Sunday, June 29, 2008


We left the “loop” we were taking around the Park in order to come down through Yellowstone Park to the south entrance – 23 miles – and on to Jackson Lake which is in the Jackson Hole country. The scenery is very fine with the Tetons looming across the lake. We came through level valleys surrounded by beautifully wooded mountains and along lovely creeks. We went to [Neoran] opposite Mount Moran and here the Snake flows out of Jackson Lake and there is a big dam. There was a little artistic store full of wonderful furs, all made and heads and skins of animals decorated the walls, also chairs made of elk horns, but the chance to fish was poor so we got some bread, eggs, etc., and came back several miles to this beautiful camp at the lake. The men got a boat but caught no fish except for Dad, who fished along the edge and got four copper bellies which are poor eating.

This is our most beautiful camp so far, located among little poplars and lodgepole pines on a gentle slope overlooking the lake with small poplars and sage scattered over it. I had a big sage fire last night.

Now my diary letter is up to date. The men got up early and went fishing along the shore. Irl got one lake trout. That was all the luck they had. They came back for a hasty breakfast, then went again in a boat. We did up the dishes and aired our bedding – badly needed.
[The map at top is from the "Haynes New Guide and Motorists' Complete Road Log of Yellowstone National Park," 1926. The above "Eastern Brook Trout photographed alive, Yellowstone, Park" is from the box of colored postcards.]

Saturday, June 28, 2008


We drove back to town from the farm this morning. Mike had an appointment for a cholesterol check at Rosauer’s at 9:00. We were in town by 8:00 so we shopped at Wal-Mart and then I got groceries at Rosauer’s while Mike had his test.

You know – funny thing about those tests. Mike has tested a little high on his cholesterol for years. Frankly, I think he just carries numbers that are a little high because the only risk factor is his age. Nevertheless, our diet is low in saturated fat and he eats oat bran muffins – the kind without flour. In other words, we made life changes rather than using medication. This diet and what seems like non-stop exercise keeps him thinner than he should be.

Well, early one morning before his shoulder surgery, Mike went to the hospital for a blood test. “Now, have you fasted for 12 hours?” asked the phlebotomist. Mike admitted he’d had dessert at 9:00 the evening prior. “Go away and come back after 9:00,” was the response. She told him that it really messes up those tests if you haven’t fasted for 12 hours. Well, heeding that little piece of info has made a world of difference in Mike’s tests. That test at the hospital was good, but today’s results were the best he’s ever had.

We’ll be in town until tomorrow afternoon. Mike has planned an outing this afternoon while I spend time with a friend. He’ll probably get a bike ride while it’s cool in the morning. We expect to return to the farm tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon. KW

Friday, June 27, 2008


Aaaaah! Country life! Can’t stay awake past 9:30. Up at 5:30 a.m. and out to commune with nature as soon as you’ve breakfasted.

Here’s a photo of Nellie romping through a wheat field. She loves to lope through the fields, her ears flopping high with every jump. But there is a down side to that activity. “Nellie just can’t relax tonight,” I said to Mike. “She’s concerned about something on her body.” We knew what it was and there was no putting it off. Nellie had to be inspected for ticks, and I really hate doing it. Initially I removed four. When she still seemed concerned about the party that was taking place on her hindquarters, Mike and I took her outside and found four more. We decided she needed her tick repellent renewed, so Mike applied that while I removed two more ticks from her person. Someone told me the ticks are prolific this year, and it would certainly seem so to me. Probably no amount of tick repellent will keep her totally free of the ticks, though it will protect her from their attaching.

The hike this morning seemed rather more strenuous than necessary. We skirted around the fields, which was rough going, and then we trekked through rough terrain with fallen trees, hidden rocks, bind weed, and what have you. THEN – we walked from the bottom of our lane to the mailbox on the road. Here's a picture of Mike trudging up Plank's hill. The photo to the right is of "June's field" and the tire ruts are the approximate location of the old road which went past June's house and on down the hill to our house. When June's property was sold in the late 1940s, our present lane was excavated on our side of the property line.

Mike wants to know if anyone can tell him what those loops on the back of his pack are for. He tried using bungy cords to attach the tent vertically, but it flopped around.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Each time I wrote the date on the nine geocaches we logged today I thought of my oldest son, Murray, who turned 45 today. He would have really enjoyed our adventure. I had wanted for a long time to find the caches in the back country between Kooskia and Weippe. So I spent parts of several days mapping the caches and placing waypoints on the map and in the GPSr so we could find our way through the maze of roads in the area. Miraculously it worked beautifully. It wasn’t nearly as confusing as looking at the map. From the map it was impossible to tell the main roads from the glorified trails.

We left the farm about 8:30 this morning and headed for Kamiah. We stopped at a grocery store to pick up a few things, but mainly to replenish Nellie’s dog food. We got our first cache just north of Kamiah and then headed for Kooskia where we logged a couple more. From there we had a beautiful drive back on the Kidder Ridge road which offered magnificent scenery. This road is paved for a quite a distance. We then worked our way through the back country to Weippe picking up caches along the way. We took the old Greer grade up to the Camas Prairie and got back to the farm a little after 4:00 having logged 137 miles – a great day of geocaching and seeing new country. M/W

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Nellie was ecstatic. This morning at 8:10 I put on my visor as Mike slipped into his 32-pound backpack and picked up his hiking poles – sure signs of a hike. And Nellie does love hikes. She made two quick circuits of the yard to express her glee.

Off we went – past the pond and walking the edge of the fields heading south toward Little Canyon. Mike’s pace was slow and steady. I could almost keep up with him.

We continued along the perimeters of the property eventually coming out on Dobson Road. Then we walked out to the “corner” where our mailbox is located and back along the road to our house.

These beautiful yellow sunflowers are in bloom everywhere now. See the house in the background.

We’re close to home now – just one last steep pitch on our lane.

Into the yard at 9:40. We hiked three miles in an hour and a half.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Yesterday I drove two friends (the three of us comprise my Christian Science study group) to a meeting in Richland, WA (Tri-Cities). Our route takes us over the old country roads that wind through rural Washington. That’s just the way it is. We don’t hit the freeway until 13 miles out of Richland. This is not a heavily-trafficked route, but his year we thought we noticed considerably less traffic. Never were we part of a string of cars. There were not cars ahead or cars behind. I passed just one vehicle and one vehicle passed me. No RVs. Was it just our placement in the scheme of things? Or are gas prices keeping folks at home?

While I was gone, Mike rode his motorcycle to Pullman and spent a happy morning there hunting geocaches within the city limits.

Did you travel this weekend? What did you think of the traffic? KW

Friday, June 20, 2008


August 2, 1926 (Monday)
We came on to Yellowstone Lake. We saw Shoshone Lake in the distance and passed Isa Lake, which was full of pond lilies and located on the Continental Divide. They cannot tell which way the waters run but each way apparently. We crossed the Continental Divide three times before reaching Yellowstone Camp. Yellowstone Lake is immense and we meant to lay over till noon but could get no boat so came on to this camp.

[The photo above is identified as Shirley, Bernice, and Lynn at Old Faithful "taken by Vance who got too close to steam of the crater." I don't know if I believe that's Old Faithful. Did they let folks get that close to the crater? They surely don't now. Postcard photo of Yellowstone Lake below.]

Thursday, June 19, 2008


We can’t help it. We’re awake by 5:30 a.m. So we get up and get about our day. Speaking for myself, I’m most productive in the morning. In the afternoon I wish to be left to myself for quiet activities – don’t ask me to do physical work, please. Later in the afternoon I walk Nellie, exercise, and make a simple supper. Mike, however, will cram as much into a summer day as he can and will work as long as there’s daylight. About 8:00 we’ll sit down to watch a little TV. We’re lucky if we can stay awake until 9:30. Yes, we’ve been going to bed while it’s still light – and glad to be there.

Yesterday (Wednesday, 6-18-08), Mike and Ken went into the Blues for wood leaving our house about 7:00 a.m. Nellie was bereft. Her two hunting buddies had gone off in the big old jalopy truck and left her behind. To add insult to injury, I locked her in her kennel and went off to the dentist, effectively breaking her routine of napping on the living room floor all morning. When I let her out at noon, she moped until the men returned at 4:00.

Just before I married Mike I broke a bicuspid which was then capped. Over the ensuing 33 years, this cap has become increasingly problematic. The first time it came out we were leaving for vacation in Arkansas. Subsequently it has come out at other inconvenient times – like just before I was to give a presentation at the museum. Something has to be done, so I have opted for an implant. Yesterday the dentist took impressions of my teeth and the implant process will begin July 8 while Mike, Ken, and Jack are backpacking. (I’ll even go to the dentist to get out of backpacking!) I will have a space where my bicuspid should be for about four months while healing takes place. I will have what the dentist called a “flipper” for use when I don’t want to show a gaping hole. It’s only obvious when I smile. I will be glad to have this whole process behind me.

“Enjoy the rest of your day,” said the dental assistant after making the impressions of my teeth. She had rightly estimated the relief I felt after having suffered through a mouthful of peppermint flavored goo and finding my bicuspid still in place after its removal. I intended to treat myself and did so by going shopping. No – nothing great – just a routine shopping trip. At Wal-Mart I found netting at $.77 per yard that will do nicely for protecting the strawberries at the farm -- provided the plants are still there. Earlier in the week I had priced bird netting and found it expensive. “What are you going to use this for?” asked the sales assistant. When I told her she said, “We hear a lot of that.”

When Mike got home at 4:00 from his day of wood-getting, he said, “I’ll change the oil in the Magnum now.” When I questioned that, he rightly stated that he couldn’t get dirtier. He finished by suppertime and then we did the household chores. So, you see why we can’t stay awake after 9:00.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


August 1, 1926 (Sunday)
I must tell you a joke on us. We were all looking for Fountain Geyser which was to be our first site in Yellowstone Park. We saw a sign called Fountain Road and turned off without parking at a nearby ranger station. Lynn and Irl were ahead and they just beat it along and we came to a small mound and saw steam and decided it was Fountain Geyser, but there ahead were Lynn and Irl so we took after them frantically blowing our horn but they couldn’t hear. I think we chased them at least a mile before catching them, then all came back and looked at the before-mentioned steaming mound. We tried to get the boys to take the car and go back to the ranger station a quarter of a mile away to find out when it would erupt but they wouldn’t do it. So, Shirley and Bernice went and came back laughing. It wasn’t Fountain Geyser at all – only a hot pool.

Our drive from here on into the “lower basin” was full of wonders. Fountain Geyser was a gorgeous pool of hot water – a beautiful blue, another was of wondrous green, and smaller ones around of various shades of blue, green, orange shading to brown pink, lavender, gray, mauve. It is simply indescribable.

This p.m. we saw Excelsior Geyser, Turquoise Pool and Prismatic Lake – all close together. Turquoise Pool was a heavenly blue such as I’ve never seen before about 30 feet across. Excelsior Geyser was in a pit with walls, say 25 feet high. It was as big as the house yard, I’d say, of a deep blue and boiling and splashing up in different places. It was shaded to paler tints at edge and flowed down over a many-colored bluff into the Firehole River. Prismatic Lake had so many colors – blue, green, gold, orange, bronze, brown, pinks, lavenders, wine. No time for more description.

We went on and camped at Old Faithful campground. We saw the geyser spout, got some souvenirs, etc.

[So -- It took five days of travel from Gilbert to the Yellowstone gate. The party will now spend at least a week vacationing between Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The top photo, from the box of postcards, of course, is of Old Faithful at sunrise. The lower is of Excelsior Geyser. I suspect many of their photos did not turn out which must have been disappointing. Ina writes less now that they are at their destination. She was probably too busy sightseeing to write.]

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


August 1, 1926 (Sunday)
We had decided to sleep in a little so got up about 5:30 and were agog for the great entrance to the park. So you have had postcards ever since from there.

Wayside notes:
We find that the tent is priceless, far above rubies, that the feather beds are very comforting – “glad we brot ‘em along.;” that Shirley’s vanity case is the handiest thing on the works and the little Vaseline can in constant demand. The little suitcase is next on the honor roll, holding all the little indispensables of our toilets. The box which started out to hold fry pans and buckets was commandeered the second a.m. to ride the running board and hold extra wraps and parcels and our back seat was much more comfortable ever after. I soon found I could pin my hat onto the wide cloth band in corner of car cover so don’t wear it much. At the desert station called Yale, Shirley put her black tie around my head and I’ve been more respectable ever since.
[The above "colored" post card is one of a set of 50 found amongst the memorabilia of the road trip to Yellowstone. This view depicts the western entrance to Yellowstone Park as it appeared in 1926.]

Monday, June 16, 2008


Ponds Resort (about 40 miles from Yellowstone)
Sunday, August 1, 1926
Dear Girls:
We’re just about ready to leave for the park. It was surely cold last night. We’re getting up so much higher. We had a tube fixed for a tire in Idaho Falls yesterday morning and it was nearly 9:30 when we left. Then we didn’t drive as fast as we had been before and went to see the great Snake River Falls and took off about an hour. But it was well worth it. It was wonderful and picturesque. I’m surely missing you, Shirley Jean. I must stop for lack of room. Wish you were here, Love, Shirley
[The photo above I posted previously. Near the top right you can distinguish the family viewing the spectacular "Snake River Falls." Mike says he thinks they may be located near St. Anthony. He said he went there in the '60s and has a view very much like this one amongst his slides. (Slides -- an obsolete photo medium of questionable use even during the era. Mike's trays are well-organized and I still cringe at the thought of searching for a certain photo.)
And the photo to the right is of my aunt, Ethel Dobson Robinson, and her 6-week-old baby, Shirley Jean Robinson Johnson, lovingly nicknamed S.J. by the family. Aunt Ethel, Aunt Myrtle, and Shirley Jean stayed at the farm while other family took a road trip to Yellowstone. I discovered Shirley Jean was born in June 1925 so was actually a year old in 1926. Note the wonderful wicker rocker in the photo. Aunt Myrtle threw it on the burn pile in the '60s, along with some other wonderful things.]

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Because our raspberry bushes look better than ever before, we decided this year we should protect them from the deer. Our neighbor tells us that any fence will deter the deer. In other words, a fancy fence is not necessary and apparently they aren't assertive toward fences. So this morning we drove some fence stakes and pulled remnants of fencing around the most promising bed. We didn’t have enough fencing for the other bed, so we simply caged the best bushes [see photo right].

This photo of the border on the south side of the house shows an old spyria bush that was at one time Ina's pride and joy. Many family photos were taken with this bush as the backdrop. I believe the poppies are also a remnant of old times. Ina had peonies in the yard but in later years my dad removed them to make mowing easier. Ease of mowing is still a consideration.

Friday, June 13, 2008


I received an email forward relating to a topic we discussed last fall – the clothesline – and setting forth some basic rules:
1. Wash the clothesline before hanging any clothes. [I do that only at the beginning of the season or if I see there is a need.]
2. Be orderly – hang the whites with whites and hang them first. [Who knew? It makes sense to hang the jeans first; it takes them longest to dry.]
3. Hang shirts by the tail – never by the shoulders. [That’s to avoid obvious clothespin marks. I occasionally break this rule when hanging stretchy knits – like pajama tops.]
4. Wash day is Monday. Never wash on the weekend – especially not Sunday. [Some rules are made to be broken.]
5. Hang the sheets and towels on the outside so that your undies are hidden in the middle. [I don’t worry about that here, but I think it’s a good rule if hanging clothes where they can be observed.]
6. Hang clothes out even in winter – clothes will freeze dry. [In winter or rainy weather I move to a wooden rack purchased at Wal-mart and dry clothes by the fire. It’s been my experience that hanging clothes outside on a chilly day just increases my work because they don’t get dry.]
7. Always gather the clothespins when taking down dry clothes because it’s tacky to leave pins on the line. [It’s more than that! Leaving the pins on the line causes them to deteriorate, turn dark, and then leave tracks on your clothes. My mother was specific and strict about this rule.]
8. Be efficient. If possible line the clothes up so that each item shares a pin with the next washed item. [This is to conserve line space as well as clothespins. It’s a good idea unless the day is cool. On a cool day items dry better if fabric isn’t layered.]
9. Clothes should be off the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the clothes basket and ready to be ironed. [On a busy day this rule can be difficult to meet. At any rate, it is not good to leave them out overnight. Birds fly and bugs land.]
10. Ironing – a subject that little affects me.

An all-time important rule not mentioned (whoever wrote these rules wasn’t an expert) is to smooth the clothes as much as possible and make sure there are no tucks or wrinkles. If you don’t iron, the clothes are fairly smooth; if you do iron, it makes your job easier.]

Included in this forward was a lengthy poem setting forth nostalgic ideas about the clothesline, the premise being that neighbors knew a lot about one another when they hung their laundry on clotheslines. For instance, you knew by the laundry:
-- Who had had company – fancy sheets, towels, table linen
-- When the new baby had arrived
-- The ages of any children in the home
-- If someone was sick (extra bed linen, pajamas, robes, etc.)
-- When folks were on vacation (This alone would probably keep some folks from hanging clothes today.)
-- And dingy laundry and haphazard hanging said something about the quality of your housekeeping and hence your character.

It doesn’t mention that neighbors met and visited (gossiped) while hanging out the clothes – and that wasn’t a bad thing. We knew each other better and maybe that gave us better social awareness and social skills. Our modern conveniences – our dryers, air conditioners, televisions, etc.—together with our work schedules -- have shut us away from one another.

[The photos show today's laundry on the line while Mike rests in the welcome sunshine. Maybe you can see the mud under the line. I had to take care to stand on the little tufts of grass in order to hang the clothes. And for Nellie fans, here's a photo of her by the bramble bush.]

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Mike and I went out to dinner at a local eatery the other night. I ordered a “grilled avocado sandwich” priced at $7.45, which I thought was reasonable. When it came, I found a family joke popping to mind: “Is that all I git?” The sandwich (which I thought was tasty, by the way) seemed rather small. It was accompanied only by a pickle slice, which made the plate look even barer. It needed some chips, a bed of lettuce – something – to make the meal look appealing. A friend shared his fries with me; if he hadn't, I would have left the restaurant hungry.

The news is depressing: rising gas and grocery prices. I’m wondering how people – and that means your family -- are coping with the cost of everyday travel and groceries. If you’ve been doing the best you can to economize all along, the task of cutting back even more is daunting. If you're single or if there are just the two of you, maybe it doesn't matter so much. But if you have a growing family, you are surely concerned.

As conservative as we are, Mike and I have always agreed that groceries come first and while we practice economy, we don’t scrimp on our food. (The children may not remember it this way. You know how kids are.) When I was a housewife with little children, I clipped coupons and for several years enjoyed refunding. I considered it a hobby as well as my effort to economize. Making a game of the shopping brought a new dimension of interest to an activity that was otherwise drudgery. When I went to work, I largely gave that up as “not worth my time.” But now that rising grocery prices are evident and I once again have the time, I am watching for coupons, refunds, and rebates. Niece Debbie has tuned me in to what’s available online.

Beyond couponing, there are other things I can do -- if I want to -- that will make a difference. I can forego that expensive side dish mix, those bag salads, snack crackers, chips, and treats. Even if I resolve to buy what I want despite rising costs, the day comes when I rebel. ($1.99 a pound for zucchini? I don’t think so.) I can keep my meal plan simple. I can limit trips to the store, thereby economizing on transportation costs. And here's a "biggy" for me -- make sure food is not wasted.

What do you think? Are rising prices cramping your style? Have you made changes in your shopping and driving habits?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


No kidding! In the middle of the night a ferocious wind came up and it poured rain. The wind continued longer than the rain. Nellie whined at the door until she gained the reassurance of her master that she really should stay in her doghouse. This morning we listened to KRLC for a while and heard that it was snowing on the Palouse. Good thing school is out or Auntie Chris would be teaching until July! It was also spitting a few flakes here at 40 degrees. I spent a little while reading my Great-Grandfather Dickson's diary of 1897 when he lived here on Russell Ridge as a homesteader. It was a cold spring that year, too. He mentioned snow on June 17 -- also significant frosts during the month of June.

We rode the 4-wheeler over to the cemetery yesterday. Mike checked out a cache he has hidden there just to be sure it's dry and okay. It was. I checked out the family monuments. Grandma Lucy's is tipping badly and we will see about repairing it. I also discovered that Aunt Bernice, Uncle Earle's wife, was born in November of 1900, so she was 25 the summer they went to yellowstone. I remember her as old; she died when she was my age now. That storm we could see to the south was suddenly a storm right where we were. We flew back to the farm, stopping occasionally under shelter to wait for Nellie.

The day seemed made for meatloaf, so that's what we're having with sides of broccoli and mashed potatoes and an impossible coconut pie for dessert.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Hello from the homestead! And hello from my new laptop. It took Mike 90 minutes to install the wireless router on the old computer we use here. Then he hit the "Easy Button." I was able to connect immediately -- so I must be getting better at finding my way around the system. Nevertheless, it seems strange to have such technology in this old place. I'm sitting at the diningroom table, just feet from where the old crank phone sat on the wall.

I can surely understand why some of my friends and family have become disenchanted with hunting for this blogspot. There's a fine line between being open to everyone and being open to no one. I thought for a while that I wasn't going to find it myself! Then it said I needed to enable cookies and Java Script. But when I couldn't figure out how to do that, it took pity on me and let me log in anyway.

Anyway, here we are. It was raining in Lewiston when we left. The road seemed dry here but the ground is wet. It was 52 when we pulled in at 10:15 but it's 64 now. Mike is sitting in front of the fire reading Aunt Ethel's history of the Gilbert country.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


I don’t see it anywhere.

It isn’t here either.

Aha! I found it. Nellie helped.

Fake rock – they tried to trick me!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


July 31, 1926 (Saturday)
We passed through Rigby, Lorenzo, Thornton, Rexburg, where they had parking in the middle of the street, a nice small town. Next was St. Anthony’s Falls, where we ate lunch and it developed that Irl was feeling pretty bum with summer flu symptoms. We gave him aspirin and got quinine for him and Vance drove. Here, as we were leaving, the wind blew away two of my hardly written sheets of this letter, so it has made the letter jumbled. There was a fine park here – free, with things to amuse the children and right by the river and falls. The cascades were very pretty and there was a monument to the World War men -- a soldier all equipped stepping forward.

Ashton was the next place of interest for then we stocked up for the park. But that was unnecessary for there are places right along where supplies are to be had. The scenery began to be much finer from here on. Robinson River and Warm River joined at Warm River Station.

We camped this night at Pond’s Resort in the Targhee National Forest. Here we had a nice camp to ourselves among the lodge pole pines and had much merriment about bears coming into camp. There was a dance at the Pond place and Lynn and Vance dressed up and went and had a good time. Dad got up to chase something and I got a shock when I poked my head out under the tent and saw him gleaming whitely among the pines. I told the girls I thought I had seen a polar bear. We had a nice broad shallow river handy, too, here, the Buffalo, and Lynn and Vance got a bath though no swim. This p.m. we stopped and sidetracked to see the big falls on the Snake, a truly wonderful sight. Vance took pictures. Dad had grippe so didn’t take the half mile walk down to where we could see it. There was a rustic inn or lodge there, very nice.
From back of photo: "Snake River Falls about 40 miles from the park. We walked down about 1/2 mile from the road to see them. There was a large, handsome log hunting lodge not 40 rods from where we stood. Party from left to right -- myself, Lynn, Bernice, Irl, and Shirley. Photo by Vance, Saturday, July 31, '26. Dad had an attack of bowel trouble from something he ate so didn't walk down." [No! Really!! Something he ate?!!! How could that be?]

Friday, June 6, 2008


Mike and I have been running into each other frequently here at the computer – the hub of our world, as it were. Since we can’t both sit here at the same time, we bought a laptop in honor of our recent wedding anniversary (33). We picked it up yesterday at Staples. “Donald,” the salesperson, assured us we would have no problem setting up and connecting to the wireless router. Mike set up the router and went for a bike ride, admittedly leaving me to set up the laptop.

Now, I’ve never set up a computer on my own, and it took me hours just to connect with the internet. I refused to call the associate at Staples, opting instead to call Hallie. By the time she could talk to me, I had all the issues resolved but not without weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. (I’m really not without some intuitive ability. I just don’t speak the language – can’t follow the jargon.)

This afternoon when I opened the laptop for another “get acquainted” session, Nellie insisted on going outside. “What’s Nellie doing out there?” Mike asked. “That’s strange; she’s just lying in the tall grass on the hill. It’s like she’s upset about something here in the house and would rather be out there.” Then I remembered her sensitivity to our upsets and frustrations, which she had correctly associated with the laptop. So, I insisted she come back in and observe me at peace with the laptop. I can tell, though, she still thinks it’s the laptop from hell. She might be right.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Postcard, July 31, 1926 (Saturday) – Idaho Falls
Dear Girls and All,
We came from Twin Falls to Idaho Falls yesterday – about 186 miles. Pass through Burley, American Falls, and Pocatello. It was not so hot yesterday, though the country was more or less desert. We are following the Snake mostly. Last night our camp was good – in an auto park, but we had our own fire. Everybody well. Bernice’s cough almost gone. Two punctures to Irl’s tire. Roads are having a lot done to them and are hard on tires. We are still 124 miles from park. Having a good time. Love, Momma

P.S. Am feeling fine.

[You've seen this photo before, but I wanted to share what Ina had written on the back of a duplicate: "Our first camp. Taken in the morning of July 28, '26, at 'Gouge Eye' near Riggins on the Salmon where the Little Salmon runs into it. Note the towels on Irl's car and wash pans on running board. Also the small square black thing against the windshield just under a corner of the top. This was a little old square mirror which Ethel loaned us. Note my grub box seat and the box with the toaster leaning against it is our lunch box and the one by it also rode on the running board and held our extra maps and parcels."]

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


July 30, 1926 (Friday)

We left Twin Falls and passed through Yale, a desert station, where we ate dinner behind the machine shop, rather unpleasant but it saved time, for Irl was having a tube patched. Here Lynn picked up and took along an oldish man who had walked in 8 miles leaving his family and crippled car in the desert road. I think it was this p.m. that Bernice’s old duster was lost off the running board box. We thought sure Dad would see it and pick it up, but later we halted and they came up and Dad said, “Ha! That’s what we passed back there!” He seemed quite pleased to have identified the object and we all laughed at him for not doing what we expected. Well, Bernice didn’t care so much and we were glad she didn’t. We were going through desert country mostly that day, it seemed to me, I mean sage country and our next place of interest was American Falls, which are so choked by a gigantic dam as to be spoiled. The great dam was worth seeing being about ¼ mile long but the town most uninteresting. It had been moved some distance from the former site and the trees were all very young.

Pocatello was our next point and is quite a place. Here Dad and I got tinted glasses. It is quite a place, but we were not interested. We passed Fort Hall where the Indian training school was located and met a good many prosperous-looking Indians. Blackfoot doesn’t look much like it did when we passed through it years ago, but the country was pretty and roads good though we got another flat tire. We passed through Firth and Shelley, then into Idaho Falls, which is a nice big town and we were in a public camp at 25 cents. There seemed to be hundreds of cars there, but we got off to ourselves where there was no table, and a girl came over and told us we could have theirs as they were through, but it was a doubtful comfort for it was too high and small. After we were in bed a car rolled in and the people just cranked and the woman said all she wanted was to go to sleep and didn’t care if she never woke up again. The man said she’d better jump over the falls and get out of her misery. In the a.m., we found 3 cars had pulled in close to us and the rough man had to hold up a quilt while his wife dressed. [To be continued . . . ]

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


We awoke to a chilly (54) and unsettled-looking spring day. We took our time packing and loading the Dakota. Mike checked on our trees, all of which are evidently enjoying this spell of cool, wet weather. We left the farm about 9:30 and came back Hwy 95 so that we could stop at Winchester State Park and pick up a few geocaches. The first one was easy -- right at a parking area -- but from there we hiked a mile on a trail to an interesting spot where a huge granite boulder is located. The dogs so enjoyed the outing. If we walked two miles, Nellie must have run five. It began to rain as we hiked back to the pick-up. The last geocache was on the other side of the lake. By the time we parked it was raining in earnest, so Mike hiked the .3 miles to that site by himself while the rest of us waited. (He wore the rain poncho he traded out of a geocache.)

We took Duke to his house. He seemed pleased to be home, we thought. His master will arrive tonight. Coming on to our house, I was surprised to see my beans and zucchini are up and our gardens blooming. [Somehow this photo just doesn't do it justice.]

When we travel with Duke and Nellie, we don't have room for two kennels. As a rule, Duke rides in his kennel and Nellie rides along on a blanket or pillow, though she also prefers to be confined. When Mike opened the pick-up for them after our hike, Nellie hopped into the kennel and refused to get out, so Mike let her ride there and Duke rode on the blanket. Here's a photo taken this afternoon of one very tired Nellie.

Monday, June 2, 2008


“Are you meddling?” asked Mike, as he came upon me once again pouring over the contents of Ina’s old trunk. “Yes,” I said, “and there’s no one left to care.” It’s so pleasant to spend time there in that “east dormer” (over the front porch) – just a wide place at the end of the hall where the old trunk sits along with a bookcase and Grandma’s old overstuffed rocking chair.

Grandma Ina’s old trunk held her important treasures – souvenirs of her childhood and youth, her high school diploma, old letters, photos and portraits, etc. Sometimes on a rainy day, she would let her children look through it as long as they were careful and quiet. My dad never spoke of it much but eventually he moved it from this house to the attic of the Orofino house where we found it after his passing. When we cleaned out the Orofino house, I became the keeper of the trunk at my house in Lewiston. Finally it came full circle back to the homestead at Gilbert.

For a long time I tried to keep everything just as Grandma Ina had had it – these photos in this box, these letters here, more photos over here. I was losing my mind trying to keep everything separated and knew the trunk as well as all her other little stashes (and my dad’s) would now have to be combined into one or I would never be able to make sense of it. “It’s all mine now,” I would tell myself, not with any sense of selfishness (I hope) but because it all had to be organized. For example, today I found another set of photos pertaining to the Yellowstone tour of 1926 – duplicates of those I’m already working with but useful because more carefully identified.

It started raining Saturday night and we’ve had intermittent showers since then. In fact, it poured about 6:00 this morning, so the day’s activities started slowly for us. It was 45 when we got up and in the low 60s mid-afternoon. Mike finally mowed the lawn. I finally finished the laundry. I baked cookies to put some heat in the house – at least, that’s what I said. Yesterday was also chilly and I sat at my sewing machine putting a decorative hem on a receiving blanket for New Baby Warnock as I watched the storms move in and out over Little Canyon. I find it fascinating to watch the clouds. I took a number of photos to share before I realized you are probably enjoying your own cloud formations. KW

Sunday, June 1, 2008


As we prepare to enter Yellowstone National Park 1926, let’s review the IMPORTANT DON’TS:

DON’T leave your camp fire burning.
DON’T throw away pipe ashes, cigar or cigarette stumps without completely extinguishing the sparks.
DON’T build fire in tree mould or near logs or brush.
DON’T build larger fires than necessary.
DON’T leave your camp uncleaned.
DON’T deface anything in the park with your name or initials.
DON’T cut any green timber.
DON’T collect specimens of any kind.
DON’T feed the bears.
DON’T drive on the wrong side of the road.
DON’T run by STOP signs.
DON’T disregard the Red Flag SLOW-UP marker.
DON’T fail to keep to the RIGHT on all turns.
DON’T fail to signal on blind turns.
DON’T park your car on a turn.
DON’T speed.

“The above DON’TS are intended to lighten the burden of the Rangers in keeping the park and traffic through the park in harmony. The Rangers are well informed on the park and on park customs and if called upon for information can render valuable assistance to the traveler.” [From Haynes Guide, The Complete Handbook – Yellowstone National Park, 1926]

I had to chuckle over the "DON'TS" just because over the years we've become so much more succinct in our expression of the rules: Douse your campfire; crush all smokes dead out; no bonfires; clean your camp before leaving; etc. However, "DON'T feed the bears" remains "DON'T feed the bears" to this day. Keep that one in mind. You'll need it later.