The fun continues! Thank you Mrs. Allen for writing the great article about us that was published in the Oklahoma Humanities Magazine! Thank you to Carla Walker and staff for printing such a fabulous story about the boys and us! We both feel honored to appear in this great state publication! Donna and I were so excited to see the finished product! Mr. Vollmer showed our staff the magazine during our last staff meeting. It is wonderful having others join in our excitement...Thank you teachers for being excited for us. We are anxiously awaiting our copies!! Last Friday, before Donna and I had even seen the magazine, we received an email from Robert Klemme of Enid. His son took the picture for the cover of the magazine, and he took the time to look up our email address. He was the man responsible for placing all of the Chisholm Trail markers. He sounds like a fascinating man....it reminded me of what made our trip so fascinating....meeting people and hearing their stories! Thank you Robert Klemme for sharing your story with us!
Wow, it has been such a busy year....my class finished reading Bud and Me....and loved it of course......we are working on several projects....An ABC book and a documentary project that Mrs. Smith is going to help us with....can't wait to finish that.... Last week, Donna and I went to a Fund For Teachers meeting....it was so exciting to hear about all of the other trips....Every time I get to talk about the trip, I get so excited all over again! We had such a great time. I know there were some other great trips, but I have to say that ours was the best!!! I wouldn't have traded my trip with anyone elses.... I think that my family is going to scream if I say "I've been there!" one more time when we are watching tv....just last night Gary England was talking about the 46" of snow in Deadwood SD and I said my new favorite phrase....it reminded me of how much fun we had that day...We ate crab legs at an all you can eat dinner! I know we definitely ate our share! The gun fight and museum were really a fun experience.... What a beautiful part of the world! Donna and I are eagerly waiting for the Oklahoma Hummanities magazine to come out this month! Mrs. Allen wrote a fabulous article about the boys and our trip! Thanks again Mrs. Allen.
Well, we have submitted our final Fund For Teachers reports! Yeah! I know that you all are all surprised that we made the deadline with just a few hours left! We are so thankful for all the attention that we are receiving about the trip! Mrs. Linda Allen, former Spanish teacher at Yale High School, has written a great article about our trip that will be published in the Oklahoma Humanities November edition. We look forward to sharing this article with our friends and students... More soon
This is a short blog to catch up, and hopefully tomorrow I will be able to post a blog for each day that is missing....tonight's hotel doesn't have wireless in the room and last night it was pretty late when we got settled...don't remember the excuses for the other nights.... Thursday we went to Donner Pass....quite a powerful experience to go through the museum and walk around the trails....couldn't help but express the irony of the fact that while walking down the trail to where the Donner Party lived out the winter of 1846 in solitude you can hear all of the cars and trucks zooming down the highway at 75 miles per hour....after we left there we headed to San Francisco....I couldn't talk Donna into walking across the Golden Gate Bridge...but it was still wonderful to drive across and view the Pacific Ocean to the west...we checked in the hotel and caught the bus for Fisherman's Wharf....we took the scenic route for a couple of blocks...and then headed the right direction....of course it had been in the high 90s when we came across California, but by the late afternoon and early evening the breeze that was blowing across the water was down right cold...so of course we had to buy a hoodie....I overheard one shopkeeper saying that they sell more coats in July than any other time, because everyone comes to San Fran thinking that it is summer....LOL...Friday morning we dumped our Coney Island water in the Pacific Ocean....and gathered a sample of Pacific ocean water....then we were off to the John Muir woods to see the Coastal Redwoods...these are not the giant Sequoia trees, but they were giant to us!!!! It was so peaceful and beautiful....it made me think of Eden and what that might have been like....We drove into the valley to spend the night....the traffic was terrible....so glad that I was able to visit...and would love to visit again.....BUT...I would not want to live there and have to put up with that kind of traffic all of the time....Saturday we drove and drove and drove...but it was worth it...we reached the Grand Canyon in time for Donna to see it before dark....it rained earlier in the day and was still cloudy...however she was so impressed....more details later....We stayed Saturday night in Flagstaff....We didn't get up quite as early as we thought we might, but that was ok...we had a great morning driving and walking through the "Terrified Forrest" as Donna called the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert......what another grand case of God showing off!!! How beautiful.....we continued to drive across NM....I had some really great Green Chile Blue Corn Enchiladas ..... Yum....don't think that Donna was so impressed with her fajitas....we called it quits at Santa Rosa for the night...hopefully we will arrive in Amarillo tomorrow.....I left out lots of details... Thanks for reading....we miss everyone....we will be home soon.....Matt will be home Friday....Gordon will be home the 30th....hope Mike has enjoyed the peace and quiet! LOL
Melody here—Tuesday and Wednesday we drove across Wyoming, Utah and Nevada----lots of rocks and sagebrush….We went through the Flaming Gorge National Park area early Tuesday….then headed into Utah….of course when we arrived at the Great Salt Lake, Donna had to taste some of the water…I don’t think she really believed that it would be salt water…but guess what it is salty….The Great Salt Lake is not a very beautiful piece of water….and the area we walked on was extremely stinky…Donna says that she wishes there could be a camera to capture the smell of things…except I don’t think anyone would want to smell this….we stepped over lots of carcasses of birds…pretty yucky…one of the interesting things about the Lake is the way the salt dries on the sand and it crunches under your feet---like stepping on a beach of corn flakes….then you will reach another part and if you step it will be very wet underneath your feet….so we traveled on….after leaving the lake area…the salt desert stretches for miles and miles and miles…we stopped at one rest area where you could walk out on the salt flat…it was probably over 2 feet thick…it looked like a sheet of ice….there was a man wind sailing on the salt…we were able to take some interesting pictures of him…he even let Donna go for a spin….I think my favorite part of Tuesday and Wednesday were seeing the mountains that were tall enough to still have snow remaining on the tops…we saw some peaks that were over 10,000 feet tall…..the really bad thing about the last couple of days has been the haze…it hasn’t been clear enough to see things until we are really close up….We did stop a little early on Wednesday ---we reached Reno…found a place with an outside pool and actually did a little swimming….nice to relax a little before heading into San Francisco…
Melody here...Monday morning we set out to meet with Bruce Salzburg, the Attorney General of Wyoming....we wanted to do that because Bud and Temple met with his counter part, Mr. Preston. Mr. Salzburg was very generous with his time...thank you so much! It is such a small world...he went to kindergarten in Stillwater, Oklahoma!! He even remembered his street address and phone # from then.....When we told him what the boys had done while in Cheyenne, he said we should eat lunch at The Plains, IT IS STILL THERE! Although the boys couldn't eat or sleep inside, the newly opened Plains Hotel hosted a luncheon for the boys and Mr. Preston (and others) on the sidewalk outside of the hotel..... We were excited to hear about that! We headed to the library for confirmation about the boys trip....they sent us to the State Archives...they were very helpful...we found two newspaper articles...one from September 20, 1911 and one from September 21, 1911...we also were able to copy two photos of the Plains Hotel in March of 1911.....What a great find.....then we were off to eat lunch...we stopped at the Newspaper Office and visited with Kevin....although he was too busy to eat lunch with us...he said that he would pass our information along to the Education reporter Becky...Tonya was one of the secretaries at the newspaper...she was so friendly and energetic...we offered to take her to lunch also, but she had to stay and work....thanks Tonya..... The Plains Hotel is such a grand old hotel...very beautiful and ornate... we arrived in time to eat their lunch buffet and it was absolutely super!!! The brownies we had for dessert were so rich and gooey...We are so glad we decided to eat there.... it was a fantastic choice for us...... we asked to talk to the manager so we could pass along the story of the boys eating on the sidewalk....we talked to Connie....she listened so wonderfully to our story!! She even shared a postcard book about the Plains with us! Thank you so much.....I was disappointed that we didn't know about the Plains in advance or we could have stayed the night there! Oh well, maybe nextg time..... We headed out about 2:15....we felt pretty excited about the day...We left two books in Cheyenne...one at the public library and one with Mr. Salzburg.....It was super to be back on track of Bud and Temple.....Thanks again for reading....we are having a super time, but look forward to being home soon..... We drove until Green River and spent the night...also managed to get a little laundry done....this is the first time we have had decent wireless....tried to load some pictures yesterday...but they were so slow
Donna: It’s Sunday and we headed toward Mt. Rushmore. Another destination not on the route of Bud and Temple, but we just had to see it while we were this close. Quite a few times yesterday people would make comments pretty close to, “You just walk up, see the faces, that’s all, then you leave. Nothing too great.” How wrong can they get? I am thinking they started walking around on their own and had no idea what they were seeing. Ranger Jason announced he was getting ready to give a walking tour. I was interested in having a guided tour because I heard him say he would explain why these four men were the ones chosen for the monument. I got a lot more than I had planned on. Way cool! We learned about how the idea was developed. How the men were chosen. About the work entailed in carving the monument. Ranger Jason even had some interesting facts to share about all four presidents. Then we were lucky enough to have him a little later to show us some of the tools used by the workers as well as a more detailed description of their job description. It seems every job was specializing. I was very surprised when learning that not one person was killed on the job. We were driving toward Ft. Laramie when we were able to see the unfinished Crazy Horse monument. It will be even bigger than Mt. Rushmore. One fellow traveler who had visited Crazy Horse said that the face of one president on Mt. Rushmore would be the same height as the hair on Crazy Horse. I do plan to go back someday. We then headed to Ft. Laramie. I think about half the structures were ruins from the old fort. They had glass doors with locks so you couldn’t really get too close to the rooms that had a lot of artifacts in them. We’re planning on staying in Cheyenne, Wyoming tonight and look forward to meeting the attorney general and doing some more newspaper research tomorrow.
Melody here…Gutzon Borglum…another man who had a passion….but is not a name that is recognized in the households across America---but I hope to do my part to change that fact for the students of Yale…Borglum is the sculptor who had the vision to create the President’s faces on the side of Mt. Rushmore….A native of South Dakota wanted Borglum to carve the legends of the old west into the hills of South Dakota…but Borglum convinced him to carve the Presidents instead….he was a first generation American and had a deep love of his country…. What a great visionary…. Standing in front of the carved faces was another opportunity to marvel at the talent and vision of people across America….what talent to take the side of the mountain and turn it into the likeness of four of the greatest Presidents of our nation….It was amazing to hear that the men had to climb over 700 stairs to get to the top of the mountain….then they were able to clock in!! Listening to the ranger talk about why these men were chosen, reinforced my desire to teach our students about these and other great men and their inspiring character traits…. Mt. Rushmore was my favorite part of today….we traveled through the open country of Wyoming…it is beautiful…stopped at Fort Laramie…lots of history….the Bedlam house is the oldest standing building in Wyoming (1848 or 9) –then headed to Cheyenne…. Another full day of seeing beautiful flora and fauna…I am amazed at all the deer and antelope we see…. Hope you are having a great day Matt……Everyone, thanks for reading….we hope that you all enjoy the little snippets we put on here….Look forward to being home and sharing all of the stories in person….consider yourself warned!!!!
Donna: Saturday the 12th of July. Our first order of business was to stop at the 1800 Town. Not just a description. It really is the name of the town. We ate breakfast in an old train car. Original carpet, paint and tile. Pancakes, biscuits and gravy. Yum! I met some fellow travelers. Would you believe they were from Oklahoma? One was from OKC. A couple from Oilton. Then…one couple lives less than a mile from me! They even know some of my neighbors! We continued on and entered the Badlands National Park. A great geological sight. Various colors, sizes and shapes. At one point we actually got to climb around on some of the rocks. Did you ever notice it’s much easier to climb up than it is to come back down? The rocks we were climbing on seemed more like compacted dirt. I couldn’t imagine any serious rock climbing as I wouldn’t trust it to hold my weight. At many points (and we did stop at many) you could see off into the vast horizon. It was a sight to see in the middle of the afternoon. I think it would be absolutely gorgeous to see at sunrise or sunset. This was not on the path of Bud and Temple. I am sure they would have been amazed. I can’t imagine travel through the Badlands being easy for horseback riders. We then decided to head to Deadwood. A stopping point for the night before heading for Mt. Rushmore the next morning. For a small town, it had lots of people. Lots of families and lots of motorcyclists. We were able to witness a gunfight in the middle of the street. Then, a little later, the shooting of Wild Bill Hickok took place in the #10 Saloon Museum. I got to personally meet Jack McCall, the man who shot Wild Bill! Melody was able to get Jack and Wild Bill’s autograph. Guess what! We met another Oklahoman from Bartlesville! Melody here. I think my favorite part of Saturday was seeing another one of God’s beautiful creations. The Badlands almost looked like sand sculptures of giant proportions that have been weathered and eroded and neglected over time. If you look at them long enough you start to see many different shapes and images in the rocks. Another way to describe the Badlands is sand art on an enormous scale with all of the different colors. I think my favorite part of the badlands was the area where the stone and paleosols (are you impressed Mike? ) were yellow and pink along with the other colors, but the yellow and pink were very vivid, making a vibrant picture against the gray and brown rocky surroundings—like a giant paintbrush had been dripped across the rocks…. The brochure at the badlands says you can make the loop in 50 minutes. Yeah, right! I enjoyed talking to Wild Bill Hickok and Jack McCall in Deadwood. It’s a pretty interesting little town with a lot of “wild” history. Tomorrow it is on to Mt. Rushmore!!
We have a correction to make---the Community Restaurant we enjoyed so much was in Cortland, NY--not Geneva---I would like to thank the person that emailed us to let us know we had gotten it wrong....please forgive us....we are a little bleary from all the time in the car...but we do remember the great food......
Driving, Driving, Driving, keep that car a driving….Rawhide! 17 hours of driving. Sounds boring, right? Wrong. We got to see some sights. We even stopped to see the Jolly Green Giant in Blue Earth Minnesota. We left Michigan, into Indiana….. We crossed into central time zone…. on to Illinois for the toll roads and the Chicago traffic. ARRGG!!! That felt like 16 hours of the driving…… All the way across Wisconsin….then Minnesota…. and into South Dakota…… After a couple of false starts, we were to find the best treat we had had in a long time. ….The Siding 36 Motel….. What a respite for weary travelers! It was the best place we have stayed the whole trip, except maybe our NYC hotel. The motel had been completely remodeled in 2008 giving it a feeling more like a home than a hotel. I definitely felt rested upon rising in the a.m. …almost as good as staying at the Kliewers…they even had cool lamps…I think that is what made me this of her house…that and the cool colors on the walls…. This would be the perfect place for my guys to stay and go pheasant hunting! We hear that is really popular around that area…. Donna: It’s a good thing Melody’s driving! We got an early start, hoping to make up time and get miles out of our way to get started on our next stop. I started the morning by promptly falling asleep. Hee! The only pit stop allowance we gave ourselves was the Jolly Green Giant. 60 feet tall! We also met Jonathan and Zach. We now know that the state of Iowa will have access to “Bud and Me”. I agree with Melody about how wonderful the Siding 36 Motel was. It’s off the road a bit. A hidden treasure! My original thought when we were trying to find it was that it would be another “Bates Motel” adventure. It was a far cry from that! Melody: I think my favorite part of the day was giving the book to the two boys and the owner of the Siding 36 motel. It is such a joy to see the excitement in people’s eyes when they are told the story of Bud and Temple. At first, the look is of skepticism, but turns to amazement and joy as we continue telling the story. We did not even realize what a treat our rooms would be when we told the owners we would leave a copy for them in the morning, but I am so thankful that we did. Rhonda assured me she would read the story and then share it with her grandchildren. How fun to know that many other people have the chance to be impacted by this story of courage and integrity! And although today takes us out of Bud and Temple’s path, I think it is pretty important to see Mt. Rushmore and the tribute in stone to four great men, two of whom the boys admired greatly.
Thursday we awoke with fresh legs ready to seek out Niagara Falls and all its beauty. What an exhilarating experience that has to be experienced in person to reap the full benefit of the Falls’ magnificence! Pictures and words do not capture the feelings experienced while standing in the Falls’ presence. The first thing we did was ride the Maid of the Mist boat, which actually brings you within 30 feet of the Horseshoes Falls on the Canada side. You might wonder why it is called “Maid of the Mist”. There is a mist that rises from the water after it plunges the hundreds of feet to the rocks below. Also there is an Indian legend that we need to look up about the history of that name. We thought we looked pretty fetching in our pretty blue raincoats they gave us to wear! Yes, we needed them, because the mist is pretty heavy. Abraham Lincoln said he wondered where all the water came from and when Donna saw the quote she said she thought the same thing. Donna was also amazed by all of the seagulls and as you view our pictures you will notice that she is pretty enthralled by birds we see along the way. The ride on the Maid of the Mist lasted 30 minutes, but is a very powerful 30 minutes of being so close to the falls. The view from the observation tower is wonderful as you are leaving. Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, we headed to the next exciting part called Cave of the Wind. The Cave of the Wind was behind the Bridal Veil waterfall. When you are viewing Niagara Falls the Bridal Veil looks pretty delicate (and small) compared to the American Falls and Horseshoe Falls when, in reality, if Bridal Veil Falls stood alone, it would be a very tremendous Falls in its own right. Guests can no longer go to the cave because of a rock slide, but you can climb to the Hurricane Deck and let the water and wind of the Bridal Veil Falls tumble and pound over you. Cave of the Wind not only provides you a slicker, this one yellow, but they also provide you flip flops because if you walk to the Hurricane Deck, you cannot leave without being entirely soaked. Definitely an adrenaline rush! Super fun! What an amazing experience….Prior to Niagara Falls almost everything we set out to see had been man-made, and we have viewed some super, tremendous, wonderful things that definitely amaze and astonish you, but nothing has been like this. It is like God showing off. “What you can do…I do better.” I am so thankful for the blessing to see this wonderful creation! I definitely would like to take my family back. We rode the trolley around and saw the Niagara River and the rapids…….. heard the story of the 63 year old teacher that survived the ride over the falls in a barrel in the year 1901. All too soon it was time for us to go……..away we drove to Pennsylvania with blinders on, saying “no, we can’t stop! We are already behind”, ……..barely getting a glimpse of Lake Erie, but Donna did manage one picture. Then on to Indiana …and a slight detour up into Coldwater, Michigan. Again, not bad for one day…Canada, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan. Whew!! Lots of fun…. Donna’s Additions: Our time at Niagara Falls. What an incredible experience! I can’t believe we were actually able to get so close to the falls! We got so close in the Maid of the mist that I found myself thinking about stories such as the Titanic… When we got really close, the falls came down around you on three sides (probably why they call it Horseshoe Falls, huh?) This made the water we were riding in pretty choppy. I found myself wondering what would happen if the boat lost power. Would we get sucked into the falls or pushed away or just spin in circles forever? The mist caused by the falls made me think of an avalanche of snow. All you could see was white. Several times when we were able to get really close, it seemed like the falls should rush towards us, but they have their own path to take. You can’t imagine how many seagulls were flying around and perching on the hillside. It said that one winter they counted 40,000.00 of them. That doesn’t even include some of the other birds there! Cave of the Winds was really exciting also. The Hurricane Deck was the best. The falls were actually coming down on us! I was sure I would have been able to wring my eyelashes out! I figured this was a good thing to do. It would keep me away from the river by the rapids that led to the falls so I could touch it. Would you believe fate gave me the opportunity to get next to the river anyway and stick my hand in? I promised a friend that I would not try any white water rafting, but I didn’t say anything about feeling the water. Of course, it was in a safe place, a little nook. Something everybody needs to experience. The whole experience gave us such a rush. We were still feeling it long after we left the falls! But, just for the record, I don’t plan on trying to ride over the falls in a barrel on my 63rd birthday! Melody says, before we went to Maid of the Mist or Cave of the Wind we just stood and watched the rainbow over the falls. I don’t think I’ve seen a more beautiful sight breathtaking sight that seems to engage all of senses….the roar of the falls…the shimmering rainbow in the fine white mist floating down to coat arms and other exposed skin…. Super powerful! We were thankful we arrived early enough in the morning to catch the right angle for the sun to catch the rainbow. As I stood there, rode the boat, and climbed the stairs to the cave of the winds, I tried to imagine I was 6 and 10 years old from landlocked Oklahoma and tried to think how Bud and Temple would have felt when they viewed this sight. I have seen pictures, movies and other water falls in person and yet I cannot find adequate words to express the magnificence…and although they do not say much about it in their book, I have to think Bud and Temple were pretty astonished and amazed by the beauty of God’s creation here, as well as I am.
Tuesday was a pretty amazing day that we did three loads of laundry and were on the road by noon after such a long night! What fun we had in NYC…it just went by too fast…. We headed up from Maryland to PA and NY. Although we didn’t stop there, ( because it was out of the way) we gathered some information about the community of Jim Thorpe PA…. Pretty amazing that a community would change its name to someone who hadn’t visited the town. We think there is a story there…..We pressed pretty hard, but did manage to take several pictures of rocks just for Mike. J We finally stopped for dinner in a little community called Geneva,NY and ate at the Community Restaurant. .. a definite thumbs up…It was a Greek restaurant that opened in the 1920s… current owners are only the second family to run the business. Wonderful food in a charming atmosphere! Then we pressed on . …. We did see one of the Finger Lakes in the “twilight”. We ended up staying south of Rochester NY and decided to get a better view of Lake Ontario the next morning…..Good to stop for the night….
Wow! We had a real breakfast of sausage, eggs, waffles… Wednesday morning we headed toward Niagara Falls with the best intentions of viewing the falls and heading on. However, we were distracted…..Imagine that!!! We drove along the coastline of Lake Ontario for about 75 miles. It was so picturesque….. If you didn’t know better you would think it was the ocean because of the vastness. Once again it was a hazy day and you couldn’t see for far….seems that we have had lots of those…We traveled along…stopping to take pictures and prowl around…. we came to Old Fort Niagara and made a pit stop. (not a quick one!) Donna says…..What a great place to visit. The Fort has a long history of participation in many wars. (was the British outpost in the Revolutionary war) There were very few places we were not allowed to go and very few things we could not touch. How’s that for exciting? We also got to see people in period costumes. The cook was preparing cabbage soup in the fireplace. She showed us what the bread would look like, as well as the peas and salt pork. We also learned this is where the nursery rhyme “Peas porridge hot…” came from--- the protest of the bad military food…LOL We also learned about the origin of Humpty dumpty. It seems many of our nursery rhymes have political backgrounds. There were also some games to learn the soldiers played. We were also shown the different parts of the musket and got to hear one fired. (similar to the ones used during Black Powder Deer Season) Oh, how I wish we could have taken a picture of the sound. (very loud---even though we were expecting it! Ha) We spent a lot longer there than was anticipated, but it was well worth the time. After leaving Fort Niagara we headed to Niagara Falls. We didn’t actually view the falls on Wednesday, but did visit the state park and received our tickets. We toured the visitor center, learning about the history of the falls. We were tired and needed to get a room as well as get a bite to eat. We would get a fresh start on Thursday. Our busy and hectic time in Washington, D.C. and New York must have eventually caught up to us. Thanks for reading.....Miss you Mike, Matt and Gordon....
Monday, July 7---Sagamore Hill---Teddy Roosevelt’s home…the first Summer White House! Another treat was in store for us today….we rode the Long Island Rail Road out to Oyster Bay!! We had a brisk 14 block walk with tons of people on the sidewalk—selling everything…After much discussion with the train people, we decided that Oyster Bay stop would be the best stop for us…glad we didn’t listen to the first ticket agent…we would still be walking! LOL…It was a long ride out to Oyster Bay…over an hour…much different than the other subway rides we had taken to this point…also, at times the train really seemed to creep along…finally we made it to Oyster Bay….again unlike the other places we had been, this place was not well marked, so after some directions from the guys who worked for the train, we found the town hall---that was about 3 blocks—the nice security guard told us Sagamore Hill was about a mile or mile and ½ down the road…very helpful and friendly…he said that there was a taxi service we could use or we could walk…well, since we’re so great at walking after our days in DC and NYC we thought…”what’s a mile and a half” -- maybe we will get a taxi on the way back…Oyster Bay is a wonderfully preserved town of historic homes and businesses…a pleasant surprise waited about 8 blocks into our walk…the Oyster Bay Public Library…so we decided to stop—thinking that the home wouldn’t be much further---they have a great collection of Teddy Roosevelt articles in the TR room, and we were even allowed upstairs to view the TR book collection…what a great treat…thank you very much! We didn’t stay long because our goal was Sagamore Hill—this is where Teddy went after the “Parade” of 1910 was over….his home….Well, let me tell you that Sagamore Hill is not 1 and ½ miles from the town hall….it is about 4 miles….we were hot and sweaty, not to mention stinky and kind of (really) cranky, when we arrived! But our spirits were soon lifted by the staff of Sagamore Hill—first Thomas, in the gift shop, arranged our tour, and when we told him why we were so interested in getting to Sagamore Hill, and the drama of getting there (he is the one who said it was really 4 miles), he said he thought that the curator of the museum would like to talk to us---so we were off to see Amy—she was thrilled to hear the story of Bud and Temple! And we were thrilled because someone from the east new and believed the story of the wolf hunt! Amy gave us water and even volunteered to drive us into town so that we wouldn’t have to walk the four miles again! How sweet…we so appreciate your time and willingness to talk to us. Thank you for letting us interrupt your day! Richard gave us the tour of the home—what a splendid job you did of entertaining and informing us during the tour…We will be taking you up on your offer of receiving items for classroom use! Mr. and Mrs. John Reilly from Connecticut heard our story about our “hike” and volunteered to let us share their cab back into town! (Actually it ended up being their treat!) Thank you so much…I enjoyed meeting both of you and hearing stories about your teaching experiences, Mrs. Reilly…I hope that you enjoy your sailing and have a safe journey to Block Island later this summer…maybe you will run into Gordon! It was hard to believe that our time in NYC was over….a final train ride..a quick bite to eat….a 14 block walk to the hotel to pick up the luggage….an 8 block walk to the bus station (and one last trip to the souvenir shop) and a four hour bus ride….and we were back in DC….then a 4 (giant) block walk to the Union Station to get the car….and more map reading to navigate DC and out of the city…. Not bad for one day!!!
Sunday, July 6---we awoke after some much needed rest and “hailed” a taxi and away we sped (pun intended--)for Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty….we thought we were getting a pretty early start, but there was already a huge line of people, or a crowd, as Donna calls them, lined up to take the ferry across to Liberty Island! We had to wait for a couple of ferries to make their way, but it didn’t take too long…the crew “encouraged” rapid movements to get as many people as possible on the ferry at a time…and let’s just say that they were the closest we came to seeing a really rude person! Another crewman assured one of the young people waiting in line that it was all part of the rhetoric! LOL But, on a serious note, I wonder how the immigrants of the early part of America felt as they boarded and disembarked on the ships sailing to our country…were the seamen friendly to them? Finally, it was our turn to board, and we set out in a pretty brisk pace for the island…unlike the leisurely cruise to Mt. Vernon….CROWDS, CROWDS, CROWDS…part of it due to the 4th weekend, but I am thinking that it is always busy!! I have seen the Statue of Liberty hundreds of times in movies and in pictures, but gazing up in person was definitely worth all of the security measures we had to go through to get the up-close and personal view….after the normal security to board the boat, there was additional security if you wanted to climb to the observation deck in the base….part of the security involved blowing air all over your body while you were in a booth…very strange..it almost tickled…while we were waiting to enter this part of security Donna spied some other ladies with Fund For Teachers bags!! We caught up with them on the ferry ride from Ellis Island. Rachel and her friends from the Houston, Texas area were very friendly…hope you are learning a lot at your conference in Connecticut…Back to Lady Liberty….while I knew intellectually how tall the statue was going to be, it was even more imposing than I imagined…a great experience that every American should have a least once in his life..an up close view of Lady Liberty (climbing the 157 stairs up to the base and the 157 stairs down---completely worth it!) You might think that was the end of our day, but we were only halfway finished…we caught the subway for Coney Island to pickup our Atlantic Ocean water to carry to the Pacific....we were a lot more comfortable buying our Metro card than just a week earlier in DC…we were old hat at it now!!! We ate a hot dog at the Nathan’s Hot Dogs, where the World Champion Eating Hot Dog Contest is held every July 4th…don’t think we will be victorious because we just had one each! But they were great with the sauerkraut on top! After that we strolled the boardwalk and collected some water. As we made our way to the subway, we were able to talk to several mounted patrolmen in the area…they were great…surprised we had ridded 80 miles…I don’t think Little John would do very good at that job…there were lots of noises from the boardwalk…one of the horses was pretty skittish as we talked to the patrolman…he said that he is always on horseback, but usually not in Coney Island…After a quick stop at the hotel, we went to do a little window shopping…I loved going into M&M world…we even had the test to see what color of M&M was best for us…mine was light purple and Donna’s was maroon….After shopping we called it a night!
We have sent lots of people emails that may be floating around in cyberspace.....Sorry if that is you....Matt...have sent you an email almost everyday....sorry if you haven't received them....We are in Niagara Falls today...will update the rest of the NYC trip and Niagara tonight.....Spent this am (july 9) traveling the banks of Lake Ontario and touring Old Fort Niagara! Super fun...we are looking at lots of cool rock formations.....Mike should be proud of us...we are even documenting where we find them or take pictures of them...Donna especially liked Fort Niagara...she got to touch stuff there!!!! More later.....thinking and praying for all who are at Falls Creek this week!
Melody again--- we survived NYC without getting lost! When we arrived at the Port Authority Bus Station we headed north to our hotel--it was just 6 blocks...and they know how to do blocks in NYC...it wasn't the 1 mile blocks like in Washington DC! LOL...we stored our luggage at our hotel, and then we were off...we walked around time square---really pretty mesmerized by all of the lights and attractions....if we were overwhelmed by Washington---you can imagine the feeling in NYC--the buildings were MUCH TALLER---and there were so many more people....i thought all of the people trying to sell the bus tours and broadway tickets were very annoying...they didn't want to take no for an answer---everywhere you looked there was something to buy----and yes, we did buy some of the 6 for $10 T-shirts-- it was very hazy and cloudy--when we arrived at the Empire State Building--the wait was over an hour and because of the clouds they said zero visibility...we decided the $40 dollars that we would have to spend to see nothing would not be worth it! so we headed back toward the theater where we would watch the Phantom of the Opera......it started raining...I am the gifted one in the group and bought a rain poncho---donna said she didn't need one....because it wasn't raining very hard....Well, by the time we walked all the way back, I think she was soaking...we tried to eat at a couple of different places along the way, but didn't have much luck because the lines were so long...but right across from the Majestic theater was a place called John's Pizza ("No Slices" is what it said on their shirts). There was a small wait there, but the hostess thought we would be out in time --- I am so glad we ate there....super pizza --it was made in a brick oven---hand made dough--fresh toppings---super! The Majestic Theater lives up to the name...it is a grand old theater with very ornate draperies and columns everywhere...a super place for the production! I loved it...I know that Kalli Kliewer would have loved to have been there...I can't say enough good about it...was just a super experience...when it was over and we finally waded through all of the people exiting, we once again traveled several blocks to the hotel....this time to check in! We were exhausted...we had gotten up at 4 o'clock...navigated downtown DC--parked the car---hiked to the bus station--made the four hour bus ride to NYC---walked around and were "whelmed" as Mike says, eaten a real NY pizza, watched a Broadway show...and survived all of the street hawkers...not bad for two country girls huh!! So we were asleep pretty early that night....it was great to rest and get a good nights sleep! More soon...thanks for reading...will try to publish more tonight or tomorrow...
This is Melody--I know that I have lots of catching up to do--- I absolutely loved Washington and NYC--I am ready for some "wide open spaces" or as donna says "Green Acres is the Place to Be" I feel very blessed that I was able to go see many of the places that you see and hear about... I know that I have seen most of the places on TV, but there isn't anything like seeing these things in person. Unlike Donna, I wasn't disappointed in the White House tour...I thought it was fabulous to see all of the rooms they are willing to share with the public...Gov. Frank Keating was super...if I already mentioned our visit with him, I will say it again....he so graciously spent an hour visiting with us, when I know he had other (shall we say more important) things to do....Spending the fourth of july day at Mt. Vernon and seeing the laying of the wreath ceremony at George Washington's grave was very poignant ... I think i captured a pretty good picture of a boy scout laying a carnation on the grave after the ceremony...the view of the Potomoc River is serene and beautiful...Donna assures me that she could wake up to coffee and this view any day... We had birthday cake there...and soldiers and other people in colonial attire were all over the grounds...the new museum that the Reynold's foundation built was wonderful...thanks Gov. Keating for letting us know it was worth the time to go through...Sailing to Mt. Vernon on the "Spirit of Mt. Vernon" was quiet the experience in itself....we met a Kindergarten teacher from California...I talked her ear off all the way there! Imagine that! We did see the helicopter that was carrying President Bush and the other helicopters guarding him while we were cruising...we ate a super meal at the Marina Cantina...I had a soft-shell crab dish that was out of this world....so good....unfortunately if was raining when we headed back on the metro---we did not want to get to the mall with all of the people and be drenched for the fireworks...so we just stayed at the hotel...We could look out over the balcony and see some of the fireworks though... not getting to see the fireworks was one thing that has been disappointing on the trip...but hey, I spent the 4th of July at Mt. Vernon..... not everyone can say that...
We've left D.C. for a couple days. What a great experience. Very interesting. Every American should find the time to visit. Just don't do it if I plan to visit it again. There were SO MANY people! We got to visit several of the Smithsonian museums. At the Museum of Natural history we got to go to the research place. That's the first time I've been allowed entry in a place that has double locked doors to get into. I was surprised at the American Art Museum there was no Norman Rockwell. How American can you get? WE WENT TO THE PUBLIC LIBRARY AND FOUND LOTS OF ARTICLES ABOUT THE BOYS VISITING! There were three newspapers in D.C. when they visited. Can't wait to share with our students some of the comments that were made. Hee Hee! We also visited Arlington Cemetery and got to see the changing of the guards. It sends a chill down your spine. If you get a chance, look up information about the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Knowing about being one of the guards and the commitment they've made will make even more of a difference if you witness the changing of the guards. We toured the capital, which I think I already mentioned. We got a tour of the white house. It was mainly just the entry area. I was kind of disappointed I didn't get to see more, like the kitchen or something. Security was pretty high just about everywhere we went. Between that and the crowds, it kind of took some of the essence away. That really applies to visiting Mount Vernon. That's the kind of historical setting you can feel something for. It was hard with about 10 million people around. Think it was because we visited on the 4th of July!? That's not half our time in D.C., but I think Melody's already covered most of it. I don't think you all want to hear it echoed. Now that we have the D.C. Metro system figured out, we parked the car for the weekend and caught a Greyhound bus to New York City. We got up at 4:00 to make it in time. We made it with 20 minutes to spare. We've already walked many, many blocks, but at least they aren't all uphill like it was in D.C. The streets are on more of a grid here, too, so it's not as confusing. The blocks are the same size, too. In D.C. a block could have been a normal block or the equivalent of everybody else's 3 or 4 blocks. The streets here are even more crowded! We browsed a while on our way to the Empire State Building. We went inside, but didn't go to the top. WAY crowded. Our Broadway show started at 2:00 and we didn't want to be late. It started to rain. Melody purchased one of those thin rain ponchos you can get at the ballgames. I didn't think it would get to be any more than a mist, so I thought I'd brave it. Guess who's still trying to dry from the inside out? We saw Phantom of the Opera. Super! I went to watch a show several months ago with my sister in OKC and it was terrific. I think I might be getting hooked onto something new. Raise your hand if you want to be a "show buddy" when I get back to Oklahoma. It's about 5:30 now. The current plan is to rest up because we had a late night last night (waiting to see if any fireworks appeared on the horizon) and a way too early morning. An early night means an early morning! Of course, I don't think we've had one day yet go exactly as originally planned. Isn't it great!? By the way, if anybody sees any of our students, light a fire under them and have them get on the blog. I really want to hear from them!!!!!
Well, we made it DC....we have figured out the "Metro" (subway, train system) with lots of practice and patience of some friendly Metro workers in Silver Springs Station! Thanks so much....Tuesday was the first day in town...we walked around for a little while...you will notice their is a theme for the the days in Washington...walking...walking...walking...then we took the trolley around DC for about 3 and 1/2 hours...we saw lots of the monuments, embassy row, and the national cathedral...It is such an amazing place....it is overwhelming and so much information ... the city is enormous....very breathtaking...then we went to Sen. Inhofe's office for our tour of the Capitol...we had the best guide...Thanks so much..The art work and the craftmanship of the Capitol is unbelievable...more stuff to put on our list to study....Then we were off to Arlington National Cemetary...we were able to see the changing of the guard...what a moving experience to watch...I did get some good video of the change...it is a powerful experience to observe.... then we were back on the Metro and our 6 block walk home...we stopped for a bite to eat on the way to the room ... it was great...roasted chicken...but I think that we would have eaten anything....it was a great day....but long and we were very tired...But ready for the big day on Wed... We were very early to our meeting with Gov. Keating...glad because I thought it was in one spot and it was in another...but we were just about 3 blocks off...101 NW is different than 101 NE...go figure...glad it wasn't the 900 block...LOL Gov. Keating is a super guy...we visited with him for about one hour...Nancy and every other person we encountered in his office was friendly and gracious to the two teachers from Oklahoma...He told us a great story about one of the books he is working on about Standing Bear...I am anxious to do some reading about this man and read his book when it comes out! Thanks again Gov. Keating for your time...Then we were off for more walking....we went to 3 different Smithsonian Museums today, but we had the best treat of all at the Museum of Natural History! Thank you Linda Gordon for taking us to look at the archived Teddy Roosevelt speciems...We were able to view a Rhino in the museum but most of the other items sent from his African safari are in storage...We appreciate your time and effort so much --- this was another great experience for us. I appreciate Linda Reid from Oklahoma for the contact information...What great blessings Donna and I have had while we are on this trip...We talked to a young from Louisiana who is working for the SI as an intern while we were riding the shuttle to the storage facility--we were able to share Bud and Temple's story with her and hear about her research on fish...another great story....we finished looking at the Museum of Natural History and then headed back .... I got an email from Matt today that said he got a "little" lost! but he had made it back....I understand that feeling....Please remember to pray for him...He is having a great time....as are we...we are off to the white house tomorrow--then to the library to look up Bud and Temple...the 4th we are taking a boat ride to Mt. Vernon...can't wait...Thanks again Gov. Keating...and Linda at SI..... It has been two great days!!!!!!
It is early Monday afternoon and we just found more information documenting the boys' trip!!!!! Another article with lots of new information. They had a great time while they were in Maryland.... more soon
It will be Monday before we get this posted, and it feels like forever since I have had a chance to post…won’t repeat what Donna said about our day in Dayton on Friday, but it was absolutely fabulous….Meeting Ernie and being on the receiving end of his generosity and love of history was just a great experience…..I wish he and Karen well as they continue being the keepers of the “Wright House”. Thanks again….Saturday morning we headed to the Dayton Library….didn’t know if it would be productive or not, and to be honest I was really pretty discouraged about not finding any documentation of the boys’ journey to Santa Fe…well, I was on my last roll of microfilm when I screeched to Donna, “There are our boys!” Well, in the excitement of the moment, I moved the film really quickly, and I had to look for them….It was beyond words what a blessing it was to find the picture and then subsequent articles…Since I had a date for their time in Dayton, I looked at the other two papers and found other articles and another picture….It told where the boys stayed in Dayton, and the Local History Librarian was so helpful….I am sorry that I don’t have her name—but forgive me because I am typing this at the laundry and it is 11:00…anyway, she was very helpful in showing us how to access the library’s online archives…there is a post card of the hotel….Well, needless to say we were pretty pumped to travel on…..Away we flew over the hills of eastern Ohio—through picturesque---stopping in a couple of beautiful old towns---Zanesville and Cambridge---didn’t get any pictures to speak of in Cambridge because it was a monsoon while we were there….we did give a copy of the book to the local police….Sgt. Hill said he would give it to the local library for us….Yes, we braved the rain to stop and give the book….Wheeling, WV was the next place---although we didn’t see a comet there, like the boys—we did see a beautiful rainbow! J After stopping for a bite to eat, we started looking for a place to stay, and ended the day in Morgantown, WV….. It was a super fabulous day…..Thank you Lord for all of the blessings! Sunday we had a late start, but headed for Frederick, MD…we had several scenic stops along the way….our first big stop was in Cumberland, MD….we toured the canal district and where Gen. George Washington had his headquarters near there right before the French and Indian War….This was a great area…we are both in love with all of the old homes and buildings….we traveled on and saw some very interesting geology, so we stopped and crossed the interstate at a run during a small break in traffic to get a better picture….we were also able to find small pieces of shale that had broken off of the outcrop…little did we know that there was an amazing pass through the mountain just ahead…so we stopped again…..there was a great bridge over the interstate just for Donna….I don’t think she liked it anymore than the suspension bridge we crossed in Wheeling on Saturday…But the view was worth it….There were many different layers of rock that even I could see and tell where the lifts and differences were….eventually we made it to Antietam National Park…..it is such a beautiful place to have been the home of the deadliest day of fighting in the Civil War….We spent several hours there…..but one afternoon is not enough time…just when I thought we might be locked in the cemetery….we made it to our car and headed on to Frederick…..and no, I haven’t learned that the little lines mean “curvy and slow”….but it was a nice view….But I do think if I tell Donna to “look” one more time, she might scream….because I usually say this just after I have asked her to look up something on the map or a travel guide…..Oh, well….it usually is worth looking at….. Okay, I am pretty giddy…the laundry is finished and it is a quarter to midnight…hopefully we will find our way back to the hotel…. Did the guy say right right left….or left left right???? I guess if you are reading this all is well….
This is Donna. Just going to add a few comments. Melody did get excited and zipped past her spot on the microfiche. The good part is, she didn’t try to break this one like the one in New Mexico! The suspension bridge and, not mentioned before lookout tower at Antietam, were great…..if you’re looking at them from the ground! We try not to eat at chain restaurants, but we did eat at Bob Evans. That was o.k. because neither of us had eaten there before. NOW it is a chain restaurant. Right? When driving through really heavy rain, we have decided that part of our journey has been a voyage.
Donna again. Remember back when I made the comment that the best things seemed to come to us as a result of things not going according to plan? It's still happening! First thing this morning we met with the Dayton Chief of Police Richard Biehl. Chief Biehl took over his position this year. We asked what his favorite part of the job was and he said it was building the relationships between the people. When comparing the difference between his job and the job of a police chief in 1910, he described how times were much more complex now. People, crimes, weapons, issues, etc. Pretty much the same things that would limit the possibility of 6 and 10 year old boys of traveling across the country alone on horseback, don't you think? We told the story of Bud and Temple. Chief Biehl was more than happy to have us fingerprinted. It was a surprise to me when no ink pad was put in front of us. It was all done on the computer. How is that for showing differences in the change of technology! Detective Hudson (great guy with super sense of humor!) took the time to explain everything as we were printed. He even showed us how quickly people could be brought up on the database. He said we were doing the prints for fun, but Melody and I have no doubt he and Sargeant Wilhite ran our prints when they got the chance! We took the back way to the parking lot on the way out. Don't know why we didn't head straight to the coroner's office, another chance to compare technology from 100 years ago. This is one of those times where original plans were replaced by a chance event. We were behind the police station and saw a Ch. 7 news van. When we went to check it out, we found they were there to interview a sargeant about recent homicides. We got to witness the interview first-hand. It was Jill, the Ch. 7 reporter, who said she would offer our story at the station when she returned. We didn't have much luck at the Dayton newspaper as they were too busy and had no reporters to spare. That's o.k. because that makes us famous like the Wright brothers. In 1903 the Dayton newspaper declined a story about the flight, pretty much because the flight had been measured by minutes instead of hours. The woman who worked at the front desk was very friendly and helpful in guiding us to the library where we could, hopefully, find records of articles of the boys when they were in Dayton. We found our way to the Wright Brothers Museum, as well as their bicycle shop across the street. There were a few interactive exhibits (you know how I like to push buttons and such. Much more fun than reading "Do not touch" signs!) We were told about how the houses in the area were either being fixed up, if they were from the time. If not, they were asked to make sure the style fit with the time of the Wright Brothers. The Wright brothers' home was bought by Henry Ford and moved to Greenfield, Michigan. There is a replica front porch on the lot where the original house stood. Across the street is a house that had been made to look exactly like the house the Wright brothers grew up in. We rang the doorbell and waited. When nobody appeared, we started taking pictures. That's when Ernie walked into our lives. We told Ernie why we were there. He was very welcoming, rather than booting us off his property. Ernie is a self-appointed Wright brothers ambassador. He and his wife Karen have basically dedicated their home to the memory of the Wright brothers. You should see the incredible art they have in their home which has been done by local artists. Ernie volunteered to try and help us get into the Delphi plant, which is where the original Wright factory is. They wouldn't even hear of it, not even let us take any pictures, even from a distance! I didn't take it personal. I figured if Ernie couldn't get us in, nobody was getting in! After inviting us into their home, Ernie took us to meet the mayor of Dayton, Rhine McLin. He just popped in on her, just like she was his next-door neighbor. I've made the comment, "Where is Teddy Roosevelt when you need him?" I think Teddy would have appreciated Mayor McLin's willingness to be available to talk to people. Throughout our conversation, it became obvious that she really cares about the City of Dayton and the people that live here. There's a definite soft spot for the children. If you ever visit Dayton, there's some terrific people to meet, as well as great art. Check out the trash cans beautified by children participating in the Parks and Rec programs. Also, the statues placed about town. They remind me of Norman Rockwell's paintings. They'll make you do a doubletake. We found one person in Dayton that deserves the "Mr. Wolf award". But, meeting Chief Biehl, Sargeant Wilhite, Detective Hudson, Ernie, Karen and Mayor McLin far outweighed the impact of "Mr. Wolf".
Hi everybody! It's Donna. Melody does so super at recording events of the day! I'm just going to add a few comments, rather than repeat. One of the things we noticed and enjoyed about driving through Kentucky are the fences. All wooden. I understand the barbed fences would be too dangerous for the horses. I can appreciate that as well as the aesthetic value. We were informed by the people we were originally eavesdropping on that the sights we see along the highways do not represent 100% of the Kentucky population. There are many "behind the scenes" farms. People making a living with their farms, but not necessarily the "millionaire farms" so obvious to travelers. I do have to repeat what a terrific experience the Kentucky Horse Park was. My favorite part was the show of the different breeds, including the information, costumes and performances of each. We got to meet all of them, riders and horses. Rocky is big, and there were still 1 or 2 that were the same size if not bigger! We wanted to find one of the fire departments in Cincinnati and were fortunate enough to drive straight to one. We met Willie Jones there. This station was one of two special units. Special because they deal with special cases such as hazmet, bombs, etc. Willie was very generous with his time and explained everything when questioned. It was Willie's night to cook. Close to dinner time, many of the other firemen started showing up. Go figure! I hope the people of Cincinnati know what a great group of people they have at the fire department!
Melody here…..we have traveled over lots of ground…it is Friday morning when we post this….Wednesday we went from the Mammoth Cave area of Kentucky to Lexington….not very many miles, but we were able to see and do lots of things….We started the morning at Big Mike’s Rock shop…we bought a little piece of Kentucky Dolomite….saw many things that Mike would like…. Lots of beautiful mineral and rock specimens…..we got off the interstate and took the scenic 31E highway…were able to see some things besides a tunnel of trees… We stopped at a roadside produce stand that was situated on a local farm site….Can you tell, we weren’t making very good time, but we were having a good time….Next, we stopped at Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace…very beautiful and peaceful place….The young man, Scott, that was at the symbolic cabin was very helpful with a wifi connection…his suggestion of the Cozy Café was a big success for us….We arrived there after the dinner rush, so we had a chance to talk to the owner, Gayle. The food was delicious, and we enjoyed our conversation….we were off again…Stopping at the Lincoln boyhood home at Knob Creek…Lincoln says that his first memories are of being there… The ranger was a very helpful and friendly guy….The area there has been returned to how it was in that time….the meadow is clear with a few crops growing to represent what would have been there in the Lincoln years….2009 will be the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth…lots of preparations for the big occasion….The ranger says that the Lincoln’s lost the farm at Sinking Springs because of a legal dispute (which were common in the early Kentucky days) which may have been the reason that Abe wanted to become a lawyer. Thought that was an interesting idea…. We were off again….we went to Daniel Boone’s grave in Frankfort. From the cemetery you could look across the hill and see the state capitol….There was a little rain as we left…it would be fun to do some other exploring here……We headed toward Lexington…saw some absolutely breathtaking Kentucky horse farms…we took some amazing pictures…..we were even able to take some pictures—hopefully we will post some soon…. After we were finished eating dinner, we were eavesdropping on a conversation, and I heard ….Mt. Scott, Mt. Sheridan, Lawton, 6666 Ranch, Waggoner Ranch…..and I just had to interrupt and ask if they were from Oklahoma…..two of the men were from Oklahoma…one was from Snyder originally and knew about the boys…..what a small world…the Kentuckian suggested very strongly that we visit the Kentucky Horse Park…..And so that is how we started our Thursday….I am so thankful that we took his suggestion….The Show of Breeds was spectacular….the finale was a Friezen…..we so wished that Marla could have been with us to see all the fancy footwork that those horses do!!! We want to find some videos to share with the students… only important to me, but we saw a Welsh horse with a rider in historic Welsh costume….remember to pray for Matt as he is gone….We saw a farrier---very informative about all of the types of shoes………even a hardy plastic shoe that will last as long as a steel shoe…Thanks for all of the info…Then we went to the International Horse Museum….so much information about horses…Job 39:19 mentions horses and the quote is at the beginning of the museum….. .so glad that we decided to go through the park…wished that the Kliewer family could have been there with us to see all of them….it started storming just as we were wanting to leave…we sat and waited out the rain before heading to the car….then we were off for Ohio….and back on track to the boys adventures…We stopped at the Cincinnati Fire Station….Willie Jones was a great person to visit with…..he patiently answered our questions and let us look at the trucks and even let us go into the dining area and talk to the others as he was cooking dinner….They were absolutely wonderful…I think that we piqued their curiosity about the history of the Cincinnati Fire Department….It is the first paid fire department in the country….we drove around downtown and looked at the outside of the fire museum, which had been a fire station in earlier days… Then it was off to Dayton…we are ready for our appointment Friday AM…Thanks for reading……
Chisholm hope you are having a HAPPY 9TH BIRTHDAY!!! Melody here…It has been a fun couple of days…we sure do miss our tech guy! Hope he is having a great time. If you would like the blog link to his summer adventure, email me at Abernathy_08@yahoo.com ---please remember to say a prayer for him. I keep thinking of Joshua 1:9….. Donna and I finally took off on Monday morning…after several stops we finally made it out of Oklahoma in the afternoon—We are going a little out of the way because of the flooding in Missouri…we are going to go down I-40 and then up to Cincinnati and back on track…We camped at Village Creek State Park on the east side of Arkansas…it was a really beautiful place…Steve H. we found the trees that are missing in western Oklahoma…LOL one thing of note, we did see a really nice ford f-150 pickup driving down I-40—friendly people…. We woke up early and headed east on I-40….we took a little time to view the Mississippi River when we crossed at Memphis…..unless you are standing beside it, it is really hard to imagine how fast it moves or how large it is…. Donna says when you get closer you start thinking about the people of the past and their experiences on it…the coast guard was zipping around quickly, but what a different experience going down the river on a barge or raft like in times past must have been…..We drove and drove through Tennessee (more trees!) –we stopped at the Casey Jones train museum in Jackson,Tennessee..if you are interested in folklore and trains, it is a super place to stop… the curator, Ben, was a great man to talk to..he enjoyed hearing about our trip…and late Tuesday afternoon, we arrived in Kentucky!! This is a new state for me! Yeah! I have been to all the states around it, but never here. We stopped near Mammoth National Park and are staying at Jellystone Campgrounds…this is a great place to camp! We saw another friendly policeman a few miles before the campgrounds! More soon….thanks for reading…. Hope VBS is going well… and hope the assistant harbor master is having fun!
Hey, everybody! It’s Donna now. We’ve headed out for the second part of the journey. We got a little late start and decided to take an alternate route because of the floods. We will be able to hook up with our original route in Cincinnati, which is most likely going to be tomorrow night. One of the first places, obviously unplanned, was a stop at Toad Suck Ferry, Lock and Dam. No vocabulary liberties allowed here. It’s exactly what it says! It was built in 1820. Local legend has that it was named after a saloon on the other side of the river. At the same site was a tree. Sound exciting? It really was interesting. An oak and pecan tree had grown together as one. Believe it! We’ve got pictures. The first night we stayed at the Village Creek State Park. Yes, we started in a tent and are still pursuing that course for another night or two. As odd as it may sound, we had a horsefly that kept running along and bumping into the car while we were trying to find a site. I thought I lost him in the showers, but he eventually caught up with me again. At least it never bit. Now, the mosquitoes were another story. They were big, juicy and plentiful! I was really happy they didn’t try to share the loaded baked potatoes we had for dinner! We left our cooler of beverages on the picnic table, not thinking that it would attract guests. Wrong! Drivers of Ford F150 and police officers are not the only friendly people we’ve run into. When the cooler hit the ground, I thought somebody was shooting a gun. Of course, I’ve never heard one shot in real life, so what was I thinking? It was obvious by the glowing eyes in the dark it was a raccoon. Wasn’t it? By the way, Melody and I can get the tent set up now at record speed. Today, Tuesday, we stopped at the Casey Jones Museum and Home. According to the short video we watched, it seems Casey received a few citations in his time at the railroad. Isn’t this something like a speeding ticket? Ben at the museum said his wife’s great grandfather rode with Chisholm on what became known as the Chisholm Trail. We got a good surprise when we visited a visitor’s center in Tennessee. They had quite a few artifacts/memorabilia about the area. Tonight we camp out at Jellystone Park in Kentucky. Don’t forget to let us hear from you!
Saturday was a long day!! We left Santa Fe in the mid-morning and headed toward Las Vegas NM…..It was an absolutely breathtaking drive…I don’t think I have ever been on this highway before, so you know that we had to stop several times….We went to Pecos National Park…you can tour the remains of a Pueblo Indian village….was a spectacular place to stop…just off of the beaten path…..Donna especially appreciated the signs that were posted around that said….Rattlesnakes in the area!!!! This little pit-stop took more than an hour, but it was worth it…We also had to stop at Glorietta Conference Center…I had never been there, and I wanted to see where Roxanne will be spending some time next month….looks like a super place to spend some quality time with God…..made me think of Falls Creek….will be sad that I won’t be going this summer, but am so thankful for the opportunity that God is allowing me to have! Finally we arrived in Las Vegas….they have a beautiful old square…We ate more green and red chile food!!! It was good! We saw some very interesting people in the park…think it was going to be a wedding…. Wished we could have stayed and watched…. The Rough Rider museum had some great artifacts…lots about Teddy Roosevelt….glad we stopped there---Here is a little piece of advice……curvy lines on the map mean SLOW DRIVING….but it also means great scenery……. One time we stopped to take a picture—donna got out and I said to Matt…” I hope she doesn’t fall down the side of the mountain….and he replied…there is a guard rail…..But, I had to point out that she was on the other side of the guard rail!!!” But I think she got a great picture…. Alas, we reached Tucumcari, NM and I-40……here we could make a little time…..We did stop at the “Cadillac ranch” on the interstate so Donna could see the buried Cadillacs….Matt begged to stop at the 72 ounce steak place, but I declined on account of the time….As it was, we rolled into Yale about 2:00…. What a great adventure we have had…and it is only just starting…. I will try to update again later this week, but we will start the trip again on Sunday…lots to do before then… It is nice to be home and go to church……More soon…..
It’s the last day of this part of our journey. We head home today. We’ll fine tune some kinks and be back on the road again in about a week. We started our day by heading to Las Vegas, New Mexico. Teddy Roosevelt was a roughrider and continued lasting friendships with other Roughriders. Las Vegas has a Roughrider museum. We saw many interesting artifacts from the times, as well as a lot of photos and information on Teddy. Obviously the museum wasn’t there when Bud and Temple rode through, but it was interesting to check out more about their friend Teddy. The curator would make a great addition to the community of 1909 Portales. We also visited the Pueblo historic site in Pecos. Seeing things like this really makes one wonder what life was like for the people who lived there. I could have done without constant reminders of the possibility of meeting up with a rattler. Made me appreciate the hot day as I am sure they found cooler places to chill out. The outside temperature reached a max of 105 degrees at one point. We also drove through the beautiful mesas east of Las Vegas. Driving on the edge of the high cliffs was a little disconcerting. I found myself leaning toward the other side of the car to help make sure we didn’t topple over!
We left a message with Governor Richardson's office yesterday about meeting with him, but haven't heard back. So, we decided to start the day by just popping into the capital. As luck would have it (it was Friday the 13th), the governor is in Europe. We did meet Connie Weston, who took the time to show us around his office. She has worked with several governors and told some stories about their philosophies of how their office should be set up and where they needed to be sitting when meeting with people. We left a book in her care and I have no doubt it will be read before it is passed on! The capitol building does not have a metal detector allowing entrance. Jake, you would have no problem gaining entrance here, no matter what type of boots you were wearing! We walked around and took lots of pictures. They have some great art. If ever in Santa Fe, you just have to check out the buffalo. You could look at it a hundred times and still see something new. From people we met, I do believe that is the highlight of everybody's visit to the capital. While looking for the hallway that contained portraits of all the governors who have served, we met Kate Nelson, who work's in the Lieutenant Governor's office. We were shown her office. She was out of town also. Like Connie, Kate was very friendly and hospitable, introducing us to several other members of the office. She is from Kansas, which is very close to my old stomping grounds. Thinking about the vast lands around us during our travels and wondering what it must have seemed like to Bud and Temple, it doesn't seem the saying "It's a small world" would apply. How many times did Temple ask, "Are we almost there?" This is where new technology comes into play. We met a woman from Washington who compared the climates of the two states. She eagerly awaits the time when she returns to the rainy state of Washington. We ran into a woman from Connecticut, a writer from the east coast, an artist whose father lives in Lawton, a woman whose sister lives in Perkins, OK. Bud and Temple had to have met many people along the way. I wonder how many of them were somehow connected to their hometown, or were perhaps from faraway places the boys had only heard about, but never visited. We also went to check out the archives. We still have not found any newspaper articles or, in this case, letters to or from Governor Curry which documents the boys' travels. We haven't given up though!
Thursday and Friday were super busy....we got lots accomplished and yet have so many more questions....We went to the newspaper in Roswell, the Chamber of Commerce, the public library where we left a book, the UFO museum, and the Historical Museum of SE NM! The highlight of my stay in Roswell was getting to talk to a man named Morgan Nelson....he was an elderly gentleman who happened to come into the museum--bringing his great-grandson Ben....He had an apple orchard before the "big freeze" in 1938...he told us lots of stories about the early days of Roswell. He had an interesting career---farmer, military, and legislator.....he was so informative and interesting...we were able to record lots of what he said...Thank you, Mr. Nelson....unfortunately we had to leave, but we needed to arrive in Santa Fe! So away we went...we stopped at Wal-Mart for some food before heading across the desert...they had a picture of a UFO on the side of the store...of course we took our picture there...but inside I asked the clerk if she gets tired of the UFO stuff, and she said, YES! I thought that people might.... It is 200 miles between Roswell and Santa Fe....there are two places that look like they have people...Vaughn and Clines Corner...and Clines Corner is just a truck stop!!! So not much to look at except the desert....Matt and I did see some pronghorn.... They are interesting creatures...I didn't get to take a picture because they were too far away.... We arrived in Santa Fe around 6:30 local time...there was enough daylight left to go explore around the plaza.....there is so much beauty, history, and art in Santa Fe that even if you were a local, I don't think you would ever see it all..... The plaza is the old part of Santa Fe...lots of one way streets and little tiny shops....all of the buildings are adobe...just beautiful..Matt managed go capture some pictures of one of the church buildings in the plaza just as the sun is setting...The sun casts such a beautiful golden glow on the buildings.... Friday morning we went to the state capitol....Unfortunately, Gov. Richardson is traveling around Europe. However, Connie Weston was super to us. I don't know her exact title, but she showed us around Gov. Richardson's office and talked about her career of working for different governors. You could tell she enjoyed her job very much! Thank you for taking your time to talk with us. We also met Kate Nelson in the Lt. Gov. office. Thanks so much for all the information and conversation....The people in this office gave us recommendations for food! We ended up eating at the Plaza Restaurant.........I don't think I have had this good of Mexican food since Bobo's!!! I had the flat blue corn enchiladas with green chile..........Wow! They were fantastic...The reason we settled on this restaurant is that it has been a restaurant in the same location since 1905....we don't know if the boys would have gone there, but they could have! We saw lots of exquisite pieces of art that local vendors sell just sitting around the plaza...what an interesting site....the artists are all friendly and enjoy talking about their crafts. We met one lady who creates wind chimes out of glass and horseshoes or antlers....BEAUTIFUL.... We also went to the Loretto Chapel to see the miraculous staircase that was built in the 1800s....The chapel and the staircase are absolutely breathtaking....if you ever go to Santa Fe you must see it... We also saw the world's largest turquoise nugget....191 pounds...super to see.... After lunch we went to the state archives...we didn't find anything about the boys, but we did find a few articles of interest about Teddy Roosevelt and just things about the mansion....Although we were disappointed, it was still a great day...The archivists and assistants were super friendly and helpful...I am sure we will pose more questions to them at a later time....We headed back to the hotel to do a little laundry and then we went exploring...We went out by the Museum Hill and although the museums were closed they had some enormous sculptures outside....also the flora of the area was beautiful and we took lots of pictures..... The cool evening air of the desert is absolutely wonderful...nice and crisp after a warm day.... Donna wanted to get some ice cream before we headed to the hotel....she had spied a baskinrobbins earlier.... One of the workers was so friendly....she was originally from Washington State...she misses the rain...says she will go to college out there.... She is proof of what we are doing...every person has a story, if you will just listen... We are headed to Las Vegas NM today....then Amarillo...will be home soon...Thanks everyone for reading the blog!!! We are having a great time...
Hi everybody! Guess I'm playing catchup again. We've been to several places since I last blogged. We stopped in Estelline, the first stop the boys made so long ago. It was a quiet little town. I wonder just how much it has really changed since Bud and Temple were there. We stopped at the post office. It had more cars than any place else. That would be two cars. We really enjoyed talking with Gayle and Eleena. We left a book with them to pass on to Mack, the local historian. We hope to get in touch with him soon to see if he can help us with finding out more about Estelline and see if he has knowledge of any records or stories of the boys visiting Estelline. Our new friends gave us directions to get down to the Red River. When I think of a river, I think of a moving body of water. Not so in this case. The river was dry here. The patterns caused by salt and previous movement of water was fascinating. I was actually walking on the bed of the river. Didn't get wet, but still managed to find mud. The only thing that kept it from being 100% enjoyable was remembering stories from people in Frederick talking about quicksand incidents. Luckily we never experienced this stuff first hand. From prints in the dirt I figure deer had no problem with quicksand either. We then moved on to Turkey. We made our way to the Bob Wills Museum, which was in a building that also housed the library and senior citizen center. Our initial attempt was for the library, but it was closed. We entrusted our Bud and Me book to the museum where they said it would be passed on to the library for the citizens of Turkey to enjoy. While there, Bob Wills' daughter walked in the door and we got to meet her. How's that for timing? On our way out of town, we stopped to take a picture of the Bob Wills memorial. Across the street was a garage where we were greeted by Israel. He showed us around. We saw two buildings that had been made out of oil cans. One of the buildings was a house that Bob Wills had lived in at one time. Israel insisted we had to visit the hotel which has been around since 1909. Of course we headed over, wondering if Bud and Temple had been there. As it turned out, it was dated 1929. It was gorgeous and had a lot of antiques. To add to all the "coincidences" we have experienced, the owner knew a man in Quitaque whose mother was the first woman to become a member of the American Motorcyle Association. She would demo Indian Motorcycles! This is one of those times when answers lead to a lot more questions. On we went to Quitaque. There we almost missed meeting Larry Henderson, the man who's mother I just mentioned. If she could, he thinks she'd still be riding. I am hoping he gets in touch with her about some of her pictures and hopefully those will come with stories. We then went to the Caprock Cafe. Out of curiosity I starting talking to some local gentlemen, asking if they knew what Quitaque meant. One said it means "horse manure". The other two argued and said it means "End of the Trail". The end of the trail comes from the times when people travelled in a covered wagon. When they reached Caprock, it was too difficult to take the wagons further, therefore they settled in Quitaque, the end of the trail. The horse manure comes from a story about Indians that left a false trail of horse manure to cover their escape in another direction. In Quitaque we took a book to the librarian. Her grandson was also there. They were very happy to receive the book. If my guess is right, I think he planned on digging into the book rather quickly. Several people encouraged us to go to Caprock Canyons State Park. Majestic. The lake has to be man-made because everything was so dry. It was scary on some parts of the road that seemed to go straight down. It was a good promotion for wearing a seatbelt! By time we got to Silverton, just about everything seemed closed. We went to the Baptist church. We got there right before the 6:30 services. We left the book with Ms. Reed and her son to give to the library. Ms. Reed has a sister that lives in Perkins. We talked to a man outside a convenience store. After hearing our story, he talked about a group of men who had come through a couple years ago, riding horses to Wyoming. They stayed in Silverton for several days before the weather let them continue. We think it may have been the Longriders. Our goal was to reach Roswell by the end of the day. It was late when we arrived. Roswell is known as the UFO capital of the world. We enjoyed a lot of laughs. From a long distance we could see a LOT of blinking lights. What were we to think? We began our day visiting the Roswell Daily Record to look at microfiche to hopefully find articles of Bud and Temple's stay, but came up empty. We then went to the library to give them a book. At the Chamber of Commerce we were given several pamphlets on the historical society and museum. We also got into a discussion about Peruvian Paso competitions where they have the riders hold a glass of champagne and ride their horses across planks. They are scored by who has the most champagne left in their glass. We stopped in the UFO museum. The recorded radio announcement was one of my favorite parts. We wanted to visit the Archive Museum, but it wasn't open on Thursdays. We continued toward the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico. One of my favorite exhibits was theHall of Music. All things were organized by decades. It was really fascinating. The highlight of the day was meeting Mr. Morgan. He was able to tell a LOT about the history of Roswell. He was in the legislature. He was able to tell us about several of the governors who had held office. I wonder what the population was when Bud and Temple went on their journey. How many people did they meet? What kind of people did they meet? What did they learn? One of my favorite things on this journey is the people we meet. We need to listen more to the older generations. They have a lot of stories to tell!
First I have to say thank you all so much for reading our blog and keeping up with what we are doing....knowing that people are reading what we say means so much to us....Yesterday was such an eventful day! We saw so many places and talked to so many interesting people! oh yes, and it was so hot.....it was about 111 degrees in the Texas panhandle on Wednesday.....I am going to try to go in an order of what we saw, but I am going to say that the Caprock Canyons State Park is so beautiful....if you have seen it, would you leave us a message on the blog.....I thought it was breathe-takingly beautiful!! Some of the pictures we took are great and the others just don't do it justice! Our first stop was at Esteline, Texas. There are no buildings left from the time Bud and Temple went through....but we did hear the story of the old hotel where they stayed...It was torn down in the 1940s...so it has been gone a long time....The lady that owned the place had it torn down, and then she moved an old barrack from Childress Air Base out and made it into two houses....our new friends at the Esteline Post Office were so nice....thanks Gayle and Aleen for taking a copy of the book to give to your local "historian"...and for the directions to the river....we had great fun looking around the Red River even though it was almost completely dry...we saw deer tracks across the bed and lots of different types of plants...lots of salt ceder and a cane looking plant that was absolutely beautiful....you could see the salt that was sitting on top of the sand and it made beautiful white patterns....all of the places weren't completely dry....we managed to get enough red mud on us that we took it with us the rest of the day....It was amazing to think about the boys taking all day to get from Esteline to Turkey....we say lots of the whitish looking rocks that we assumed to be gypsum....it was so hot on Wednesday that we understood why Temple wanted to drink so much water..... Turkey, Tx was such a treat for us! It is the home of the Bob Wills Museum....it is in the same building as the city library...since the library was closed when we went by, we were in store for a great treat.....Loreen, at the museum, was willing to take the copy of Bud and Me---she was very friendly to us and even put on some great Bob Wills music for us to listen to as we strolled around... I really thought his music was great...I think I must get a CD...We were able to talk to Bob's daughter, Cindi....what a joy it was to talk to her...she is an artist -- the work she showed us was super! She even posed for a picture with us.....Thanks very much...We thought we were headed out of town, but at the west end of town, there is a monument to Bob...so we stopped to take a picture....A man named Israel came out of the place of business there and told us we should go to the Hotel Turkey....I am so glad he told us that, and I am so glad that we went....Although the building would not have been there when Bud and Temple rode through, it was a neat place with a neat story...Mark and his mom, the new owners, loved our story, and told us about a man over in Quitaque (the sign outside of town gives the pronunciation Kitty-Quay) . His mother was the first woman that was a member of the American Motorcycle Association, and she rode an Indian---which is the same motorcycle the boys rode to NYC in 1913! We were very fortunate...we were able to track him down....but our first stop was the local paper....although she was working to get the paper out and was on a strict deadline she talked to us and told us where the library is located....so we went down there and donated our book...Janice Clark...she reminds me of you! Thank you Arlene for receiving the book...the picture of us and your grandson was great...we will send it to the newspaper.....keep up the good work.... So then we were off to find Larry Henderson and hear the story of his mother and the Indian Motorcycle....we stopped at the grocery story and talked to Albert Castillo....he said that we just missed Larry...we were disappointed, but stayed and talked a minute with them in the store...we bought some ice, and just as we were putting it into the car, Albert tells us that he sees Larry across the street....I just love small towns...Albert hollers at him, and Larry comes over and entertains us with a few stories of his mom during her days of riding motorcycles! We walked across the street to see the headgear that he keeps on his bike that belonged to her...We got some great pictures...Thanks Larry By this time, we were really pretty hungry...we ate at a little place east of the grocery...the Caprock Cafe...it was really good food....There were three local men that we were able to tell our story to....One of the men had been a teacher and administrator for many years...Donna said she wouldn't hold the administrator part against him.... LOL They assured us that we needed to take the time to go to the Caprock Canyon state park.... They were right.... The park is so beautiful...if would be great to come back to this area and spend several days prowling around the park...I do think the passengers were a little nervous when we went down some of the steep hills.... It was 111 degrees when we were out in this area though, so we did spend most of the time in the car..... It was getting late, but away we went to Silverton...I was really excited to see the old jail in Silverton, because it was built in the late 1800s...that meant that Bud and Temple would have seen it when they went through Silverton....since all of the buildings were closed, we drove by the 1st Baptist church-- it was about 6:20...I asked some people what time church started and they said 6:30, so I knew that we would have time to give a book if they were willing....it is the best story...Tracy Hill you will love this... The lady, Ruth Reed, said I know where Falls Creek is, (that was the shirt I was wearing) because my sister-in-law goes there...her sister is from Perkins!!! isn't that hilarious...I told her that we were so close to Perkins....Her son, Tyler, signed our book.... He said he would because his friend, JJ, wasn't really from Silverton....I hope they will read the book before they give it to the library.... They looked like they would enjoy reading it! Thank you for letting us give you the book! I wished we could have stayed for the service, but we went a long way before stopping for the night! In Clovis, NM Donna said that she had a craving for ice cream...we pulled into the McDonalds but they only had vanilla cones, so we decided to try our luck a different place...just then we spied a police officer pulling through the parking lot across the street...he stopped and his partner got out to go inside...but he stayed...so we cruised over there and asked for directions to somewhere else to get ice cream...he mentioned several places, but the one that stuck in our minds was Dairy Queen...it had been a long time since any of us had eaten there.....It was really great...I had a dipped cone, Donna had a Peanut Butter Parfait, and Matt had some Oreo dessert....it revived us enough to head toward Roswell.... I am thankful that we are here during the first part of the journey....Matt and Donna had me howling with stories and jokes about Aliens and UFO's....I must admit the town of Kenna does seem a little odd...we only saw the signs...but no evidence of the people..... (I am sure the town is just off the highway, but they had fun with the stories) Near Kenna there are a group of towers with blinking red lights...we watched them for many miles...we said that those were the glowing eyes of the wolves like the boys saw between Portales and Roswell...... Finally, we arrived in Roswell....Matt said...Look mom, there is a UFO...... and I said very funny...but he was right...there is a big UFO painted on the Wal-Mart---too funny---- We will look around here for a little while, and then head to Santa Fe today.... Oh yes Mike, we took some pictures of swallows for you....and yes, they are perfectly safe! Gordon--we taught Donna how to take a "trip"---Brother Mich do you know how to do that? and Matt says that he has learned lots of new games at Base Camp...I think we will be in for a treat today.... More later.....