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20 December 2010 Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
Once again we bring you Christmas
greetings. This time it is a little later than usual. We have been very busy
since 4 July, making four trips and taking 4,375 photos. It has taken a long
time to sort through the photos to choose the few that are in this newsletter.
We have also been very busy with Christmas musical program rehearsals since
being back at home for the winter.
We spent most of July and August on a motor home trip to the Pacific
Northwest. We were going to the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) convention
in Redmond, Oregon, in mid August. We left on 11 Jul and at lunch time
discovered that our AC generator would not start. (That was finally fixed in
November. The generator was OK, but there was a hole in the fuel line that
required that our 60-gallon fuel tank be lowered.) We spent the first night at
McPhee Reservoir in Colorado, and discovered that the motor home was leaking
engine coolant. The next day we had the heater bypassed as its core seemed to be
leaking. We had to continually monitor coolant levels and add some more coolant
during the first half of our 4,314 mile trip. We had the heater repaired after
we got home. Philipsburg, Montana, was our first extended stop on the trip. We
visited our friends, Jay and June Kulinna, who spend their summers there.
Philipsburg is June's hometown. It is also where in-laws of one of Robert's
Shubert ancestors lived. Elizabeth L. Thomson was librarian at the Hearst
Library in Anaconda. She was at the library from about 1901 to 1922. Her sister,
Charlotte (Lottie) Thomson Irvine was Granite County school superintendant at
about the same time. June's aunt remembers Lottie. Elizabeth and Lottie’s
sister, Elberta McMillan lived nearby in Deer Lodge. We found documents at the
county courthouse that provide data about the lives of the Thomson sisters and
their families. In fact, there is a plaque in memory of Lottie on the wall just
inside the front door of the court house that is shown below. Philipsburg was a
delightful stop on our journey.
Granite County Courthouse.
Near Philipsburg we also toured the abandoned mining town of Granite.
Linda, June, and Derry look over Granite.
Area behind them in its heyday.
One day we searched through a bag of dirt and gravel looking for sapphires, and
found 10 carats of gem-quality stones. Philipsburg is in the Sapphire Mountains.
Just west of the mountains is the town of Hamilton, where our friends, John &
Maria Sargent, live. Their home was our next stop. It was great to visit with
them once again.
With John and Maria.
Our next visit was with Robert's cousin, Suzanne Wicker, and her family in Maple
Linda with Suzanne, Daron, and son, Caleb.
From Washington, we crossed the border to spend a week in Canada. Early in 2010
the Winter Olympic Games were held in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia.
We had visited Vancouver briefly in the past, and we wanted to spend more time
in the area so we drove up to Whistler for two nights and then Vancouver for
We had a great time in Whistler. It
is a well known winter sports area, but also is a popular summer destination.
The area was crowded with tourists enjoying the weather and views and summer
sports opportunities. The town is overlooked by Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb
Mountain. We enjoyed a busy day of activity with two adventures.
First we bought tickets for a Ziptrek
Ecotour. We had read about the zipline adventure at http://www.ziptrek.com/whistler-canada/home
and decided to take the five-line Bear tour. Ziplining involves wearing a
harness with a pulley wheel at the top. That wheel is placed on a steel cable
and you then let gravity take you from one high platform to another one a little
lower. We rode five lines and the longest ride was about 25 seconds.
The ziplines criss-cross Fitzsimmons
Creek between platforms placed high in the huge trees of the old growth forest
of the valley. The lines are above the area where the olympic bobsled and luge
competitions were held. When we arrived at the first platform, there was a
reporter (Duncan McCue) and video crew from the Canadian Broadcasting
Corporation looking for someone to interview for a news story about the effect
of the 2010 Winter Olympics on tourism. Linda said that we would agree to be the
subjects. Linda was the interviewee and was outfitted with a wireless
microphone. Interviewing was done as we proceeded along the tour. The Ziptrek
owner was also there and he directed that we be given the CD with pictures of us
for free, along with free ball caps. That is how we obtained these photos of us
on the longest line. We had a lot of fun ziplining. The news article was shown
on the 10 PM news show "The National" a few days later while we were staying at
an RV park in Vancouver. We were able to make a video recording of it.
Ziplines criss-cross over Fitzsimmons Creek.
Linda ready to start.
Robert made our own HDTV recordings as he zipped over the creek.
Robert on the long line.
Linda steps off platform.
Linda in mid-air.
After Zip trekking, we rode the gondola up Whistler Mountain, and then we rode
the Peak-To-Peak gondola over to Blackcomb. We had spectacular views of
Fitzsimmons Creek in the valley over 1,000 feet below.
A long way down.
From the mountain tops there are breath-taking views of the other snow-capped
peaks in the area.
Inukshuk looks over Whistler.
Linda with a wooden lion.
After enjoying the views, we rode two ski lifts back down to Whistler Village.
Heading down on the ski lift.
A summertime “luge” trip.
Our next destination was Vancouver, but on the way down we stopped for lunch at
Horseshoe Bay. There we met Emma Hawker Gadsby who rode the ferry over from
Vancouver Island to meet us. Emma is a member of a Malseed family of Colchester,
Meeting Emma at Horseshoe Bay.
We spent 5 nights in Vancouver and toured the city, the Aquarium, Stanley Park,
Grouse Mountain, Capilano Suspension Bridge, the Museum of Vancouver, the
University of British Columbia(UBC) Anthropology Museum, and the UBC Botanic
Vancouver from Grouse Mountain.
A furry Grouse Mountain inhabitant.
A feathered Grouse Mountain inhabitant.
Capilano suspension bridge and park is located over Capilano River on the road
back to Vancouver. A suspension bridge has been an attraction there since 1889.
The bridge is 450 feet long and is 230 feet above the river.
Capilano Suspension Bridge.
Walking through the trees.
An Otter swimming in the Aquarium.
Linda at the steam - clock in Gastown, Vancouver.
A Stanley Park inhabitant.
At the UBC Museum of Anthropology.
At the UBC Botanical Gardens.
Museum of Vancouver.
Heading south, we stopped for a night in Bellingham with Ken and Char Malseed.
Ken is a cousin from a different Malseed family line. They had visited us
earlier this year when they were in Albuquerque with their motor home for the
FMCA winter convention. Robert's cousin, Dave Malseed and friend, Eileen, also
came over to visit from his home in Anacortes, Washington, since he had never
met Ken and Char.
Linda, Ken, Char, Eileen Dave, and Robert.
We next spent 3 nights with Dave in Anacortes. While there, Karen Portzer of
another Malseed family line drove up from Seattle with Robert and Dave's Shubert
cousin, Betty Gard. We all took the ferry over to Lopez Island to meet Robert
and Dave’s cousin, Annette Malseed Bee, and her daughters Christine and Polly.
Here we are all together after having lunch. This was our second visit with
Annette who is now 94 years old.
Robert, Betty, Christine, Polly, Karen, Annette, Dave, Eileen.
Betty, Robert, and Karen.
Our coach parked at Dave’s place.
We paid a return visit to Mt. Saint Helens on our way to Oregon.
Linda at Mt. Saint Helens.
Heading south into Oregon we stopped and visited Linda's college roommate, Missy
Thomas in Beaverton. It turned out that their other roommate, Caryl Ann Gutheinz,
was arriving the same day with her husband. It was a real college reunion for
Caryl Ann, Missy, and Linda.
Our next stop was at Newport, Oregon, for a Safari International Chapter (of
FMCA) rally prior to the convention. It had been two years since we had attended
a Safari rally. It was great to once again meet many of our Safari friends and
to see all the coaches with their distinctive murals. Our mural features
giraffes. Newport is on the Oregon coast. As usual, we experienced foggy weather
there, but were rewarded with one beautiful sunny day. The RV resort is located
right on the ocean with a great view of the Yaquina Head lighthouse when it is
Our Safari Trek (with giraffe mural) at the Rally.
Linda working on a craft project.
Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.
Yaquina Head lighthouse from the campground.
Derry ready to eat the lighthouse.
Among our activities there we toured the Hatfield Marine Science Center and we
also took a boat tour out on the Pacific Ocean. (Hoping to see whales, but they
were shy and hid from us.)
Getting a send-off on our Marine Discovery Tour.
On the way out to sea, we threw a couple crab traps out. They were recovered on
the journey back in to port, and contained two crabs each.
Linda (upper right) checks the catch from crab traps.
After leaving Newport, we met up with Safari friends in Sisters, Oregon, and
caravanned together into Redmond for the convention.
Caravan forms up.
This was our third convention in Redmond. Linda's cousin, Carolyn, and her
husband, Bob, also were there. We spent a day together touring a portion of the
Newberry Volcanic National Monument.
Bob and Carolyn at Newberry.
On top of the cinder cone volcano.
Massive amounts of Obsidian (volcanic glass).
On another day, Robert and Linda toured the Lava Cast Forest and the Lava Tube
features within the National Monument. The lava casts were made when lava flowed
around living trees and solidified. After the trees decayed, only the casts of
their trunks were left as evidence that a forest had been there.
The lava cast of a tree trunk.
The lava tube was a long narrow lava flow that hardened on its surface and then
the remaining hot liquid lava flowed out the far end after the volcano ceased
erupting. This left a hollow tube over a mile long. There are no lights in the
tube. You have to bring your own or rent one at the entrance. We walked in to
the point near the far end where the ceiling was only about three feet above the
floor. (Robert went that far, but Linda stayed back where she could almost stand
up.) The air temperature remains constant at 41 F (5 C).
In the lava tube. Note Robert’s breath in the cold air.
Linda beneath small lava stalactites.
At the convention, we met friends, attended seminars, had Blue Ox refurbish our
tow bar, bought some supplies at the vendor exhibits, enjoyed entertainment, and
looked at coaches. The convention was held at the Deschutes County fairgrounds,
shown here in an aerial photograph. The yellow line near the top points to our
Coaches at the convention.
There were a number of new coaches on display. We usually like to look at them.
That is how we discovered the Safari Trek at a 1998 convention. At a little over
$2 million, this one is probably the most expensive one we have ever toured.
Linda looking over a $2 million coach.
On the first night of the convention, Todd Fisher showed us the movie, “The Long
Long Trailer”. The next night, his mother, Debbie Reynolds, entertained everyone
with a talk and old home movies. Todd’s wife, Catherine, was also there. She led
a seminar and later did make-up for the women.
Linda with Catherine.
Unlike our previous trips to Redmond, the weather was not too hot. We did manage
to change our reservation to a site that provided electricity so that we could
use our roof air conditioning. However, when we left we discovered that our dash
air conditioning was no longer working, and the weather had gotten much warmer.
It was a hot drive back to Albuquerque. Along the way we stopped at Wallowa Lake
near the town of Joseph, Oregon. It is a beautiful place in the mountains of
northeastern Oregon. The lake is a water-filled glacial moraine. Mount Howard
overlooks the lake. We rode the tram up to the top of the mountain and enjoyed
the beautiful views.
View of Wallowa Lake.
A greeter on Mt. Howard.
Mt. Howard view.
Mt. Howard view.
Mt. Howard view.
The town of Joseph is at the far end of the lake. It is named after old chief
Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe who is buried between the town and the lake. The
small town has several bronze foundries, and several sculptures are on display
along Main Street.
Joseph has old buildings and bronze sculptures.
Friendly deer roamed through the campground at the foot of the mountain.
Deer in the campground.
We stopped next in Boise, Idaho, where we visited with Robert's Shubert cousin,
Mary Finn. Mary has also done a lot of Shubert family history research, and we
exchanged some information.
Mary with Robert.
Salt Lake City was next on the itinerary, and we spent several days in the
Family History Library. On a day when the library was closed we drove down to
Timpanogos Cave National Monument. The cave (actually three caves) is located on
the side of Mt. Timpanogos. The cave's entrance and exit are 1,200 feet above
the road. You have to hike 1.5 miles to make that ascent. That was quite a hike.
(Especially the altitude gain)
We climbed up from the road in the valley.
Another tight squeeze.
We were back home on 27 August after 7 weeks on the road.
BUHRER FAMILY REUNION
Our next travel plans were to go to
the Buhrer family reunion in Zook, Kansas. Since the motor home was having some
of its problems fixed, we made that journey by car, and stayed at pet-friendly
motels so Derry could go with us. We also took a thermoelectric refrigerator to
keep food cold. The Buhrers are cousins of Linda.
Linda talks to Ronnie Cauble, a Buhrer cousin.
After the reunion, we visited Linda's aunt Sue in Salina, Kansas.
With Aunt Sue, Reese and Donna.
Since Robert had recently discovered that he had a Shubert cousin in Joplin,
Missouri, we stopped there next so that we could share family information.
With the Atkins family in Joplin.
Coming home from Missouri, we stopped in Fairview, Oklahoma, to visit some of
Linda's Kliewer cousins and to check on one of her farms there.
Meeting with Kliewer cousins.
NEW ENGLAND CRUISE
For over a year we had been planning
to visit New York City at the end of September, and then take a cruise up the
coast to Canada and back to New York with a group from our church. We flew to
NYC on 29 Sep and spent three nights at the Manhattan at Time Square hotel. It
was a great location within walking distance of many sights. We also rode the
subway to southern Manhattan twice. Times Square, on the night we arrived, was
bustling with activity.
Some of the bright lights of Times Square.
The next day we went down to the Battery and then walked to some historic
locations such as the old Bowling Green, Fraunces Tavern (where George
Washington said farewell to his officers), Federal Hall (where George Washington
was sworn in as president), Trinity Church and Saint Paul's Church (where Robert
may have McDonald ancestors buried), and the World Trade Center site across the
street from St Paul's church.
Friday was a soggy rainy day. We took the subway again and got off to see where
Robert's g-g-g-grandparents owned the property at 24 West Broadway. It was near
where the short white and tall brick buildings join in the photo below.
Old Malseed property was located here.
Then we paid a return visit to St Paul's Church and Trinity Church, where church
records verified that there were McDonalds buried. From Trinity we walked down
to Castle Clinton to take the ferry to Liberty Island and walked around the
Then we rode the ferry to Ellis Island. Many people immigrated
through Ellis Island, but none of our ancestors arrived by that route.
That evening we had a real treat as we walked to Radio City Music Hall to attend
a Celtic Thunder concert.
On Saturday, the sun came out for a
beautiful day, and we boarded our ship, The Caribbean Princess, for the cruise.
Ready to sail.
Our first port was Newport, Rhode Island. We took an electric bicycle tour
around the peninsula south of Newport. The tour took us along the shore and
passed by many large estates. The electric bikes were fun to ride and saved a
lot of pedaling. We also walked around and toured this old church building in
Newport church building.
The next day we docked in Boston, and then took a bus tour through the city and
across the Charles River to Cambridge. It has been nearly thirty years since we
had walked around Boston. Here you see Linda ready to enter Harvard.
(Harvard yard, that is.)
Linda at Harvard.
Of course, we also made a stop to
visit inside the Old North Church.
Linda with Deanna and Lois in the Old North Church.
The following day we arrived in Bar Harbor, Maine, where we toured Acadia
National Park and walked along the seashore on another sunny day.
Ocean view from walking tour.
Caribbean Princess waits in the harbor.
Saint John, New Brunswick, in the Bay of Fundy was our next port. That bay is
well known for having some of the world's highest tides. We got to witness that
as we visited Fundy National Park near the town of Alma.
High tide at Alma.
A little while later.
Our final stop in Canada was at Halifax, Nova Scotia. The weather was clear as
we took a bus tour to Peggy's Cove. The views of the picturesque lighthouse
located there were beautiful, but the wind was very strong.
The much photographed lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove.
Peggy’s Cove harbor.
After a day at sea with our friends we returned to NYC and flew home.
Dinner at sea with Bill and Katy McCulloch.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN RAMBLE
Our next trip was by motor home to
the FMCA Rocky Mountain Ramble in Farmington, New Mexico. We drove up there with
a group from the Chaparral Chapter of FMCA. (Linda is chapter treasurer.) Robert
had a cold during part of that gathering and Linda had to make the four-wheel
Linda drives down the trail.
Our coach (short one) parked with Chaparral friends.
Our choir and orchestra had been
rehearsing for our Christmas musical since mid September. Since we missed four
rehearsals, we had some catching up to do. It was all worth it when, on the
first weekend of December, we gave five performances of the most elaborate
program that we have ever done. About 7,000 people attended. Here we are in
In our Christmas musical costumes.
Robert has been a member of the
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) for 40 years and is an
Associate Fellow. He has been Albuquerque section treasurer since 1991. At a
meeting this year he got the opportunity to put on an Apollo 15 space suit that
had belonged to astronaut James Irwin. Can you recognize Robert?
Robert in the Apollo 15 suit.
Robert has been putting up with
cataracts for over 7 years. They are dark areas in a portion in the lens of each
eye. The most noticeable effect is double vision in addition to some scattering
of bright light. On 3 January he will have the lens replaced in his right eye,
which is the worst one. About seven years ago he found a way to see his own
cataracts, and had been drawing their growth over the years. The doctors were
amazed at the accuracy of the drawings, and they made a copy of them and also
took a photo for comparison. The difference in orientation is due to the fact
that Robert’s light source projects a shadow of the cataract on his retina. His
brain then inverts that image.
WHY DO WE LOOK DIFFERENT ?
You may have noticed that we look
different than we did in our previous Christmas newsletters. We have been Weight
Watchers members since September 2009, and Robert has reached his goal of losing
70 pounds. Linda is still working towards her goal.
This year we made changes in our
telephones. There is a new home phone number, and our old home number is now
Robert’s cell phone number. Our old cell phone number is Linda’s cell phone
number. They are all listed below. Please make the changes in your contacts list
or address book. Our new home number is a MagicJack number. The MagicJack is a
computer USB device that provides telephone service via the internet. Wherever
we travel (if we have a good broadband internet connection) we can use our home
phone which is almost free. We are also available for live video calling via
Windows live messenger.
(505) 990-7928 home
(505) 265-1842 Robert Cell
(505) 238-5818 Linda Cell
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 and New Year as well.
Robert & Linda
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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