I saw my first Monarch butterfly on the first day of the trip. I have seen them everyday since. Over the past couple of days I’ve seen maybe 50 a day. Today I saw well over 100. They fly across the river east to west and flutter over my boat. Mostly solo but often in pairs and as many as four. Its nice to watch them as I row. Lijun, my wife, says they are probably the ‘super generation’ where these butterflies will make the entire journey from Canada to central Mexico as part of a multigenerational migration. I thought my trip was far.
I pass Nauvoo Illinois. Nauvoo (a ridiculous name) was the headquarters of the new Morman religion in 1839 and the site of their second temple. That is until 1844 when a vigilante mob shot and murdered Joseph Smith, the founder and prophet of Mormonism. In 1846 vigilantes ran the last of Smith’s followers out of town now led by Brigham Young.
A new large temple now stands on the site of the original temple and is the largest building in the area. I could see it from miles away until I took a turn in the river. I don’t the the Mormons have quite forgiven the town for killing a Prophet of God.