Robert & Linda Malseed
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Christmas 2001
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2 December 2001     Click on the pictures to enlarge them. 

Christmas greetings! We pray that you all have had a great year. It has been a bit up and down with us. We did not get to travel as much as we had hoped. As we start this letter it is thanksgiving weekend, and we do have much to be thankful for.

In our July letter we mentioned that Linda's mother, Beatrice Baxter, had gotten to where she needed assistance every day. She moved into an assisted living apartment in May, and put her house up for sale. We went on a trip to Montana from mid June to mid July. When we got back, there was a buyer for the house, so we were then busy getting it ready for the sale. We had to have a big garage sale. Fortunately everything sold quickly, and the new buyers wanted some of the furniture. The new buyers turned out to be friends of ours who also sing with us in our church choir. In fact, they also have a connection to Linda's mom, as their daughter studied music under her cousin, Jonah Kliewer, at Tabor College. We were happy to have the house sale taken care of, and we then departed on 6 August for a trip to Oregon and Washington. We had hoped to be gone several weeks, but Linda's mom's health deteriorated rapidly, so we returned home on 24 August. She went to the hospital that day, stayed there and in the skilled nursing unit until she improved. Then she moved into a nursing home, so we closed out her apartment. After being in the nursing home for several weeks, her health has improved and her dementia symptoms have mostly gone away. She was able to go with us to James and Norma Jean's home for Thanksgiving Dinner. We are very thankful for that. We have inherited her dog, Samantha. Samantha cannot live at the nursing home, but she can go there for visits.

We returned to Salt lake City for one day on our return from Oregon. Robert was able to use the library's new film scanner that writes to a CD-ROM to copy Benjamin Baxter's Revolutionary War pension request as well as gather some Irish research information.
We continue to hear from Malseeds who find our web site. We have recently heard from some descendants of Robert's great great grandfather's brother as well as descendants of his great great grandmother's brother.

Our second major trip of the year was to Oregon. (As we mentioned earlier in this newsletter, we planned to go to Washington as well, but we returned home early.) We departed on 6 August and spent a night at McPhee reservoir in southwest Colorado. Then we drove on to Salt Lake City. Road construction and rain got our vehicles pretty dirty. The next stop was Mountain Home AFB in Idaho. On the 9th, we moved on to Baker City, Oregon and spent the afternoon at the Oregon Trail Heritage Center. It is a fascinating place - full of life-size exhibits about life on the trail. The trail passed by the site of what is now Baker City. As we travel hundreds of miles a day in our motor home, it is hard to imagine taking months to travel from Missouri to Oregon by wagon and hard to imagine the dangers that were ever-present on that journey. By the next night we were at LaPine State Park in a campsite on the Deschutes River.

deschutes_river.jpg (86182 bytes)  On the Deschutes River.

After arriving at LaPine, we paid a visit to Smith Rock State Park.

smith_rock_sp.jpg (75623 bytes)  Smith Rock State Park.

LaPine is very close to Newberry National Volcanic Monument. We spent the following day exploring the volcanic scenery. We started at the Lava Lands Visitor Center. We hiked among the lava and drove to the top of the adjacent Lava Butte cinder cone. Then we went a few miles away to explore Lava River Cave. The cave is a lava tube that is now completely underground. We were able to hike nearly one mile into the cave. It is pitch black in there. We had only our flashlights to light our way. It is also cold - 42 degrees. This lava tube was much longer, darker, and colder than the lava tubes we explored in Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho. Lava tubes are formed when a lava flow hardens on the surface and then the lava beneath flows out (after lava stops coming from the source) leaving just the tunnel-shaped crust. From the cave we drove over to Newberry Volcano. The caldera contains two lakes, Paulina Lake and East Lake. They were probably a single lake at one time. The most fascinating thing we saw there by the lakes was the Big Obsidian Flow. It is the most recent lava flow of Newberry Volcano, and the youngest (1,300 years) lava flow in Oregon. It is over 170 million cubic yards of pumice and obsidian. We have never seen or imagined such huge blocks of beautiful, shiny, black volcanic glass. On 12 August, we drove up to Redmond, Oregon, where we spent five days. We camped in the county fairgrounds along with over 4,000 other motor coaches.

redmond_fmca_600.jpg (150326 bytes)  Can you find our motor home?

This was the summer convention of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA). We spent much of the time in seminars learning various aspects of motor home care and travel. Linda enjoyed the quilting seminar. When she told what she knew about the Promise Quilt, the others were very interested. Perhaps she will teach that at a future convention. (Or maybe at the International Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon.) One day we visited Sisters where Linda really enjoyed The Stitchin' Post Quilt Shop. At the convention, we met Linda's cousin Carolyn and her husband. They live in Tucson, and it was nice to see them again. After the convention, we drove north to the Columbia River Gorge. We stayed in Memaloose State Park right on the river. It is extremely windy there as the wind blows eastward through the gorge.

columbia_gorge_east.jpg (60657 bytes)  Looking down the Gorge.

While there, we visited the Discovery Center at the Dalles. That area was another location along the Oregon Trail. On our second day at the park, we drove around Mount Hood. People were still snow skiing on the mountain. (At Timberline Lodge, you can ski all year.) The scenery was beautiful. The next day, we saw more beautiful scenery as we drove westward through the gorge. The further west we went, the wetter it got. Eventually the forest became lush and green and there were many waterfalls that drop down into the gorge. 

mt_hood.jpg (49511 bytes)  Mt Hood.

Probably the most well known of the Columbia Gorge waterfalls is Multnomah Falls.

multnomah_falls_lower.jpg (96223 bytes)  Multnomah Falls (lower portion).

A little further west, we could look up the gorge from a couple of vistas. Crown Point vista shows up in this view. 

columbia_gorge_west.jpg (44913 bytes)  View of Crown Point Vista and the Gorge.

From there we left the gorge and entered the area around Portland. Robert's cousin, Beth Araki, lives there in Gresham. We spent Sunday afternoon with Beth and Les and their son, Josiah. It was especially enjoyable since Beth's parents (Robert's first cousin - Bill and Mary) were visiting from Hawaii. (Late breaking news - Josiah now has a brother born on 6 November.) 
On Monday, 20 August, we turned around and headed back toward home so that we could be with Linda's mother.

robert_and_cousins.jpg (83218 bytes)  Robert and cousins Mary, Bill, Beth, Les, and Josiah.

Since we were not able to complete our trip to the northwest, we decided to take a short trip in October and join our Chaparral Chapter (FMCA) friends at a motor home rally in Truth Or Consequences (T or C). We drove down on Thursday, 11 October. On Friday we all went to visit an open-pit copper mine on the way to Hillsboro. We found pyrite and chalcopyrite. Robert discovered a rock containing molybdenum, and we found a large deposit of calcite crystals. The crystals were on the shore of a lake that had formed in the quarry. It had a beautiful color. 

hillsboro_mine_lake.jpg (73746 bytes)  The lake at the mine.

We ate lunch at the old town of Hillsboro. On Saturday we visited the Geronimo Springs Museum and the Geronimo Days festivities. Sunday we drove out to the old town of Chloride and into the Black Range. Monday we returned home.

el_rancho_poodles.jpg (84389 bytes)  Pico's birthplace.

Pico was born in T or C (21 Aug 1987) at El Rancho Poodles so we took his picture there.

We joined the digital camera age this autumn with a new Olympus C-2100UZ camera. It is nice to be able to shoot all the pictures you want and choose the best one, or to shoot one and immediately e-mail it or put in our newsletter. We are very pleased with the quality of the pictures. When printed on our HP 970Cxi inkjet printer, you can't tell them from regular prints.

house_600.jpg (71074 bytes)  A quick picture of our house and motor home

This will be the last newsletter composed on our trusty old 1994 Gateway computer. Robert has upgraded the computer extensively over the years, but it is now time for a fresh start, so we are in the process of receiving a new Dell Dimension 8200 computer. We also have a new HP 2200D laser printer and a new HP 5470c scanner. The computer room and dining room are full of components as we are switching over.

After we sent out change of address notices to many, many people, our e-mail provider changed our address. Please note that our newer e-mail address is 

One of Robert's co-workers moved to Houston while we were in Oregon. When we arrived back in Albuquerque, his other co-worker was laid off, so now he is very busy trying to take care of a network of several dozen computers as well as the telephone system.

We continue to be thankful for the Lord's providing for us in all ways. We trust in Him, and pray that you will do likewise and enjoy a blessed Christmas season and New Year as well.


Robert & Linda

(and Samantha & Pico)

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