Wow…we cannot get over how great this country is, the great amount of history and the fantastic people that we have re-met and newly met that reinvigorate our view of this country and our way of life! I have a lot of photos this time as well (Vicki) and hope to stay away from the verbal bloatage and concentrate on the pics.
3 May was our last day at Hill AFB near Salt Lake City, UT. We went to a great service at the chapel on base in the morning, and then donned our hiking shoes and headed for the Skyline Trail in Ogden. Folks…I burned myself out on this one! Reading about it on trip advisor offered several “opinions,” of difficult to moderate, to “I do this with my kids all of the time.” No problem me thinks…we can do this. So off we went.
The trail was mostly open and arid until we reached the real trail head, and then it turned very nice and shady…but…very vertical as well! We were huffing and puffing and saying “Hi” to all of the folks that were happily making their way back down the trail.
We met some folks on their way back down and they said we only had about another 30 minutes to go! What?? Sucking wind that was not there, but we continued on. The trail did get a bit hectic after this…loose rocks and climbs and steep elevations…but it was all worth it.
After the hike we found a nice little Pub in Ogden that had awesome Pizza (and some pretty good local beer too…in UT…who’d a thunk??)…we needed to carb load after that trip! Then it was back to the Coach, a couple of games of cribbage, then off to bed for an early start in the morning. We can’t say enough about Barb and Steve…the camp hosts here at Hill. Ask me about the Bacon wrapped with pulled pork Jalepeno poppers she brought over the other night!!
We headed out about 0830 after dumping the tanks and all, and had a fantastic trip northwest to Boise. We did take a side trip along the way, and stopped for fuel in Twin Falls, ID. Terri was “reading ahead” (such a teacher’s pet!) and found out that one of the neatest visitors centers and base jumping bridges over the snake river was in Twin Falls! So, after fueling up, we headed south instead of west for a few miles and landed at the visitors center. We parked in the lot and made some sandwiches, then took a stroll.
Enough of that…back on the road. We pulled into Boise early in the afternoon, and I had reservation at the Gowen Air National Guard Base. They only have seven spaces, but it is a nice, quiet base and park located right by the Boise airport…and only $15 per night for full hook-ups.
Tech Tip: After we got settled in, Terri mentioned that it was time to fix the obnoxious noise that is created any time I turn on a turn signal. When we bought this Coach, we were told that the previous owner was hearing impaired to a point, and everything was loud. I’ll tell you what…if you are trying to have a conversation and turn on a turn signal…you will not be having the conversation any longer! Terri got a huge dose first hand, as when we pulled into Gowen, the SP at the gate said we’d have to park in the street to check in at Billeting, because they had construction in the area. So…I turned on the four ways so people would know I was hanging out. I went in to get the electrical box key, and by the time I got back, Terri was stuck to the ceiling from the sound of the flashers. She had been on the IRV-2 Forum the whole time and by the time we got to the site and I headed outside to unhook and get everything set up, she had the issue resolved. Apparently this is not a somewhat common issue in a lot of RV’s..in the opposite, most want it louder. You only need to locate the speaker for the signal, and place a bit of electrical tape over the sounding unit, and poke a whole to the size that will please your ability to ever want to hear again!
After the “Terri Fix” we got in touch with our good friend Nick and his wife Gina. We sponsored Nick when we were at the Air Force Academy in 1986 and he was a senior, or graduating that year. We have kept in touch with them off and on over the years, so it was great to have a plan to catch up with them again. We went to have drinks and pizza at what Nick calls a “Pure Boise” place. We had an awesome time catching up, and hope to catch up more in the future. We asked about what to do in the area, since we would be here for another day, and they recommended the Old Idaho Penitentiary.
We were up…well, lets just say we got up on Tuesday and leave it at that, and headed to the “prison.” What a great piece of history! This place operated from 1870 until 1973 when the “pen” was moved to the south side of Boise. Check them out at http://www.history.idaho.gov
Most of the “work” programs were ended shortly after they were started, as the local populace was upset that the prison labor interfered with local commerce. The wardens were all real upset about this, as this work kept the prisoners more manageable. There is a lot more to this place…dairy barns, cannery, grow houses, max security, “Siberia,” for the really bad dudes, and also a Women’s ward which operated from 1905 until the close in 1973. A “must do” if you are ever in the area.
After we got done with the “Penn” we headed down town to where the “Smurf Turf” lives! Boise State…the blue turf you see on TV during College games and wonder if something is wrong with your high-definition TV! We didn’t tour the turf, but decided we both needed our ears lowered…so we got some hair cuts. Terri normally does mine, but the woman we had cut mine and gave her pointers all along the way. Great stuff…Terri did a great job before the “tips,” so I guess I’ll be getting really good cuts from now on.
Tech Tip…stuff goes wrong: When we got back to the Coach, I opened my side of the closet and the part that connects to the wall to keep it closed stayed with the wall! Not good!! Oh Well, we’ve had this issue before. I have some double sided tape that will keep you pasted to a wall in a hurricane…good tape, and Terri removed all of the old stuff, applied the new stuff, and we “C” clamped it overnight. Works like a champ now. Needs a few minor adjustments, but is all good. Good thing to have someone who can stand up in the closet while it is closed and work on things. Anyone noticed she is quite handy yet??
Up again early today! What a great idea that was. We pulled out again before 0900, not realizing we had a time change going into Oregon. So…we arrived at our destination before noon. The owner of the place just giggled when I mentioned that we forgot the time change. He said said it happens all the time. Just before our RV park, we stopped at a Flying J for fuel. I try to always keep the tanks full when we stop to keep algae from growing in the tanks. If you’ve never been to a real truck stop, do so some time. Their food is AWESOME! Terri got some chicken tenders that must have come from Neanderthal chickens, and I had a Pot Roast sandwich…hmmm…was expecting beef in a bun, but it was the whole works in a bun! Beef, Potatoes (Dan Quayle Spelling), Carrots, Onions, Cheese (Cheese!)….it was awesome!
We got into the park and were all set up before noon. I had some work to do, and Terri was working on our issue from last night…oh, I didn’t mention that?? Nope. Dumb Ron: Here you go…it’s been a while since Dumb Ron appeared, but here we are again. We have not had any leak or water issues in this Coach for a long time (knock on wood! It’s raining right now!!) While I was doing dishes last night (yes…I do have dish pan hands! Proud of them too!!) I just happened to pull the expandable sprayer head out to clean the sink and noted that the connection in the faucet sprayer combo that we had just cleaned two nights ago was spraying water backwards!! Oh Oh! Apparently we got the washer back in not quite right, and the part that sticks in the faucet head was spraying backwards. I immediately opened the doors under the sink, and noted that the whole area was SOAKED!!! Well, after several rolls of paper towel, towels, you name it. We decided we needed to completely remove the carpet that covered everything under the sink. They made this thing right…but carpet under the sink…really!! After we (Terri) got the carpet out, we applied the fan all night. Once we pulled in here, the rest of the carpet was removed, and we headed to “Wally World.” We decided that we would replace the carpet (which was both glued and screwed in) with contact shelf paper (which most people I know of have under their sink! Don’t get me wrong…love the carpeted under sink…but a bit too much. I also picked up some new RV wash and some more Lucas Oil dry wash at Wallys world…and a new bathroom rug.
OK…before we go into the fun we had this afternoon…let me finish off the sink issue. Terri dove back in. I was talking to folks in the park about where to go and what to see as we move North and West. These pics should tell most of the story:
OK…back to earlier today…after Wally World, we took a drive around La Grande, and it is a really nice town. When we had pulled out of the RV park (which is located about 5 miles south of town) I’d noticed a big place with a sign that said Hot Lake Springs on top of the building and saw steam coming from an area of water near the area. Hey…may be one of those gems that we seem to happen into from time to time…yep….it most certainly was!!!
Do this now…go to http://www.hotlakesprings.com and check this place out! The only thing I could do is retype the entire history of this place, but the web site does a much better job. Long story short. This place goes back to the 1800’s and is right on the Oregon Trail. It is a hot springs that is the largest of its kind in the world. It releases 3 million gallons of water a day and fills an 8 acre hot lake…and averages 208 degrees Fahrenheit. Enough water flows from the spring to fill a 90′ X 60′ & 6′ deep pool every day…all of these facts are from the brochure that Lee Manual gave us at the hotel.
If you are anywhere near this area…make sure you stop here!! The history is amazing…and we had no idea what was in store. We entered and were told by the lady at the front desk (no idea she was the owner) said we could take a look around. This place was huge in its hey day, and housed famous folks, up to 1,500 or more per night in the early century. I cannot do it justice…go to the web site. As we were getting ready to leave..the same nice young lady that met us when we came in struck up a conversation with us. She gave us some pointers on where to go in Oregon, and asked if we would like to view a short film on the history of the property…hey, we were offered the $10 per person tour of the grounds earlier and declined, but she was so passionate bout this that we were going to take her up on this…never asked for a dime. What a story! A labor of love and belief in the God Almighty that brought Lee and her husband David Manuel and their family to purchase and restore this iconic piece of America!
But wait…why does the name David Manuel strike a bell?? We always enjoyed the artistry and such of C.M. Russell in Montana…hmmm. It just so happens that Lee’s husband David…is a world renown artist. From Lee’s brochure, David is the “Authorized Sculptor” for Wayne Enterprises…you know who I mean…”The Duke!!!” Also, official sculptor of the United States Marshall’s Bicentennial, among MANY, MANY, MANY others!!! And guess what?? Lee said we needed to go up to his studio to meet him! Uh…really?? Us?? Well, here we go:
He was telling us about the beads that he had formed on the young Joseph shirt sculpt, and mentioned that he spent two days on it, but after research noted that it was not quite right. He said he will scrape that all off tomorrow and start over!! So…where else does he get his inspiration?? He is a collector as well! Lee and David have a museum in the hotel! It was part of the tour that we did not take, but they insisted that we check it out. This was late in the day folks, and David opened the doors for us and Lee turned on the lights. We could have spent days in there!! They have such an awesome collection…WW-I, WW-II, Viet-Nam, Civil War…oh my…I wish I could have taken pictures in the museum for you, but better yet, come and see it for yourself! This rivals any first class museum we have ever been to!!! And they are still adding to it.
I still am getting goose bumps typing this as this was one of those “un-real” experiences we would have never had if we had not ventured on this journey. I am sure there will be many, many more, but Lee and David struck a chord in our hearts and minds. Their labor of love for the Hot Springs, the art, their love of family and God are exemplary! We hope we see them again some time!! Please, check their website. In fact, we were so inspired that we donated some $$ to the place so we can help it continue. All of the windows had been either taken out by the weather or vandalized over the years, so we will now have a window of this iconic piece of america with our names on it…look for it if you ever stay here!
Wheww….a lot of stuff in 4 days! I think I may need to upgrade my WordPress account so I get more media storage. When we got back to the RV park (which is right next to the Hot Springs Hotel by the way,) we took a stroll and ran into some nice folks that gave us some more pointers on where to go and what to see in Oregon. We plan to make it to the Columbia River tomorrow, so wish us luck and we will report more as we find it. I don’t know how much things will compare to how today turned out though!!
As always, we hope this finds you Happy, Healthy, and Living Your Dreams!!