at the practise tonight. Just listening to them was spell binding. I couldn't understand all the words but the sound-surround effect was incredible. Listening to 160 people sing as one, I was reminded of a comment from a barbershop quartet practise I once attended. The conductor said he "wanted to hear that fifth voice". I was spell bound. I even phoned Sharon so she could hear it. My parents were absolutely right - it is like nothing I have ever heard before.

Update - December 2020

On October 5, 2018, the choir retired the name "The Mormon Tabernacle Choir" and adopted the name "The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square" in order to align with the direction of LDS Church leadership regarding the use of terms "Mormon" and "LDS" in referencing church members. The new name retains the reference to the historic Salt Lake Tabernacle, which has been the choir's home for over 150 years, and its location on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. Wikipedia

Milestones of The Tabernacle Choir

The choir was founded in August 1847, one month after the Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. Since its establishment, The Choir has performed and recorded extensively around the world.

This 360-member chorus of men and women, all volunteers, has performed at World's Fairs and expositions, at inaugurations of U.S. presidents, in acclaimed concert halls from Australia and Europe to Asia and the Middle East, on television broadcasts, and now on YouTube and Facebook. The Tabernacle Choir

The Salt Lake Temple

By the time we left the choir practise, it was dark. The lights in the square and shopping mall were almost magical. The lights on the Temple at night are amazing.

A perfect end to a perfect day.

September 8 - Layton to Idaho Falls, Idaho

Allen Drug and Variety, Malad City, Idaho

From the outside, we questioned what this shop would look like before we went in but we somehow got "trapped" for at least an hour. I bought two fall panels and yards of material to go with them. Marilynn bought autumn leaves fabric and buttons to cover. Allen Drug and Variety

Daydreams Quilt N Sew, Idaho Falls, Idaho

This is a small shop but it has lots of matching fabric - plenty of choices and a good supply of blender fabric. Their Flamingo Row by Row was made into a lap quilt and really quite cute. I bought two license plates and Marilynn bought three - 9" pieces to make placemats and large print twelve inch ruler. Daydreams Quilt N Sew

Brady's, Idaho Falls, Idaho

This amazing shop housed, pool tables, hot tubs, exercise equipment, medical equipment, vacuums, water softeners, sewing machines, and a corner for fabric. Surprisingly, the fabric was top quality. I bought another Kimberbell book - Sew It by Number: Paper-Piecing Throughout the Year featuring patterns for finished 5", 8" and 9" blocks. I also bought two license plates. Marilynn bought 4 fat quarters for $10.00. Brady's

Porter's, Idaho Falls, Idaho

This shop was more like a Joann or Hobby Lobby. There was a lot of good quality fabric. I bought a license plate and Marilynn bought some receiving blanket flannel (why - she doesn't know). We were running low on sugar so our decision making skills were somewhat impaired. The solution at the till - two packages of gummy bears. Porter's

We had a bit of trouble getting a room for the night. The town was full with college students and their parents arriving. Finally, a manager got involved and found us a room. They brought a hide-a-bed in for us. Not the best situation, but better than continuing on and missing the stores in Idaho Falls. We were happy.

We spent the evening at the Olive Garden first for dinner then then another couple of hours playing on the trivia machine. We even got the wait staff involved with the questions. They had no problem bringing me refills of Cappuccino Coffee.

September 9 - Idaho Falls to Helena, Montana

No. 1 Ladies Quilt Shop, Dillon, Montana

The owner's name is Veva and she uses Veva la Stitchin' on her business card. There was a box of old fashioned Aunt Martha's Iron On Embroidery patterns which haven't been seen since the sixties. There were Sun Bonnet Girls and Denim Dan, flowers and animals. Marilynn bought Sun Bonnet Sue. No. 1 Ladies Quilt Shop

In the Beginning

For some reason I bought three seasonal kits from In the Beginning by Julie Paschkis. I'm not even sure if I like them - I'm just curious. I will have to pick up the winter one later on.





The Upper Thread Embroidery & Fabric Room, Anaconda, Montana

When we first entered the shop we thought we were in the wrong place. It was a clothing store at the front and fabric at the back. They had a pile of panels and Marilynn and I both bought a funky green Witch Panel. I also picked up the license plate. We ran into a lady who had just completed a "peek a boo" quilt that has yo-yos as the center of the star block and small yo-yos as cornerstones It was really quite unique. The Upper Thread

Quilter's Corner Etc., Deer Lodge, Montana

This was an amazing shop. It is in an old corner bank building with marble walls and floors. Formerly the Larabie Bros. Bank, the building is a National Historic Site. It was hard to walk away from this shop without buying a lot. Anything displayed in the store was also available as a kit. I bought an 18" hanger and the license plate. Marilynn bought a pattern for a antique sewing machine. We were curious about the castle on the Row by Row but the mystery was solved as we drove down main street. It actually depicts the old Montana Territory prison in the town. It is now a museum. Quilter's Corner

Montana Territorial and State Prison

The "Old Prison" served as the Montana Territorial Prison from its creation in 1871 until Montana achieved statehood in 1889, then continued as the primary penal institution for the State of Montana until 1979. Throughout the prison's history, the institution was plagued with constant overcrowding, insufficient funds, and antiquated facilities. The administration of Warden Frank Conley from 1890 to 1921 proved the exception to this rule, as Warden Conley instituted extensive inmate labor projects that kept many inmates at work constructing the prison buildings and walls as well as providing various state and community services like road building, logging, and ranching. After Conley left office, the prison experienced almost forty years of degeneration, mismanagement, and monetary restraints until an explosive riot in 1959 captured the attention of the nation.

Led by Jerry Myles and Lee Smart, the riot maintained the prison under inmate control for thirty-six hours before the Montana National Guard stormed the institution to restore order. The facility was retired in September 1979, and the inmates were moved to the current prison. The Old Prison was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Larabie Bros Bank

Marble and mahogany inside and very much dignified outside, this former bank was designed by architect Michael Beezer of Seattle and brought to completion in 1912. It was built for S.E. Larabie, one time partner of Butte copper king W. A. Clark. The firm dissolved in the 1880s, with Larabie continuing to run the Deer Lodge bank. Unable to comply with New Deal banking regulations, it closed in 1933.

Quilt Away, Great Falls Montana - September 9, 2017

One more stop before the final stretch to home. We spent a lot of time in this shop. I've been here many times before, but this was Marilynn's first visit. I bought a Halloween Panel and their license plate. Quilt Away

September 10 - Helena to Calgary
Helena was our last night on the road. The drive home was quite fast and we passed through the border without any problems. I wanted to get home in time to pick up Snoopy so we only stopped briefly in Lethbridge.


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