Robert & Linda Malseed
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
July 2005
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7 July 2005   Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Greetings again from New Mexico.

In the first half of this year we accomplished our great Australian adventure that had been in planning since last year's trip to Ireland. That adventure was in March and April. This past winter was one of great snowfall. In January we drove up to Sandia Crest which overlooks Albuquerque from nearly 11,000 feet altitude. There was a lot of snow up there. All the mountains out here received a great amount of snow. We saw much on our April trip to Utah. Now that much of the snow has melted, our lakes and reservoirs are filling. This is welcome relief as we have had several years of drought. In February, we made a one-day visit to the Bosque Del Apache wildlife preserve. After returning from Australia, we spent 11 days on a visit to Utah. In June we took a 3-day vacation to Navajo Lake in northwest New Mexico. From January to June, Robert worked on a complete revision to our web site.

This year we once again joined friends of ours from church for a bus trip to the Bosque Del Apache near Socorro, New Mexico.

  Sandhill Cranes fly in at sunset.


We left on our Australian adventure on 10 March and returned on 8 April. We visited many distant Malseed family members, and we covered a lot of territory. The trees, birds, and other animals are very different. We saw some very dark skies (especially in the outback) with the southern stars. The constellation Orion is upside down and the sun and moon travel through the north during the day. And, of course, Aussies drive on the left side of the road. We stayed with John & Helen Malseed when we arrived in Sydney on 12 March. They live north of Sydney in Terrigal.

(Click the hyperlinks in the text below for more information about places we visited.)

  The Opera House - symbol of Sydney.

We saw that area and Sydney for a couple days, and then we headed south in their car to Canberra, the capital. We viewed the city from Telstra tower on Black Mountain Lookout, looked at the embassies, spent several hours at the War Memorial (museum), and spent time in Parliament.

  Canberra Panorama from Telstra Tower.

We sat in the House of Representatives during question time when the Prime Minister, John Howard, and cabinet ministers answer questions from each side of the aisle. The rowdiness of the representatives was a bit of a surprise to us. Late in the afternoon we continued riding south to the Princes highway and stayed overnight at Bellbird. At dusk that evening we saw our first mob of kangaroos. In the morning we continued down the highway through Lakes Entrance and on to John’s cousin’s farm east of Melbourne.

  The Farm “Donegal”.

We stayed there a night and then went to his cousin’s home closer to Melbourne for 2 nights. We went to the Franklin Graham festival in the Telstra Dome one evening and saw some of Melbourne. The following day we went into the forests and hills in the Dandenong Ranges.

  Linda with one of the beautiful birds.

On Sunday we met up with Jim Maultsaid who was visiting from Northern Ireland. Then John & Helen headed back home while we traveled on with Jim to Portland via the Great Ocean Road. We stopped to see the sea stack formations known as the 12 Apostles. (As we write this, the second stack in this photo [arrow] was destroyed by the sea on 3 July.)

  Some of the 12 Apostles.

When we arrived in Portland, we were met by Leigh Malseed. The next day we went to his home and he took us to Noel Johnstone’s property where we could see Malseed Lake which is in the Discovery Bay Coastal Park.

  Malseed Lake just above Robert, Leigh, and Jim.

A close-up of Malseed Lake in Discovery Bay Coastal Park, Victoria, Australia.

We went further up the coast to Mt Gambier where we saw Blue Lake and Malseed Park (a sports stadium).

  Robert at Malseed Park.

We met Athol Malseed and some of his family for lunch and then went to see the Malseed Realty office before heading back to Portland. We saw a flock of Emus on the way and then stopped at Drik Drik cemetery to see the Malseed graves there. That evening we met 55 others at Otway Manor in Portland for a little reunion. Robert gave a slide presentation about our family and also gave the presentation he had produced for the reunion in Ireland last June. We met several people we had only known through e-mail. It was amazing to see 60 Malseed entries in the Portland phone book. More than anywhere else.

  Leigh and Karen Malseed arranged the meeting.

  Robert with Robert William (Bill) Malseed.

  Robert & Estelle Malseed.

The next day, Leigh took us on a guided tour around Portland and Cape Bridgewater including the cemetery there where many Malseeds are buried.

  Robert Malseed grave.

We stopped at Bridgewater Bay, Bridgewater Lakes, Tarragal Caves, the old Methodist church, and the Petrified Forest.

  The Petrified Forest.

We saw a koala that lives in the woods near Leigh’s home. We also stopped to see Malseed Street in Portland.

  Jim, Robert, & Leigh at Malseed Street in Portland.

We also met Brendon Jarrett at Leigh’s home. Brendon is the owner of Henry’s letters. These are a series of 14 letters written to Henry Malseed, one of the original settlers from Ireland. They are dated from 1863 to 1885 and offer an interesting insight into life in Ireland, and the relationships between Malseed family members who immigrated to Australia and the USA. Robert photographed all the letters. (In the future, transcriptions of the letters will be posted on the Malseed web site.) The next day we headed back to Melbourne with Jim. We stopped at the Condah / Myamyn Cemetery where many Malseeds are buried and we stopped at Ballarat to see the gold fields living history museum at Sovereign Hill.

  Sovereign Hill Gold Mine.

In Melbourne (Hawthorn) we stayed with Robert Barrie and Estelle Malseed. The next day we went to the Melbourne Museum where we saw a special exhibit of dinosaurs from China, and then got Jim to the airport to fly back to Belfast. The next day over lunch we met Pat Miller, whose brother is a member of our church in Albuquerque, and then in the afternoon we went with Estelle to the Malseed cabin on Phillip Island. On the Island we went to the Koala Conservation Center.

  One of many Koalas.

After sunset we went to the penguin parade. (Small fairy penguins, only a foot tall, nest on the island every night.) Many nests were around the cabin and we could hear the penguins throughout the night. At times they get quite loud.

  Fairy Penguins.

The next day we got up early and walked down the gravel road to see the kangaroos that live there. We saw several of them. Then we went with Robert out to the family fish farm in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne. They raise trout and salmon, and people can come and fish there.

  Pond at the fish farm.

They also have a couple kangaroos on the farm. The gum trees on the farm host many Bellbirds that chimed at us and Kookaburras that laughed at us. Robert then took us to Emerald where we caught the Puffing Billy steam train to Belgrave where we transferred to the Melbourne train system which we rode for 2 hours to Patrick Joseph Malseed’s home in Carrum Downs. Patrick is a recent immigrant from England.

  Puffing Billy at the Belgrave station.

After visiting with them, we met up with Robert & Estelle back at their home in Hawthorn.
The next day we flew to Hobart, Tasmania, where Ian and Charlie McLeod met us at the airport and then took us on a 3-day tour around Tasmania. We spent a night at Port Arthur where we saw the old prison. (Tasmania was originally a colony for prisoners.)

  Ian and Robert in Port Arthur prison.

Linda and Charlie allowed Robert & Ian to escape from the prison. The next day we visited the Dog Line, the Tessellated Pavement, Coles Bay, beaches, and Freycinet National Park as we headed north to Ross.

  On Nine-Mile Beach.

The next day we rode south to New Norfolk stopping at Bonorong Wildlife Park where we saw several Tasmanian Devils and hand-fed kangaroos and wallabies and petted a koala. We learned that koalas can be quite noisy.

  Linda feeds a Roo.

We saw Russell Falls in Mt Field National Park, and the lakes and mountains in Southwest National Park.

  Linda, Robert, Ian, Charlie at Russell Falls.

The next day we went atop Mt. Wellington for a panoramic view of Hobart and then looked at sights in Hobart for a while before heading to the airport.

  Hobart from Mt. Wellington.

We flew to Melbourne, spent the night at an airport motel, and flew to Ayers Rock Resort the next day. Tasmania was cool, but Ayers Rock was hot and dry and in the center of Australia in the outback. (More like home.) That evening we went to the observatory for a program on the southern sky. It was a perfect, clear, dark night. We could see the Southern Cross any night on our trip, but in the outback we could easily see the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. The Coalsack could easily be seen as the head of a large Emu in the night sky. The next morning we took a helicopter tour of Ayers Rock (Aboriginal name Uluru) and the Olgas (Aboriginal name Kata Tjuta) which lie west of Uluru. It was surprising to see so many trees out there. Most are ones called “desert oak”, but they have what looks like pine needles. They are able to tap into the aquifer that lies under the very dry outback.

  Ayers Rock (Uluru) from our helicopter.

In the afternoon we went on a 4-wheel-drive tour to Mt Conner, a mesa about 60 miles east of Uluru.

  Mt. Conner at sunset.

That trip was 7 hours and was really interesting. We did see several kangaroos.

  Two of many kangaroos.

We saw camel tracks, but no camels. In the evening we had steak at Curtin Springs Station under the Bough Shed. “Station” is Australian for “ranch”.

  Robert at sunset in the Outback.

Curtin Springs cattle station is over 1 million acres. The next morning we were up early for a sunrise tour of Uluru. Ayers Rock is red sandstone that glows especially red at sunrise and sunset.

  Sunrise at Ayers Rock.

After sunrise we went on a tour guided by an aborigine who explained much about his culture and how they live in the bush. He spoke through an interpreter.

  Robert gets spear-throwing lesson.

After lunch back at the resort we were off on a bus tour to Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). Whereas Uluru is a single rock, the Olgas are several huge rocks close together.

  The Olgas (Kata Tjuta).

We hiked up into Walpa Gorge between two of the rocks. Then we went back to Uluru for sunset. It was quite cloudy, but the sun shone through the break under the clouds just before setting and turned Ayers Rock from a dull grey color to a glowing orange-red.

  Sunset at Ayers Rock.

The next day we flew to Cairns and drove north to Port Douglas on the tropical Queensland coast. The next morning we went by boat out to the Great Barrier Reef which lies off the Queensland coast. We viewed the coral and fish from the platform which is anchored there and from a glass bottom boat. Then we put on a lycra suit, mask, fins, and snorkel and spent an hour swimming out over the beautiful undersea scenery.

  Our view of the Great Barrier Reef.

The next morning we drove north and crossed the Daintree River by ferry (noticing the crocodile warning sign) to go to the Daintree Tropical Rainforest.

  A brief shower in the Daintree Rainforest.

It was hot and humid and there was a brief rain shower. (Some areas of the forest have 360 inches of rain per year.) It was fascinating. When we returned to Port Douglas, we visited the Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary to see the animals that are too elusive to see in the wild.

  Crikey! Crocs, Mate!.

Each evening after sunset in Port Douglas we observed dozens of flying foxes pass overhead. These are large bats whose wingspan can be up to 5 feet. After three nights there, we flew back to Sydney and spent the last two nights with John & Helen Malseed before flying back home on 8 April.

  John and Helen with son, Michael.

For some years we had been planning to tour Nine-mile Canyon in Utah. On 19 April we drove the motor home up to Moab, UT, and we spent a day exploring some areas of Canyonlands that we had never before visited. Then we drove up to Price. That afternoon we visited the Museum of the San Rafael Swell in Castle Dale. The Swell is the geologic name of this region of Utah. It includes Emery county and Carbon county where coal is mined. The famous Cleveland-Lloyd dinosaur quarry is in the area. The dinosaur bones from this quarry are blackened by the carbon. We had visited the quarry several years ago. This year we spent an entire day exploring Nine-Mile canyon that is northeast of Price. Nine-mile creek flows eastward into the Green River. The Canyon that it cut was home to many Native Americans and contains evidence of their presence. The canyon is known for its thousands of sites of petroglyph and pictograph displays. We saw several dozen sites on our day-long drive up and down the canyon. Here are some of the best examples of this art work.

  A Petroglyph panel in Nine-Mile Canyon.

From Price, we drove up to Salt Lake City where we continued our family history research. Robert photographed many more Irish property records. He also discovered more about his Shubert ancestors. We then returned home on 29 April.

During our time in Tasmania, Robert caught a cold just before we flew back to Melbourne. He has always had problems with his Eustachian tubes. He got fluid in his middle ears. Such fluid usually drains for him in a few days, but this time it did not. His hearing has been adversely affected and he was given a variety of medications. Finally, on 6 July his eardrums were cut open, the fluid sucked out, and rubber tubes implanted. He immediately began hearing clearly.

We went to Navajo Lake on 26-29 June. Linda's brother, Jim Baxter, also went along with Norma Jean and Chris. They took their boat and jet ski so we did some boating. Here is Chris flying across our wake on his wake board.

  Chris flies on his wake board.

The trip also helped us test the towing equipment we had installed on our new car. We wanted to tow it behind our motor home. We also put a bicycle carrier on the hitch on the back of the car. Everything seemed to work well. This is important because in July-September we plan a 7700-mile motor home trip to the upper midwest, Canada, and the northwest.

On 1 June, We published a completely revised web site. Actually it is 2 web sites. is a site for the worldwide Malseed family, while contains the information about our family. Please visit us there. Our old website is still available at

Samantha, the dog we inherited from Linda’s mother 4 years ago, died when we went to Australia. She was about 15 years old. It is rather quiet around the house now. Pico died 2 years ago.

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 2005.


Robert & Linda

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