Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Road Trip 2013: Mid-point Update

We're on day 11 of a seventeen-day road trip through Idaho, Oregon, and Washington and I wanted to do a partial update on the people we've met and the things we've seen.  The trip is part family vacation and part research trip for the book I'm working on and it has brought us through national parks, small town archives, several cemeteries and one state penitentiary, and we've still got a week left.  So, here are some photos and notes on where we've been so far...

Day One - Lava Hot springs

Lava Hot Springs is home to several family graves, including Rozilla and Lamoni Tolman, my maternal great grandparents. He was a big time family man, an amature tinker (he built an elevator on the back of his house for his wheelchair-bound grandson-in-law back in the early 40s)

Oel (the Saint in my book project) and Venna had plots in Pocatello, but for some reason they chose to be buried in Lava Hot Springs.  He died falling of the roof of a church building during a routine maintenance check, and she died in a car accident in a snow storm while serving as a missionary in Missouri). 

The hills around Lava Hot Springs remind me a bit of scenes out of The Sound of Music.

We stopped in for dinner with our cousins Patti and Nolyn Johnson (oldest son of the my aunt Joleen and her husband Laverl, the wheelchair-bound grandson-in-law of Lamoni I mentioned earlier). We had chicken enchiladas and got a tour of their farm, and I interviewed Nolyn about his memories of our Grandpa Oel.
This home a few minutes south of Lava Hot Springs was built by Lamoni Tolman sometime in the late 1890s or early 1900s.

This is the clothesline / swing set at the Johnson's home. Patti gave them quite a ride, and the boys had a blast, until our Nolan got stung by a bee.

Day Two - Sugar City, St. Anthony, Yellowstone

We stopped briefly in Sugar City, ID on the way to Yellowstone to see the grave of great great grandma Martha Steele Franklin.  She was from England and born in 1867, and after her Franklin husband died in 1890, she remarried in 1894, joined the LDS church in 1902, and eventually emigrated to Sugar City Idaho.

Day Three - Yellowstone

We spent two full days in Yellowstone.

The boys loved old faithful, and the hike afterward, but Ian and I had to head back earlier than everyone else for a potty break.

After Ian's potty break, I said, "Let's go," and he looked around and said, "So long, suckers!"  Not sure where he got that (older brothers, perhaps?)

Nolan and Callan spent there first night in their own tent.  We were all a little worried about bears.

Day Four - Yellowstone

Eggs, sausage, and hashbrowns are good, but so much better in the woods.

Our last evening in the park we took a tour of Old Fort Yellowstone, saw some elk eating grass around the old barracks, and the the boys got to help retire the flag.

On the way back to our campsite, right at Grizzly Lake, appropriately, we saw a mama grizzly and three cubs making their way up the hill.

This is how all of us felt by the end of the night.

Our last adventure at Yellowstone was a short hike up to Harlequin Lake...more fear of bears, but the only thing we saw was a rabbit  hiding under a log.

Day Five - Pocatello

We visited the old Pocatello 8th ward chapel building where my mom went to church as a child. Grandpa Oel was a sheet metal fabricator and he did all the copper work on the spire in the background.

Grandma Franklin suggested we stop and play on the Lava Rocks at Ross Park in Pocatello--a place she used to place at as a child.  We also caught a few minutes of a concert going on. The conductor of the orchestra turned out to be one of Oel Hess's scouts nearly sixty years ago.

day Six - Crater's of the Moon

On our way to craters of the moon, we stopped at this old power plant that is now a museum.  Oel Hess did sheet metal work here as well.

I don't think I've ever had reason to take pictures of duct work before, but as Grandpa Hess would have been intimately familiar with every angle of that ductwork, it seemed appropriate to snap a photo.

It really looks like the surface of the moon!

We explored three caves and hiked a few miles and drank lots of water and we appreciated the 85 degree weather and the constant breeze.

Day Seven - Burley

We stopped for dinner at Joleen Johnson's house (Oel's oldest daughter).  These photos are of Joleen's daughter Norel giving the boys tractor rides.

Day Eight and Nine - Boise

In Boise, our primary stop was the old Idaho State Penitentiary, where my grandfather Franklin spent six months on an embezzlement charge in 1960.

This is Ed Franklin's cell block.
They wouldn't let us go up to the second level to take pictures of his cell, so I put Callan on my shoulders to get these shots, and it didn't work so well.

Then we spent an hour canoeing on Quinns Pond in Boise. The boys' first time in a boat.

Day Ten - Drive to Portland

This is how we all felt after so much time in the car.

The Columbia River gorge is beautiful. We stopped at Multnomah Falls for a break, and then made it to Misha's by 5pm.

Day Eleven - Portland

In Oregon, we visited Melissa's grandparents, and then Maggie Joyce and family (recently discovered half-sister of my father...a child from one of Ed Franklin's failed marriages).
We loved meeting the new family, and got some great stories to share.

On Saturday night with Misha and Chad we bbq'd and roasted marshmallows!  So much fun.  Then we all slipped into sugar comas for the rest of the night!

And that brings us to today, Sunday. The boys were all up by 6:30 AM, which means for the past hour and a half we've been playing the "how do you keep three boys quiet in an unfamiliar home" game.  It's nearly 8 AM and Callan is reading a book by the window, Nolan is playing with a puzzle on the table, Ian is watching a video online, and Melissa is trying to stay asleep on the air matress. I am hearing the foot falls of morning upstairs, which means the whole house is finally awake, and we're planning a fun breakfast.  In the next week we will visit an Aunt and Uncle in Lincoln City and a sister in Seattle, catch a Mariners game, and spend a whole lot more time in the car. And then we'll be back home and school will be starting in a matter of weeks.

(I wrote this on Sunday, but you know how it goes....more to come for sure. We're just leaving Lincoln City where we spent the night at David and Joi's on the coast (David is Oel's third child, and the he and Joi are the aunt and uncle I have know best)  Now we're off to Seattle to see Sherri and then we'll be turning our headlights southeast towards Utah by the weekend!)