Robert & Linda Malseed
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Christmas 2004
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10 December 2004   Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Christmas greetings from Albuquerque! We hope that you are enjoying the holiday season. This has been a very eventful year for us. As we mentioned in our July newsletter, we took a big trip to Ireland, Scotland, and England in June. July was a time to relax at home and to prepare for a long motor home journey.

In 2001 we went to the Family motor Coach association (FMCA) Convention in Redmond, Oregon. After the convention we had intended to travel around in Oregon and Washington. However, our plans had to be changed, and we came home early as Linda's mother had to go in the hospital. This summer's convention was once again scheduled for Redmond, so we dusted off our old plans and modified them to include an excursion into Canada. Robert had also learned he had more cousins in Washington and British Columbia. We planned to visit them. We departed Albuquerque on 31 July and drove north to Montana. We spent a few days there with friends we had not visited in quite a while. We left Montana, drove across Idaho, and stopped at Clarkston, WA, generally following a route pioneered by Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery in 1804-1806. In the last couple years we have covered much of the route of the Corps of Discovery from Fort Mandan, North Dakota, to Fort Clatsop, Oregon. Clarkston, WA, and Lewiston, ID, flank the mouth of the Snake river where it joins the Clearwater River to form the Columbia. While we were at Clarkston, we took a day-long jet boat tour 95 miles up the Snake River through Hell's Canyon. It was a great ride. We had to go up through several rapids. Here is a photo taken at one of the stops in the canyon.

  On the Snake River.

From Clarkston, we followed the Columbia River westward until we arrived at Mt. Hood.

  Mt. Hood from Trillium lake.

We drove around the mountain to Mt. Hood Village where we met up with many other Safari Motor Coach owners for the Safari Pre-rally. The weather was beautiful. Three years earlier our views of Mt. Hood were marred by clouds. After the pre-rally, the Safari Coaches traveled together to Redmond, where we parked in a group at the fair grounds. See if you can find our Trek in this aerial view of the convention.

  Our Trek at Redmond FMCA convention.

  We are out here somewhere.

We spent a day at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon.
After the convention, we went back north to Portland. We spent a couple days there and visited Robert's cousin, Beth, and her family. It was good to see them again, and to see the new family members. Here is Robert with Hanna.

  Robert and Hanna.

We also visited the Discovery Center at the end of the Oregon Trail, and then we got to see Linda's college friends who live in Beaverton.

  College friends, Missy & Will.

Our next stop was on the Oregon coast at Nehalem State Park. Unfortunately a period of rain began before we left Portland. We had a nice campsite by the ocean, but it was quite wet. We then traveled a little way north up the coast to the mouth of the Columbia River and we camped at Fort Stevens State Park. It is a lovely park. We spent a couple days there and we went out on the beach to see the wreck of the Peter Iredale. The ship met its end the on the beach in 1906. As you can see, there is not much left of the ship now. This is the bow.

  The Peter Iredale.

The area around the mouth of the Columbia River has been very treacherous for shipping, and there are many wrecks off the coast in that area. We toured some of old Fort Stevens. We were interested to discover that a Japanese submarine had shelled the fort and surrounding area during World War II.

  South jetty at Ft. Stevens.

  A pelican flyby.

We also visited Fort Clatsop which is where the Corps of Discovery stayed during the winter of 1805-1806. Like Fort Mandan in North Dakota, the original fort is long gone, and a replica has been built there.

  Fort Clatsop.

During our time on the Oregon coast it rained off and on. When Lewis and Clark were there, they only saw a few clear days all winter. A short distance down the coast we saw where the Corps of Discovery replenished their salt supply by boiling sea water.
From Fort Stevens we headed east and crossed the Columbia River into Washington. The next three nights we camped at Seaquest State Park near Mt. St. Helens. We spent 2 days exploring the Volcanic National Monument. Fortunately, on the first day the weather finally cleared. Early in the morning it looked as if we would never see the volcano, but as we got closer to Johnston Ridge Observatory, the clouds lifted and we got this view.

  Mt. St. Helens from Johnston Ridge.

The next day we drove all the way around the mountain.

  Car still parked near Meta Lake.

We had great views all the way. There was a splendid view of Mt. Adams.

  Mt. Adams.

At Windy Ridge we could look into the crater and also see Spirit Lake very well.

  Mt. St. Helens crater from Windy Ridge.

  At Windy Ridge.

  Spirit Lake.

It was very interesting to see how the area was devastated by the eruption in 1980. It was also fascinating to see how much the area has recovered. Outside of the park, the damaged trees were salvaged and new trees were planted. That area is now a thick green forest. A month after we left the mountain it begun erupting, and has now been in continual eruption since 11 October. By the time we left Mt. St. Helens we realized that we could not go into Canada as we had forgotten to take our passports. Therefore we modified our itinerary and we went back to the coast just north of the Columbia River. We spent a couple great days at Long Beach.

  Long Beach sunset.

We visited the museum at Ilwaco and we went to the Lewis and Clark Discovery Center at Cape Disappointment and we went to two of the lighthouses there.

  North Head Lighthouse.

There are also many cranberry farms in the area, and we visited the Cranberry Museum. We moved a little further up the coast and spent a night at Ocean City State Park.

  Beach at Ocean City, WA.

The next day brought us to the north end of the Olympic peninsula. We stayed for several nights at Elwha Dam RV Park. From there we visited several areas of Olympic National Park. We drove to the top of Hurricane Ridge and got a great view of the mountain tops.

  Mt. Olympus.

On a drive to Obstruction Point we could look down on the tops of clouds that seemed to be pushing up into the mountains.

  Above the Clouds

  Linda at Obstruction Point.

We also drove up the Elwha river valley and saw where the dams are scheduled to be removed so that the river could once again host salmon. We visited Lake Crescent and hiked to Marymere Falls.

  Marymere Falls.

We also made a visit to Sol Duc Falls.

  Sol Duc Falls.

On another day we drove out to Cape Flattery, the uppermost point of the peninsula. We saw Sea Lions resting on small rocky islands, some colorful starfish clinging to the rocks and a bald eagle flying overhead at one point.

  North shore of the cape.

  Linda at the very end of the cape.

  Sea Stacks at Cape Flattery.

  Sea Lions on the rocks.

We had driven up the west side of the Olympic Peninsula and now we drove down the eastside so that we could go north of Seattle. We paused along the way at Millersylvania State Park.

  Millersylvania State Park.

The next day we arrived in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island where we met Robert's second cousin once removed, Dave Malseed, and his wife, Kay. They had just returned from several years of sailing. Robert had spoken to them via the internet when they were in Australia earlier this year. Dave had discovered our web site after they landed in Australia. He sent us an e-mail not knowing if we were related. Robert quickly realized that Dave was a grandson of Robert's great-grandfather's brother. We had a great time getting to know Dave and Kay and exploring Fidalgo Island with them.

  Robert and Dave.

  Dave, Kay, and Linda.

  Mt. Baker from Dave & Kay’s place.

Earlier this year, Robert had found out that he had a third cousin once removed living on another of the San Juan Islands - Lopez Island. We called Annette to find out where she lived on the island, and the next day we rode over there on the ferry with Dave. Here is Robert and Dave with Annette Malseed Bee.

  Robert, Annette, and Dave.

Her great-grandfather was a brother of Robert's great-great-grandfather. From Anacortes, we headed south to Bothell, WA, which is close to Seattle. In Seattle we visited Barbara Bolden who is a descendant of a friend of Robert's great-great-great-grandparents. In Seattle we also visited Karen Portzer. She is a descendant of another Malseed immigrant from County Donegal, Ireland, and she had gone to the Malseed family reunion in Ireland in June. It was nice to see her again. We did some sight seeing at the Seattle Aquarium and at the Pike Place Market. We also visited Linda's cousin, Patsy Gremminger.

  Patsy & Linda.

After leaving Bothell we drove down to Issaquah. From there we visited Robert's cousin, Suzanne Wicker, and her family.

  Robert, Suzanne, and Meagan.

We also spent a day at the Seattle Museum of flight. A couple days later, we were back in Oregon at McMinnville where we spent a day at the Evergreen Aviation Museum. That museum is now the home of Howard Hughes' famous "Spruce Goose".

  The Spruce Goose.

Our next destination was Salem, OR, and the Safari Motor Coach Homecoming Rally. We last went to homecoming in 1999 at the old manufacturing plant. This time we got to tour the new manufacturing facility at Coburg, Oregon. After the rally, we headed home, stopping in Burns, OR, Winnemucca, NV, and Salt Lake City, UT.

  We passed the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

We found some more family history information there and then we returned to Albuquerque on 30 September. When we crossed the Wasatch Mountains south of Salt Lake City, the autumn colors were beautiful.

  Autumn colors in the Wasatch Mountains.

  Map of our trip.

Not long after getting home we learned that Nelson Greer had died. His wife, Carolyn, is Linda's Cousin. He has had some serious health problems for years. He and Carolyn had a large bus motor home, and we enjoyed sharing part of some of our trips to FMCA conventions with them. We drove our motor home down to Tucson, Arizona, for the funeral. We will miss Nelson, but we know he is better off now and free of the medical problems that plagued him. After getting back to Albuquerque again, we spent a few days and then left in our motor home for Farmington, New Mexico, for the Rocky Mountain Ramble - a gathering of FMCA members in the rocky mountain region. It was nice to see some old friends there whom we had not seen for a couple years. We also had the opportunity to visit the museum in Aztec, NM, and we enjoyed the colors along the Animas River.

  Cottonwood trees in the Animas Valley.

We also finally got to see the Bolack Fish and Wildlife Museum. We pass by those places whenever we drive to Salt Lake City (which is every year.) and we have been intending to see those museums for a long time. The motor coach gathering that was held there finally provided the opportunity we needed.

  Farmington, New Mexico, sunset.

Now our coach is put up for the winter and we have to catch up with other projects. We have traded in our 16-year-old Audi for a new Suzuki Grand Vitara.

2005 Suzuki Grand Vitara.

We are also preparing for the Christmas concert which our choir and orchestra will be presenting on 12 December. We hope this letter can be ready to mail by then.

We are also planning a trip to Australia for 10 March to 8 April. We look forward to meeting some of the Malseed family living down under.

  Planned travel in Australia.

Robert continues to hear from more Malseed family members around the world. We have had correspondence with about 145 so far.

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

Le Gach Deaghui i gComhair na Nollaig agus na Bliana Nua. Frohe Weihnacht und ein glückliches neues Jahr!

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