Sunday, September 28, 2008


Iowa is a place where they had major storms and flooding this year. The little town of Attica is rebuilding and repairing their houses and buildings except for Audrey and her family who are looking for a new home. (See the blog of June 4, 2008.) Some of the corn and soybean crops look good but the corn is six inches tall around the Des Moines River. I wondered why anyone would want to plant a crop this late in the season without a hope that it would grow enough to produce ears of corn but was told that it was planted before the floods and only germinated and grew a few weeks ago.

The wind from this storm blew shingles off my daughter Karol’s roof. On Saturday, her brothers, Mark and Richard, (see picture of three people) came to help her take the old roofing off and put the new roof on. Since Karol’s friend Roger and her son, Ryan, and five other teenaged nephews and friends came to help, Terry decided that he did not need to climb on the roof. He did tune in the satellite dish for her. Everyone was hot and tired when they finished, especially Richard and Mark who worked the night shift on Friday and had not had any sleep.

I got to play with grandchildren Emily and Nathan. Emily had her eleventh birthday last week. Nathan is a six-year-old. I noticed that Nathan stuck out his tongue when he was concentrating on the puzzle.

Yes, Iowa is a place where my grandson and his girlfriend, who are juniors in high school, say that their favorite subject is AG (Agriculture). It is where the teenagers go to their prom in a tractor, four-wheeler or old truck while wearing formal clothes. They also help on the farm and help replace a roof for friends and relatives.

Megan's Bridal Shower

At my niece Megan’s bridal shower, the ladies were discussing the jams, jellies and applesauce they “put up” last week. Clara’s carrot cake and angel food cakes were not made from a box but “ from scratch.” I had a small slice of each and both were superb!

The bride received a beautiful quilt that was sewn by the friend of the family who gave it to Megan. The top picture is of my 4 sisters and 2 sisters-in-law. Back row l to r is Joy, the bride’s mother, Clara Klein who gave the shower, myself, and Angie who is recovering from knee replacement surgery. In the front row are my sister-in-laws, Lora and Marla Hoven. The other pictures are of my sister Joy and her three daughters, McKinzie, Megan, Joy, and Mindy and of the 3 Block sisters. The bride is wearing a red shirt.

I’m glad that we arrived in time to go to the shower and have fun with my women relatives.

Friday, September 26, 2008

1880 TOWN

Remember when I said that I felt like I was on a western movie set when I saw the bison on the plains in Yellowstone? Dances with Wolves movie props are in the round red barn in the 1880 Town in South Dakota. You have a similar atmosphere here as in Barkerville except the only reenactor was the bartender who served bottles of sarsaparilla. (The cold, strong root beer tasted good in the warm weather.) Mary and Jason rented period clothing and asked me to take their picture. I told them that I’d love to put them on my blog. Thanks again Mary and Jason.

Yellowstone National Park

It was so good to see Aunt Bernice again in Bozeman, Montana. Since we saw her two years ago, she has had two sons and her husband die. She is very busy with church, family, friends and her weekly walks of several miles. Her daughter plans a week visit early in October and she will travel with church people to visit family in Michigan later in October. Terry took this picture of us at breakfast even though my hair was still wet.

We left the RV at my aunt’s home and took a one-day trip to Yellowstone National Park to see the usual sights of Old Faithful, the forests, plains, waterfalls and animals. The sun was shinning just right so we saw a rainbow at the bottom of one of the falls. Terry wandered around what he called the “stink pots.” Bison by the hundreds wandered the plains. I felt like I was in the middle of a western movie set. The elk were in their rutting season. This magnificent bull elk was on a knoll in the town of Mammoth Springs. We heard him bugle a challenge to other bull elks. He didn’t have any cow elks beside him. Not far from the edge of town, we saw eleven cows and calves in a stream. Upon closer inspection, a young bull elk was watching his harem and hiding from other bull elks. He did not answer the challenge.

Cassiar Highway Adventures.

We took the Cassiar (Highway 37) in British Columbia hoping to see more black bears and as a more direct way of getting to the USA where diesel was $ 3.99 a gallon instead of $1.42 a liter or over $6 a gallon.

We met interesting people such as the senior mushroomer who showed us his pine and lobster mushrooms. (The orange mushrooms I’m holding are the lobster mushrooms.)
He asked us if we had seen his bicycle that was stolen.

We drove to the end of the road in the green toad. While attempting to turn around in the driveway, we met Zanna Ove who creates “Radiant Indian Health” which is a bi-monthly health booklet of sixteen pages to give to the “natives”. The paintings, which she creates for cover photos, are excellent. She took me into her home, which is pictured, and showed me her work while Terry visited with her husband who showed him the buildings that had been a school. It is a large complex, which included a greenhouse and dormitories for the young people who used to go to school there.

The photo is of a boardwalk at Fish Creek, which was built as a viewing place for bear. Unfortunately, the salmon were few this year. Since bear hunting with a camera wasn’t too successful, we drove the Suzuki several miles along the Salmon glacier. (This glacier picture is taken with fireweed in the foreground.) We saw helicopters, which were picking up large tubes and flying them away. When we asked what they were looking for, one crewmember said, “diamonds.” Others said that they were exploring the area and obtaining core samples of mineral deposits. The Bear Glacier, a much smaller glacier pictured by the water, is receding but continues to be a point of interest.

Pictured are some of the fourteen bears that we saw along the Cassiar Highway and the small gravel roads connected to the Cassiar.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Barkerville is a gold mining ghost town in British Columbia of one hundred and twenty five heritage buildings where history comes alive through the characters that take you through a time warp from 1862 to 1930 as they interact with you in their time period. I met Judge Begbie who presided in the Wesleyan Methodist Church since the recent rains made the roads to Richfield impassible. I noticed Queen Victoria’s picture on the wall. The owner of the mine used a Cornish Waterwheel to clean the gravel from the gold. She was interested in obtaining sponsors for her mining operation so, with her supervisor of the mine; she explains the geology of gold and the principals of the waterwheel prior to a demonstration of the wheel in operation. She changed her mind about the sponsors when she found big nuggets of gold. We could buy goods in the restaurants and stores or ride the stagecoach. Terry and I attended a stage show where the talented professor played the piano and the others sang and danced in a joyous entertaining family style. A taste treat was the coconut cake that a young man baked in this old stove with the boiled coffee that he prepared on top of the stove. He told the story of his partner Mr. Wendle and the grizzly bears that Mrs. Wendle shot. Since he cut the cake in small pieces, Terry and I even got a second piece. I missed the Chinese History tour and the lessons at the Williams Creek Schoolhouse. We spent from nine am to five pm at Barkersville but there wasn’t enough time to participate in all the activities in one day. To see photos more clearly, please click on the photos.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Trip from Fairbanks to Cassiar Highway

We picked the perfect time to travel. The roads have never been better during the eight trips to Alaska plus eight trips returning to the Lower Forty Eight. The autumn colors in their shades of gold, amber, forest green and white snow topped mountains were superb. The lakes were like mirrors with no wind on them. We didn’t see bugs except for the ones who bombed our windshield but smiled at the sculpture of a mosquito at Delta Junction. We had one hour of sprinkling rain on the whole trip to Iowa. One time we even drove through a cloud. No, it wasn’t fog because we could see that the air was clear over the lake and fog tends to move to cool moist areas. The temperatures were in the 60’s and 70’s. We stopped at the visitor center at Nenana, visited the log buildings at Rika’s Roadhouse where I ate delicious strawberry/rhubarb pie, and camped by Little Atlin Lake at sunset. Did you know that you can enlarge the pictures by clicking on them?