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6 December 2007
Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Christmas greetings! The last half of this year has included several trips but
none that were lengthy. We did travel a long distance however. We went as far as
Denali National Park in Alaska.
As we were writing our July newsletter, Derry was going to intermediate
training classes. He graduated on 6 July. The classes have been helpful as he
has learned some things like sit, stay, come, etc. Often, however, he only does
something when he wants to. We have found we have to trick him into
relinquishing socks or underwear which he likes to steal and carry around the
house. We celebrated his first birthday on 18 July, and he earned the privilege
of being able to wander freely around the entire house.
Derry on our bed with his Dragon.
This autumn Robert installed a door for Derry so that he could go from the
dining room into the store room and from there into the dog run. It took him all
of a few minutes to begin using his new door and the freedom to go outside when
be needed to. We wish we had put that door in 20 years ago for Pico. We always
had to open the dining room/store room door for Pico when he would tell us he
needed to go out.
Derry took a brief trip with us late in July when we took our motor home to
Navajo Lake for 2 nights. We joined Linda's brother and his family there. We saw
this Mallard couple out on the lake one day.
Mallard couple on the lake.
We could only stay a brief time because we had to come home and pack for our
trip to Alaska.
NORTH TO ALASKA
We had originally been committed to attending a Kliewer family reunion early
in August. However, we learned that the reunion was cancelled, and we were able
to join a group of friends from our church on a cruise tour of Alaska. Linda had
been in Alaska for an hour or so when we made a stop there on our flight to
Hawaii in 1979 for our honeymoon. Robert had lived there for a year in
1964-1965. Our ship, the Sapphire Princess, sailed out of Vancouver, British
Columbia. We made an early flight to Seattle and then spent two nights with
Robert's cousin, Dave Malseed, in Anacortes, Washington. Dave's wife had died
tragically in April so we wanted to spend a little time with him. We took a
delightful trip up the Skagit Valley to visit the fly-in at Concrete,
Moonrise at the Concrete fly-in.
On Saturday, Dave drove us to Vancouver where we said farewell and boarded our
ship. Soon we met up with our friends. There were over 120 in our group. Most
were from our church, Hoffmantown Baptist Church. We also had people from other
states who knew our senior pastor, Wayne Barber, who was leading the group.
Linda and Wayne waiting for our ship to sail.
Most of our group is in this photo.
During the cruise, we all got together six times for fellowship, teaching, and
worship. Brian White set up audio and video capability while Terry Adams, our
music minister, led the musical portion of our meetings.
Terry Adams ready to lead the music program.
During our eleven days together, we had the opportunity to get to know some
friends better. (Often around the dinner table.)
Sharing a dinner table with Dave and Tess.
Linda’s fellow teachers, Lovelia and Francis.
Eating again. With Ken Shirley.
We sailed from Vancouver late on Saturday afternoon and spent the next day at
sea heading north. On Monday morning we made our first stop which was at
Ketchikan. We took a tour to Totem Bight State Historical Park and also did some
shopping and other sightseeing.
House at Totem Bight State Historical Park.
Eagle up close.
Creek Street in Skagway.
On Tuesday our next stop was Juneau, the capital city of Alaska. We were excited
about visiting Juneau because Linda has college friends, Fred and Sherri Morino,
living there. Robert also has a third cousin, Caroline Bruschi, there whom he
had never previously met. In planning our trip we discovered that Fred and
Caroline knew each other through their work. We all had supper together. Earlier
in the day, we went on a tour to Mendenhall Glacier and then walked through town
and visited the city museum and a Russian Orthodox Church. At the Glacier
viewing area we were able to see salmon, bears, and a mother bear chasing the
Eagle welcomes us to Juneau.
Salmon swimming in the creek.
Mother bear before she got hungry for salmon.
Robert at Mendenhall Glacier.
Caroline, Fred, Linda, Sherri, and Robert.
Our third stop was Skagway. We took a ride on the White Pass and Yukon Route.
This train takes you up to Canada over White Pass, the route the miners took in
the gold rush of 1898.
Train leaves for the pass.
The old trail of ‘98.
After shopping around town, we returned to the ship where we were greeted by
Whale diving by the ship.
On the sail from Skagway to Whittier, we spent the first day in Glacier Bay
National Park. It was an unusually clear, beautiful day.
Lamplugh Glacier and Mt Cooper.
The top of Lamplugh Glacier is about 155 feet above the water.
Lamplugh Glacier calving.
Johns Hopkins Glacier.
More Glacier Bay scenes.
Our next destination was a tour in College Fjord.
On 4 August we disembarked at Whittier and boarded the train for an all-day ride
to Denali National Park.
Scenery from the train to Denali.
Denali is Mt. McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America. Unfortunately the
weather was overcast while we were at Denali. We did enjoy our tour in the Park
even if we could not see the mountain.
Linda with a bronze moose at the lodge.
We also took a jet boat tour on the Nenana River. While we were on the tour we
panned for gold and found a few flakes.
A real moose in the park.
On the third day ashore, we took the bus down to the Princess McKinley lodge.
That evening the clouds began to lift from Denali. The next day was clear and
beautiful. We spent that morning at Talkeetna on a jet boat tour on the Susitna
River. The view of the Alaska Range from the river was outstanding. We had lunch
in Talkeetna and were joined by the rest of our group who had participated in
Mount McKinley (Denali).
Then we rode the train south to Anchorage and spent the night there before
flying back to Albuquerque. When we got home, it was nice to see that Derry had
not forgotten who we were.
BUHRER FAMILY REUNION
One pair of Linda's great-great-grandparents were the Buhrers. The Buhrer
family has a reunion every Labor Day weekend. Linda had never been to one of
these reunions so we determined to go this year. The reunion is always held in
the clubhouse in Zook, Kansas. Zook is close to Larned, Kansas, where Linda's
father was born. We reached Larned in our motor home after an overnight stop in
Texas. We found Linda's ancestors graves in the Larned cemetery and stopped to
see the ruins at the site where the old family home had stood. It was a very old
stone structure that had been torn down. Linda's grandmother had been promised
that the historic structure would be preserved, but unfortunately it was
destroyed. The Buhrer family descendants gathered for supper on Saturday along
with a get-together time and fireworks display. On Sunday we all gathered for a
noon meal and auction.
Auction at Buhrer reunion.
Linda’s oldest cousins (98 and 101).
Since many of her distant cousins were unfamiliar with Linda's branch of the
family we gave a pictorial power point presentation to introduce her branch. We
enjoyed meeting many cousins that Linda had not known.
Robert in a rut.
While in Larned, we went to see the section of Santa Fe Trail ruts that have
been preserved there. Fort Larned was one of the forts that guarded the trail.
The only surviving member of the previous Baxter generation is Linda's aunt Sue.
We went to visit her in Salina, Kansas.
Linda, Derry, and Aunt Sue Baxter.
A short distance from Salina is Lindsborg. We had enjoyed a visit there several
years ago, so we spent a night on our way to Hillsboro. Linda's maternal
ancestors had first settled near Hillsboro when they emigrated from Russia with
many other German Mennonites. From Hillsboro, Linda's great grandmother moved to
Fairview, Oklahoma, and obtained farmland there in the run on the Cherokee
Strip. We drove down to Fairview to visit some of Linda's cousins who live
there. Leonard and Leona Vogt and Carolyn Winter are cousins on Linda’s mother’s
side. (The Kliewer family)
Leonard, Leona, Carolyn, and Linda
We also wanted take a look at the two farms in which Linda has ¼ ownership. It
had rained 5.33 inches the day before in Fairview. That did not bother us until
we tried to drive out to see the new oil well by the 80-acre farm. In spite of
using 4-wheel drive, the mud that had washed off of the field proved so slippery
that we slid off the road. In spite of some manual pushing help from the oil
drillers, we could not get back up on the road. We called Alan Boehs, who farms
our property, and he was able to pull us out of the ditch. After the weekend, we
returned home from Fairview.
Oklahoma mud and Alan to the rescue.
We were happy to have Linda's cousin, Carolyn, visit us from Tucson, Arizona,
shortly after we returned from Oklahoma.
APPLES AND ROCKS
In late September, we went up near Cochiti Pueblo to buy apples at Dixons
farm and also to visit the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. This photo
is of a red chile ristra hanging at the farm.
See why they are called “Tent Rocks”.
Tent Rocks skyline.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN RAMBLE
In early October we went up to Farmington, NM, for the Rocky Mountain Ramble
motor home rally. About 500 motor homes were there, and we enjoyed seeing some
of our friends again. Linda also has a cousin living in the area, and we visited
with Gayle while we were there. Every time we travel northwest from Albuquerque
we see Angel Peak a short distance south of Bloomfield. We had never been to the
recreation area near the peak, so one afternoon we drove out there. The peak
sits in a highly eroded landscape that is not evident from the highway.
Linda and Derry overlook the badlands.
When we stopped for lunch at the recreation area we discovered a horned lizard
(horny toad) near the car. Robert had never seen one in the wild before.
Horned lizard comes to visit.
The trip to the rally was a short one and was our final motor home trip for
the year. Since then, we have made two one-day visits to Santa Fe, the capital
of New Mexico. One visit was with our senior adult group from church, and the
other was just to see the Egyptian exhibit at the New Mexico art museum and the
Gee's Bend quilt exhibit at the Folk art museum.
The cathedral in Santa Fe.
We have been busy learning new music for our choir's Christmas musical, to be
presented on 9 December. We had a quiet Thanksgiving as Linda's brother's family
was in Colorado. That weekend we finally had snow in this part of the country.
Derry continues to amuse us with his antics.
Derry on the bed again.
THE BOTTOM LINE
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 as we celebrate His birth. Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous new
Robert & Linda
The Alaska Range as we saw it from Talkeetna.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Le Gach Deaghui i gComhair na Nollaig agus na Bliana Nua.
Frohe Weihnacht und ein glückliches neues Jahr!
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Page last updated:
16 December 2007