6 July 1999 Click on the
pictures to enlarge them.
Greetings again from New Mexico. Winter this year was dry, but Spring brought
us much moisture, (as you will see in the discussion of our Tucson trip).
CHRISTMAS LETTER FOLLOW-UP
This has been an exciting year so far for our family. Our Christmas letter was
written while we were at Linda's brother's condominium in Colorado, we mentioned
that we were there with James, Stacy and Norma Jean. We had introduced James to
Norma Jean last October. She is a member of our church who has sung in the choir
James, Stacy, and Norma Jean in Colorado.
Well, the new year started with the sound of future wedding bells. James and
Norma Jean will be getting married on 30 July. They have purchased a house in
Albuquerque. Norma Jean has two sons - Matt (17) and Chris (11). She has sold
her house and is living in the new one with Matt, Chris, and Stacy. James is
hoping for his property to sell and has moved in with his mother.
On 24 January, Robert had the privilege to baptize James and Stacy at our 9:30
church service as they wished to express their commitment to the Lord.
Robert Baptizes James and Stacy.
Stacy was accepted for admittance to Hope Christian School. She will attend
there in the autumn along with Matt and Chris.
We are well. Robert has been very busy working on our Hoffmantown Church staff
helping to keep over 100 computers running.
Robert helped judge the La Merced elementary school science fairs in Belen, NM.
Linda went to Las Cruces and stayed with our friends Kent & Julie Thomas.
She gave her presentation on ancient New Mexican cultures to Julie's third grade
class at Mesilla Elementary School.
We took our new motor home on a trip to Arizona and a trip to Nevada and Utah in
the spring. We have just returned from a trip to Montana and Idaho.
ARIZONA TRIP 1999
For an early spring motor home trip we decided to return to Chiricahua National
Monument, Arizona, since we enjoyed being there the last three years and wanted
to see more of it. In particular, we wanted to hike to the natural bridge and to
the summit of Sugarloaf mountain. We left on 30 March and went to City of Rocks
State Park, north of Deming, New Mexico. Then we headed west to the Chiricahua
Mountains in Arizona. The campground in the monument was full, so we stayed in
the Coronado National Forest about 6 miles away. The next day we hiked the
Natural Bridge and Sugarloaf Summit trails. The weather turned pretty cold by
the time we reached the summit. The next morning we left the forest in a
snowstorm. It stopped snowing by the time we reached Willcox, and we continued
on to Fort Huachuca (an Army post). We were pleasantly surprised to see the new
RV park at the fort. That afternoon, we revisited the excellent museum that they
have at the post. The next day we drove down to the Coronado National Memorial
near the Mexican border. It marks the approximate location where the Coronado
expedition entered in 1540 what would later be the US. They went as far as
Lindsborg, Kansas, in their search for the legendary golden cities of Cibola. At
the memorial we hiked up to a small dry cave a few hundred feet above the
visitor center, and then drove and hiked up to the top of Coronado peak for a
splendid view looking east and west along the border and south into old Mexico.
The next morning (Easter Sunday) we drove on to Tucson, and it was snowing once
again. The snow was coming down hard as we went along Interstate10, but it
ceased as we pulled off into Tucson, where we stayed with Linda's cousin Carolyn
and her husband Nelson. On this trip we visited Tohono Chul Park - a beautiful
botanical garden. Robert met someone there with whom he had worked in 1971-72 on
the Maverick missile test program.
Carolyn at Tohono Chul Park.
We also went to the Tucson Botanical garden
and the DeGrazia studio. We also made a day trip to Kitt Peak National
Observatory. On the way back from Tucson, we stopped at Silver City, NM, to see
Western NM University (where Linda went to college), and visit with friends
Mitch and Linda Mitchell.
TREK TO UTAH AND NEVADA
We wanted to attend the Safari International Motorhome Owners Club rally in
southwestern Utah in May. We left on 10 May and headed to Cholla Lake County
Park in Arizona. After a night there, we drove on to the south rim of the Grand
Canyon where we toured the west part of the rim. The next day we drove on to
Lee's Ferry in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and camped by the
Colorado River. On the 13th, we moved on to Leeds, Utah, and stopped on the way
at Pipe Springs National Monument, a Pioneer home site in the Arizona strip
(Arizona north of the Grand Canyon). We enjoyed three days at the Rally along
with about 64 other Safari Motorhomes, including 16 Treks. While there we also
visited Zion National Park, and were surprised at how many people were there for
mid May. But most were European tourists, as is common in our southwestern
parks. After the rally, we drove on to Great Basin National Park in Nevada, and
spent three nights there. A herd of seven mule deer seemed to always be around
Mule Deer at Great Basin National Park.
At the park, we toured Lehman Cave and explored the Lehman
Creek, Baker Creek, and Snake Creek areas. Wheeler Peak is over 13,000 feet
high. The mountains were snowcapped, and snow blocked the road up the mountain.
The park is a beautiful area without too many tourists since it is off the
beaten path along the Nevada-Utah border. We will have to return at a later time
when we can go up the mountain where we can see the bristle cone pines. They are
the oldest living things. A tree cut down in the 1960s had almost 4,900 annual
growth rings. The next stop on our trip was Salt Lake City. We spent three days
doing research in the Genealogical Library. Linda uncovered more facts about her
Baxter ancestors. Robert discovered that his 3rd great grandfather, John
Malseed, was a trustee and treasurer of 7th Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia
in the 1840s. Even more important, he found a church receipt signed by John
Malseed. The signature exactly matched one on a document he found a few years
ago, but could not definitely tie to his ancestor. That document says that John
was born about 11 January 1790, left Londonderry, Ireland, and arrived in New
York City about 15 April 1821.
Malseed Signature - 10 September 1833
We also visited the Hill AFB Aerospace Museum in
Ogden, Utah. We returned to Albuquerque on 25 May after a stop at McPhee
reservoir in Colorado.
MONTANA AND IDAHO 1999
On 12 June we departed on a trip to Montana and Idaho. James and Stacy and Norma
Jean and her son Chris traveled with us to western Montana. James drove his
camper. We stopped at Sugarite Canyon State Park in New Mexico. We had a great
view from a campsite high up in the canyon. When we left in the morning we were
delighted to see a flock of wild turkeys. We went on to Colorado Springs where
we visited with Linda's aunt, uncle, and cousins. We then continued north
through Cheyenne, Wyoming, and went on to Sinks Canyon State Park in Wyoming. It
is an interesting place where the Popo Agie River sinks into a cavern and
reappears a few hundred feet further downstream. From there we went to Grand
Teton National Park, and spent a night near Jackson Lake.
Morning at Grand Teton.
We continued north
into Yellowstone National Park where we spent two nights in the Madison
campground and used a day to see many of the geysers and other geothermal
features of the park. From Yellowstone we crossed into Montana and spent a night
at Bannack State Park. Bannack was the first territorial capital of Montana. Now
it is an exceptionally well-preserved ghost town. We then crossed the Big Hole
to climb up to Lost Trail Pass and descend into the Bitterroot valley of far
western Montana. On the way we stopped to see the Big Hole National Battlefield
- scene of an important battle between the US Army and the Nez Perce tribe in
1877. In the Bitterroot Valley we stopped to visit with our friends John and
Maria who live in Hamilton.
With John and Maria.
The following day, James, Norma Jean and the kids
left us to spend a little time with her sister in Twin Bridges, MT, and then to
head home to Albuquerque. We spent four days in Hamilton. Wednesday was really
beautiful, and we hiked up the Blodgett Canyon overlook trail that we had
partially hiked in 1996.
On the Trail in The Bitterroots.
We departed Hamilton on a rainy Friday and drove
northwest to northern Idaho. We stayed in the Indian Creek campground at Priest
Lake State Park. The Lake is about 20 miles south of the Canadian border. It is
surrounded by a dense cedar, hemlock, and pine forest that grows right down to
the water's edge. We enjoyed hiking through the rain forest. On Saturday we went
up the Viewpoint Trail with a few other people. When we got to the top, one of
the others saw a mountain lion. Unfortunately it disappeared before we could see
it. That evening, another couple reported a moose had been in the campground
that day, and some others reported seeing a lion run across the road. Our next
stop on the journey was Heyburn State Park on the southern end of lake Coeur
D'Alene. After a night there, we moved on to Hell's Gate State Park and a
campsite right on the Snake River near Lewiston, Idaho. Clarkston, WA, is just
across the river. This area, the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake rivers
was a stopping point for Lewis and Clark on their journey to discover a passage
to the northwest. It is also just downstream of where the Snake River emerges
from Hell's Canyon. We climbed over 4,000 feet in altitude the next day and
stayed at Ponderosa State Park on Payette Lake. While driving around the lake
that afternoon, we saw a moose in a pond.
Moose at Ponderosa State Park, Idaho.
Next, we returned to the Snake river
and visited Hagerman Valley. There we saw Hagerman Fossil Beds National
Monument. This site is famous for the multitude of small Pleiocene horse
skeletons that have been found there. We also found traces of the Oregon Trail
on the south side of the river. The north side of the river is the 1,000 springs
area. An aquifer flows underground across the Snake River plain and gushes out
of the basalt cliffs at this place.
Some of the "1,000" Springs.
We returned home on 4 July after overnight
stops at Salt Lake City and McPhee reservoir.
We are now looking forward to a trip to Hawaii for a cousin's wedding, a trip to
southern New Mexico with Stacy, and a trip to Oregon in September.
THE BOTTOM LINE
We continue to be thankful for the Lord's provision for us. We trust in Him, and
pray that you will do likewise and enjoy a wonderful summer of 1999.
Robert & Linda
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14 March 2007